ST. JOHN’S (May 10, 2013) – When Dan Aweida first heard about the Targa Newfoundland international rally, he was immediately interested in competing. There was one problem: He wasn’t sure where Newfoundland was.
Aweida, of Boulder, Colorado, was at an ‘open road’ event in the U.S. when someone mentioned Targa among the list of great motorsports to do in North America. “Somewhere along the way, someone mentioned Targa Newfoundland as a great event with terrific atmosphere and a real driving challenge,” he recalls. “I thought, That’s great! Sounds like something I should do. Where IS that…’?”
Aweida knows now, of course, having put Targa on his bucket list, eventually researching the rally, contacting the Targa office and signing up for the 12th annual motorsport classic this September. He is entered with wife Tina in their 2008 Mustang FR500S that was factory built for the Mustang Challenge and is now registered for the Targa Modern Division.
Adding Targa Newfoundland to his list of motorsport credentials is a natural extension of Aweida’s curiosity and spirit of adventure, a passion that has taken him from dodging orange cones in a parking lot slalom event to amateur road racing to pro racing in the U.S., with side trips to competitions like One Lap of America and the open road contests. (Open road events are high-speed trials where cars and teams compete against the clock over long distances on roads that are actually closed to traffic.)
Although he’s never done an event like Targa, he’s coming with a good attitude. “I am coming to Targa Newfoundland with the objective of having fun,” Aweida says. “For me, it’s more the journey and experience. We just want to have a fun good time.”
The Mustang should provide that in spades. Originally built as a Miller Mustang for the U.S. Ford Racing Mustang Challenge road racing series, the car is a purpose-built racer that was created for competition by Ford and finished in a specialty shop. Aweida campaigned the car in that series from 2008 through 2010, steadily improving to score third in the championship in its final year. “They (Ford) didn’t sell it as a car; it was sold as a part,” grins Aweida. “The car has a part number in Ford’s catalogue.”
With a 325hp 4.6-litre V-8, 6-speed gearbox and giant brakes, the relatively light (3,400 pounds) Mustang promises to be quick, tough and reliable.
The navigating assignment falls to Dan’s wife of 21 years. “Tina has driven and navigated in open road events. She’s excited,” he says. The pair have two children – Rachel, 17 and Trevor, 14.
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2013 competition starts in St. John’s on September 14 and concludes back in the capital on September 21. The 12th annual rally will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
From: Doug Mepham
Competitors: Erin Everard 1-877-332-2413 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.targanewfoundland.com – http://www.targanewfoundland.com