@targanl • @nissancanada • ST. JOHN’S (September 2, 2015) – A proven car, successful competitors and valuable experience gained last year have come together in what could be a winning formula for Nissan Canada Inc.’s return to Targa Newfoundland this September.
The sporty Nissan JUKE NISMO RS that made its competition debut last year will return to Targa 2015 in the hands of driver Jim Kenzie and co-driver Ray Felice, Targa organizers have announced. Last year, Kenzie wheeled the virtually stock JUKE to a highly credible fifth place finish in the Modern Division in its very first outing.
Kenzie, of Milton, Ontario, and Felice, of Guelph, Ontario, have teamed up to take on Canada’s longest and toughest motorsport challenge. The pair will drive together for the first time and build on their collective Targa experience and the JUKE sport crossover’s speed and proven durability to target a spot on the Modern Division podium.
Nissan’s return to Targa is part of the company’s commitment to offering accessible, fun motorsport in Canada, says Nissan president Christian Meunier.
“We were delighted with the excellent result last year for the JUKE NISMO RS, a brand new car for Targa Newfoundland in a very tough class,” explains Meunier. “We’ve also enjoyed an outstanding first season of our Micra Cup road racing series in Quebec. We are building on the success of both of these accessible, exciting, uniquely Canadian events to create a Nissan presence that touches motorsport enthusiasts everywhere.”
The Nissan Micra Cup is a series of 12 races over six weekends for stock Micra hatchbacks at circuits in Quebec. Fields of up to 28 cars compete on tracks like the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during the Grand Prix du Canada weekend.
The JUKE NISMO RS is powered by a 215 horsepower turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-litre engine tuned by Nissan’s NISMO motorsports arm. With helical limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and other performance features, the car won the Next Generation Challenge for cars of 1.6-litre displacement in Targa 2014.
The entry also marks Kenzie’s 14th consecutive Targa Newfoundland, an event he helped create. Best-known for his work with the Toronto Star Wheels automotive section in print and online, and for his weekly rants on TSN television’s Motoring TV, Kenzie is one of a handful of competitors who have been to Targa every year since the inaugural rally in 2002. Joining Team Nissan Canada’s entry marks Felice’s 10th year participating in the rally. Felice, a North American Rally Champion Co-Driver (production class) and winner in the Ontario Rally series, has multiple wins in the Targa Newfoundland Classic Division.
“Nissan cars generate excitement every time they come to Targa,” says event organizer Robert Giannou. “From the spectacular Nissan GT-R in 2009 to the sporty JUKE to the agile, fun Micras that made people smile last year, we know that fans love these cars and the excitement they bring. We welcome them back.”
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2015 competition will start in St. John’s on September 13 and concludes back in the capital on September 18. The annual rally will cover more than 1,600 kilometers of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including more than 400 kilometers of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
Targa Newfoundland: Doug Mepham email@example.com 905-325-3431
Nissan Canada Inc.: Didier Marsaud, firstname.lastname@example.org 905-629-6400
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