NEWFOUNDLAND (September 19, 2013) – Targa Newfoundland roared into the Burin Peninsula in Day 4, with stages in Boat Harbour, Petite Forte, Mooring Cove, Marystown, Burin, Frenchman’s Cove, and back to Marystown to end the day.
Weather conditions were fantastic as the competitors took on Boat Harbour and Petite Forte in the morning. This hilly stage with sharp and blind corners challenged the competitors and their reliance on their co-drivers. This stage claimed the #21 Kia of Deshaies/McKenzie, both of Quebec, which retired from the competition with an engine failure. Otherwise, the stage was very clean, and there were a lot of local fans on hand to watch the action.
In Mooring Cove, the rally ran along the coastline over a rolling, winding short course. Many locals were out to watch as the competitors roared through their quiet community – one of which remarked, “this is the most action Mooring Cove has seen in a while!”
In the first Marystown stage of the day, a huge fan base was out to watch. The community support was so strong in Marystown that the schools closed for the day so that the students could volunteer with the rally. An army of volunteers did a fantastic job laying out this challenging stage with tape, which paid off when the competitors ran there. Marystown was a very technical stage, with many tight turns and winding roads through the neighbourhoods.
Burin provided a stunning backdrop, with a challenging rollercoaster course along the coast and through similar territory to Trinity and Brigus – including heritage homes and white picket fences. This was the first time since 2005 that Targa Newfoundland ran in Burin, and they were welcomed with open arms – even being fed by a local community group at lunch.
The #815 Acura of local team Atkinson/Tarrant suffered some mechanical difficulty and was towed in by the “Sweep” truck, returning to the competition in Marystown. This will shake up the competition in the Open division considerably, as this team was sitting in second before Burin.
There were some delays in Frenchman’s Cove as RCMP helped organizers to clear some traffic from the stage. This course was along a flat stretch of rugged, exposed coast. This stage was completed cleanly.
The day ended back in Marystown with a reverse version of the earlier stage. Lots of fans were once again on hand. The setting sun provided a challenge to competitors and caused some confusion in areas where they couldn’t see exactly where they were supposed to go. Overall, this stage was fairly clean with only minor navigational hiccups due to visibility.
In Targa class, Classic Division, Gill/Didcock retained their lead, only adding 0:00:26 to their time to make a new total of 0:00:29. Wiltshire/Wiltshire moved up to second place in the standings, adding 0:05:43 to their time to total 0:11:04. Rogers/Strupp fell to third and will stay there for the duration of the event after an engine failure in their car. Brunner/Laitenberg got back on the road in a street Mustang to run in Fast Tour, following the lead of Sawyer/Sawyer in the Modern Division.
The top three for Modern division remained the same after Leg 4, with Aweida/Aweida retaining a lead on the pack at a total of 0:00:57 in their Ford Mustang FR500S. Hume/Bartleet are next in line sitting at 0:02:04, and Mepham/Solecki with 0:03:34. Kenzie/Bourbonniere gained a spot with their Kia to place them ahead of Robbins/Tymchuck in the Ford Sierra Cosworth. Deshaies/McKenzie were knocked out with mechanical difficulties.
Open Division is seeing some shakeups after the mechanical issues suffered by the #815 Acura of Atkinson/Tarrant. They fell from second to fourth place today after an incomplete stage. Davenport/Benson retained their lead in the Subaru WRX with a total score of 0:01:33, followed by Hiscott/Cline Abrahams in the Toyota Corolla with 0:04:29. Howard/Kelland rounded out the top three in the Lancer Evo. #302 Pledger/Willett were knocked out of the race when their Ford Escort Mark IV broke a custom axle in the afternoon. They will return in a street car to finish the event in Fast Tour.
In Grand Touring, the top three remained the same with MacMullen/Russell maintaining the lead in the Mini Countryman JCW, taking only 0:00:04 in this leg to total 0:00:06. They’re followed by Riddell/DeLange (0:00:09) and McDonald/Fuller (0:00:23). This is a very close race that is still anyone’s guess.
Tomorrow, Targa Newfoundland heads north to Bay L’Argent, Harbour Mille, ever popular Brigus, Carbonear, and Freshwater before finishing in the heart of St. John’s.
For full results, head to www.targanewfoundland.com.
By Jenn Harrie