ST. JOHN’S, NL – The last leg of the Targa Newfoundland rally wrapped up this evening in St. John’s, Newfoundland with a ceremony on the waterfront. Pledger/Willett returned today in a street car in the non-competitive Fast Tour after their #302 Ford Escort Mark IV suffered a mechanical failure in Leg 4.
The day started in Harbour Mille with a long 16 kilometer in and out stage. This was a fast stage with a few sharp turns in a rural setting. One car went off on one of the sharp corners and suffered extensive damage and exposure to some sea water. There were no injuries in this incident.
Ever popular Brigus was the next stage, bringing out lots of local residents to cheer on the competitors. The schools were even let out at 11:30 to allow the children to be home in time for the rally. This stage is a very tight course through a small village, with sharp turns, narrow roads, fences, houses, and a bridge that causes most cars to jump. There were some delays at the start to clear vehicles and people from the course, but once it got started everything ran smoothly. Two stages were run on this course, and the only issue was a slight mechanical difficulty at the end for the #886 Ford Sierra Cosworth, which was quickly fixed and returned in the next stage.
Carbonnear and Freshwater provided a good flow for the three stages. Competitors went from one area directly to the next and back again, making sure there was constant action on the courses. The stage was a town stage, similar to Marystown, with a transition into more rural areas, providing lots of straights, and some twisting areas. There were no issues except for a mechanical DNF for the #13 Subaru STi, which had an issue with the transmission or clutch. This car was able to attend the closing ceremony.
The weather cooperated today, with only a light sprinkle after competitors had already finished in Brigus, clearning before their next stage.
Competitors arrived on the waterfront in St. John’s to receive their participation medals and greet cheering fans. They enjoyed a reception where they traded war stories, talked about the fun they had, and made plans for next year.
At the end of the day, Aweida/Aweida had the fastest elapsed time of all Targa cars.
In Targa Class, Classic Division, Gill/Didcock took the victory in their #54 Ford RS1800 Escort Group 4 after Leg 5 with a total score of 0:01:51. They were followed by Wiltshire/Wiltshire in the #411 Porsche 911 with 0:17:57.
Modern Division was won by Aweida/Aweida in the #17 Ford Mustang FR500S with a total score of 0:03:07, followed by Hume/Bartleet in the #9 BMW M3 with 0:04:27. Mepham/Solecki rounded out the top three in the #803 Mini Cooper S JCW with 0:07:14.
Davenport/Benson emerged victorious in Open Division, with a total score for their #555 Subaru WRX of 0:04:29. Howard/Kelland came in second with their #709 Mitsubishi Evo (0:09:17), and Hiscott/Cline Abrahams took third in the #80 Toyota Corolla with 0:09:38 – a very close finish for second and third.
After a tight battle in Grand Touring, Riddell/DeLange seized the top spot with their #1135 BMW 135i (total score 0:00:14), knocking MacMullen/Russell to second place in their #1333 Mini Countryman JCW with a score of 0:00:24. McDonald/Fuller retained third place in the #1042 Audi A6 with a total of 0:00:33.
By Jenn Harrie