ST. JOHN’S, NF – With nearly 50 cars on the start line, the 11th running of Targa Newfoundland got off to a roaring start under sunny skies. Drivers, co-drivers, and throngs of spectators enjoyed excellent driving conditions in three non-competitive stages through Flatrock and Torbay. Targa organizer Robert Giannou says,” Today was an exciting day with huge crowds and wonderful entertainment. With the help of the people of Flatrock and Torbay, it was one of the most successful prologues ever. Tomorrow we’re off to Central and Western Avalon which will feature the new Sunnyside stage finishing off the evening in Gander.”
Julie Halleran of Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador graciously stepped out of the co-driver’s seat to allow host of SPEED TV’s My Classic Car Dennis Gage to ride along with driver Ray Halleran of the “Racing for Autism” team.
The weeklong, flat-out competition known as Targa Newfoundland is the largest amateur motorsport event on the continent and an absolute must for those interested in testing their skills and their cars to the limit. The 2012 field including everything from rookies to 11-year veterans has competitors from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and everywhere in between.
Targa Newfoundland is the only tarmac rally in North America and one of only three in the world; New Zealand and Tasmania being the other two. The competition begins and ends in St. John’s and travels some 2200 kilometres across the eastern and central parts of the province. Of that total, 450 kilometres are Targa, or competitive, stages. During the non-competitive, or transit stages, teams must obey all rules of the road, including speed limits. On the Targa stages, however, that directive changes in a big hurry.
The Autism Society is the official charitable partner of Targa. A non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the development of individualized, lifelong, community based supports and services for persons with autism spectrum disorder. The proceeds raised through this year’s fund-raising efforts with competitors, fans, sponsors and communities will support local programs. Local volunteers will be making their annual trip with the event, supporting competitors and their service crews on their journey.
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 11th annual Targa Newfoundland returns to St. Johns on Friday, September 14th.
From Chris Langdon / Targa Newfoundland: www.targanewfoundland.com