ST. JOHN’S (September 13, 2017) – As expected, mid-week of Targa usually means changes at the top of the leader board. This year’s event is no different with Targa veterans leading in each of the four competitive divisions.
However, the day started off with an unusual incident. One of the course safety vehicles went off the road on a challenging crest that leads into a turn in the community of Lethbridge. No injuries to the two crew members occurred. This same corner has been the location of other incidents during previous Targa’s and is known as the place to watch the event in the community, since something exciting usually happens.
The rest of the days stages proved to be fairly entertaining and provided opportunity for changes in the standings from the previous day.
In the Grand Touring division, the former second place team of Ruth and Andrew Thorogood has retired from the event due to mechanical issues. This now allows their teammates on the Hume Media Inc. team of Craig MacMullen and David Jenkins to move into second and only two seconds behind leaders John Hume Sr. and Christina Kroner, also of the Hume Media Inc. team. However, third through fifth place are within striking distance and can still move up the standings with two days of competition ahead.
The Open division of Targa has veterans Mark Rittenhouse and Mark Laitenberger leading the local team of Josh Collins and Matt Collins by 16 seconds. Third place pairing from the United Kingdom of Richard Clark and Andrew Prill are over one minute back but still quite capable of moving up the podium.
Modern division has another Hume Media Inc. team in the lead. John Hume Jr. and Newfoundlander Justin Crant are tied for first place with Targa rookie Kirk Jones and two time Targa champion navigator Corey Prosser, plus the Swiss team of Mike Humphreys and Rahim Khan.
Jack Rogers and C.J. Strupp are still tied for the lead in Classic division with Bryan Bursey and Martin Cadieux. This division looks to go down to the wire, with the next two days of stages being critical for each team.
Thursday’s stages are focused on Conception Bay North, specifically the communities of Harbour Grace and Carbonear. Four stages will occur in each community through the morning and afternoon hours. A noon car show will occur outside the Stone Jug in Carbonear while competitors enjoy a meal in the historic building.
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2017 competition will start in St. John’s on September 10th and concludes back in the capital on September 15th. The annual rally will cover more than 1,500 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including over 430 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
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