Safety Rules at Targa Newfoundland

(Gander, NL – September 15, 2008) – Competition was at its best during day 1 of Targa Newfoundland with 14 crews tied for first having accumulated zero penalty points.

All but two of the competition teams in Targa Newfoundland arrived at the Gander Community Centre late this afternoon. As per Targa policy, the crews involved in the two separate incidents have been medically cleared and at least one team hopes to return to the competition in the morning. Third place overall winner from Targa 2007, Dyrk Bolger and Terry Milnes from Manitoba, driving their 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S, went off the course during the first stage this morning in Placentia. The other mishap involved first time competitors Mark Kile and Kevin Paradise of Connecticut driving a 1989 Honda CRX SI.

Ross Wood, Clerk of the course, said, “Road conditions couldn’t have been better. These cars are extremely well prepared and safe. Both the competition crews and volunteers executed safety procedures to perfection. Over the last six years, Targa Newfoundland has an impeccable safety record and safety is of utmost importance.”

In accordance with the regulations of the event, the three course stewards will conduct a full de-briefing of both incidents.

In addition, there were the normal daily mechanical troubles that see teams tightening lug nuts and replacing alternator belts to allow them to continue on in the competition. The vast majority competing in the Targa class travel with large teams of technical personnel who often work through the night to make sure their team is at the starting line the next day.

Targa Newfoundland…It’s About the Spirit!

(Gander, NL – September 16, 2008) – The winds were high and the temperature was low but it did not cool the spirits of everyone involved in Targa Newfoundland 2008.

There were eight stages on Day 2 and veteran competitor Bill Arnold from California says, “Today separates the men from the boys and this is where your team strategy must kick in.” Today’s course included the longest stage of 30+ kilometres from Point Leamington to Leading Tickles and the tricky twisty stages through Gander making it a favourite among competitors. The difficulty of the course held true as only two competitors held on to the zero penalty position, one in Targa class and one in Grand Touring class.

The gruelling pace of the morning was tempered by the ladies from the various community groups in Leading Tickles as they treated competitors to a lunch of moose stew and jigs dinner and a spread of homemade desserts you’d only find in rural Newfoundland. Jim Kenzie, driving a 2004 Mini Cooper S along with navigator Brian Bourbonnier, must have been dreaming about the dessert buffet as they veered off the course on the first leg after lunch. The crew were taken to the hospital in Grand Falls – Windsor to be checked out and we’ll likely see them on the road in the morning.

Targa recognizes spirit and there are awards given out to both competition teams and service crews. The ‘Spirit of Targa’ plate is presented by Newfoundland International Motorsports to the entry that, in the opinion of the rest of the competitors, best represents the spirit of Targa Newfoundland. The “Spirit of Targa” is defined as the entry that has undergone the most trials and tribulations to get to or remain in the competition.

Also, the Rick Stryjski Outstanding Service Crew Award is presented by Newfoundland International Motorsports to the service crew that, in the opinion of the competitors, has done the most to assist competitors (theirs or others) to remain in the competition. This plate is in memory of Richard Stryjski, a service crewman who participated in and loved Targa Newfoundland.

Day 1 update: Dyrk Bolger and Terry Milnes from Manitoba, who went off the course yesterday in their 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S, heard that another Mini team comprising of Dave Pledger and Chris Willett from Las Vegas and driving a 1963 Austin Mini, were having major mechanical troubles. Dyrk and Terry have taken the engine from their car and are now in a local Gander garage busily trying to install it into the other Austin Mini so Dave and Chris can continue tomorrow.

Also, Mark Kile and Kevin Paradise of Connecticut, who were driving a 1989 Honda CRX SI, returned to compete today in the touring class to enjoy the camaraderie of the event.

That’s the Spirit of Targa!

Targa Newfoundland is owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited. Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 7th annual Targa Newfoundland will start and end in St. John’s and will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland over six days, including up to 400 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages. Competitors have come from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Holland, the Bahamas and the U.K. for the first six editions of Targa Newfoundland and international interest continues to build with competitors registering daily from places such as Germany and the Turks & Caicos.

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