Two good actors best known for playing bad boys will get behind a great cause when Trailer Park Boys principals J. P. Tremblay and Robb Wells turn up at the starting line for the 9th annual Targa Newfoundland on September 12.

Tremblay and Wells, who play the characters Julian and Ricky in the wildly popular television series, will drive a 2010 Porsche Cayman S with Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador identification. The team is entered in the very competitive Grand Touring competition of the five-day rally.

It is the first time the two actors have entered Targa Newfoundland and their first motorsport adventure.

The Autism Society is the official charitable partner of Targa and the focus of the event’s fund-raising efforts with competitors, fans, sponsors and the communities in the Targa family.

Fans of the iconic Canadian comedy series shouldn’t expect to find Julian and Ricky in the new Porsche. Tremblay and Wells will not be ‘in character’ for the week-long rally as it makes its way through the towns, villages and small communities that dot the 2,200-kilometre route.

“To me it’s about finally fulfilling a 15-year-old dream of JP’s and mine to compete in – and finish – a rally race,” says Wells. “At least one of those dreams will come true in Newfoundland, two if JP can keep the car on the road.”

“It’s such a beautiful province and the people there are the kindest and friendliest in the world. It’s the perfect place to host the only event of its kind in North America,” he adds.

Wells admits they are a little short of rally experience, but believes they can overcome that with help. “We really don’t have a lot of experience with racing yet,” he confirms. “We’ve both driven cars on local race tracks a few times and we may have run from the cops once or twice and got a hell of a lot of speeding tickets, but that’s it,” he grins, sounding more like Ricky than Robb. The team will attend the Targa school prior to the start of the event and be tutored by veteran Porsche driving instructor Rick Bye. As an entry in the Grand Touring competition, the car is not permitted to reach the high speeds regularly seen by cars in the Targa class.

Both of Wells’s parents are from Newfoundland and he still has family scattered across the island. Their push for the Autism Society is particularly apt: Wells has a cousin who has the condition.

With co-star Mike Smith (Bubbles), Tremblay and Wells captivated Canadian and international television audiences from the show’s debut in 2001, and have added two successful movies (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie in 2006 and Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day in 2009) to a growing body of work that has both a unique Atlantic Canada flavour and its own booze-fueled humour.

And while the actors won’t be portraying their Trailer Park Boys characters, they will still be in front of the camera as the focus of a special TV documentary planned for their Targa adventure. The show will be produced by Bradford Productions, producers of the acclaimed Motoring magazine-format series that has aired nationally for 23 years on TSN.

Their car is expected to be a worthy co-star of the show. The sophisticated Porsche Cayman S not only strikes a dramatic pose with its clean lines and strong, athletic profile, its light weight and its 3.4-litre, 320 hp midships 6-cylinder engine will deliver an impressive performance for the actors. The car is provided by Porsche Cars Canada.

Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 9th annual Targa Newfoundland will start in St. John’s on Saturday, September 11, 2010, and end back in the capital Saturday, September 18. The competition will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.

Competitors have come from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Holland, Germany, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the U.K. for the first editions of Targa Newfoundland and international interest continues to build with competitors registering daily.

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