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One Porsche leads, many follow at Targa Newfoundland

A new Porsche Cayenne will be the first vehicle that thousands of fans who line the route of the second annual Targa Newfoundland international car rally will see when the competitors roll away from the start of the six-day event, but it will hardly be the only Porsche in North America?s newest and most exciting rally.

A twin-turbo, 450 hp Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle will be the official course-opening car for Targa Newfoundland 2003. Provided by Porsche Cars Canada and driven by Canadian race driver and racing instructor Rick Bye, the new Cayenne will carry officials on a final inspection before they turn the competitors loose on each of the more than 35 competitive Targa stages in the 2000+ kilometre route.

But the new Cayenne isn?t the only Porsche contribution to the excitement of Targa Newfoundland. The storied German sports car manufacturer has also entered an Orient Red 2003 Porsche 911 Targa model in the Touring competition.

The sleek Porsche will be driven by a pair of journalists who will both compete and write about their adventure. The team of Pete Stout, editor of Excellence, The Magazine About Porsche, and Jack Baker, representing Porsche Panorama magazine, will be in the thick of the Touring class competition. Stout, 29, admits to limited rally experience but has spent lots of time at speed in his job. Baker, 62, is a retired pilot and experienced rally competitor with a unique Newfoundland competition credential: he won the St. John?s marathon foot race as a master in 1984.

Stout and Baker won?t be carrying the Porsche flag alone. More than a dozen Porsche cars are entered to date, including returning Targa class competitors Steve and John McCrory (?75 Porsche 911), Scott Giannou and Tim Winker (?76 Porsche 911 Targa), and Craig Seko and Steve Carrick (?90 Porsche 944 S2). New to the class, and a car to watch, is the Porsche 911 Ruf RGT of Gary Church and Bob Miller. In the Touring class, everything from a new Boxster to a Carrera 4 to a pair of rare Porsche 356 models is expected to take the start.

Earlier this year, event organizers named Porsche as the Honoured Marque for the 2003 Targa Newfoundland in recognition of the company?s support of the inaugural event.

Porsche has a long history in Targa events. The company won no less than 11 victories in the famous Targa Florio race in Italy, the event that gave its name to the current style of long-distance rally competition. Popular Porsche wins in the Targa Florio included the company?s fifth victory, in 1964, in the legendary 904 Carrera GTS Coupé just five months after its debut, and a compelling win in the final Targa Florio in 1973 (911 Carrera RS). Porsche has been the dominant manufacturer for the past five years at the Targa Tasmania event in Australia.

The 2003 version of Targa Newfoundland will again be a six-day, 2,000-plus kilometre automobile adventure for the owners of historic, classic and modern sporting cars from around the world. This year?s event will start and finish in St. John?s and run September 13 through September 21.

Last year, competitors from Australia, the U.S. and Canada crisscrossed eastern and central Newfoundland in the first Targa-style rally in North America. Patterned after the successful Targa Tasmania (Australia) and Targa New Zealand events, Targa Newfoundland was created to provide the owners of these pedigree machines the opportunity to drive them the way they were intended to be driven, safely and in the spirit of goodwill and good competition.

Targa Newfoundland is owned and organized by Newfoundland International Motorsports and is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport (CARS). Targa Newfoundland 2003 is listed on the FIA calendar.



Media: Ruth Marks (709)753-0974 or Doug Mepham (613)966-4969
Sponsors: Scott Giannou (709)576-7537
Competitors: Robert Giannou (709)722-2413
Website: www.targanewfoundland.com
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