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The following news release was distributed today. Note that the dates are posted for the next four years!

For immediate release

Targa Newfoundland dates set for next four years

ST. JOHN'S - One year after unveiling ambitious plans for the first Targa Newfoundland international rally for historic, classic and modern sporting cars, event organizers have announced bold plans for the event through 2006.

The second annual Targa Newfoundland rally will take place Sunday, September 14 through Saturday, September 20, 2003, Targa organizer Robert Giannou announced today. Including pre-event preparations and post-event celebrations, the event will run from September 12 through September 21, 2003.

Giannou also announced dates for the three subsequent Targa events:

September 18-26, 2004
September 17-25, 2005
September 16-24, 2006

"We started work on Targa Newfoundland 2003 the Monday after the 2002 event," said Giannou. "The first Targa was a success on a number of fronts, and we are encouraged by the community, sponsor, competitor and government feedback we've received. We have a tremendous base on which to build."

Although the 2003 event will follow the same basic format as the inaugural rally, organizers are looking at improvements to the route, staffing and other aspects of the event, Giannou said. The 2002 event covered a route of more than 2,000 kilometres over central and eastern Newfoundland.

An estimated 1,700 community volunteers contributed to the success of the first Targa, Giannou added, a knowledge base the 2003 rally plans to employ. "We had volunteers from across Canada and the U.S. join local volunteers to make the rally a success. We have planned additional training for more crews this year to bring more enthusiastic volunteers into the running of the event."

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador was a major sponsor of the 2002 rally. A funding commitment from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) facilitated the training of volunteers, establishment of the route and the marketing of the 2002 event internationally, Giannou said.

Giannou expects the 2003 Targa Newfoundland will also attract more competitors.

"The word-of-mouth news about Targa has spread around the world and we already have our first entries for next year, and that's before the TV special," he said. "I'm not going to make any predictions, but based on the positive feedback we get from this year's teams, I think we will see a substantial increase in the number of competitors in 2003." A one-hour television special on the 2002 Targa Newfoundland will air December 21, 2002, in French on the RDS network and in English on January 25, 2003, during prime time on the Global Television Network.

Targa Newfoundland is presented by Newfoundland International Motorsports Ltd. of St. John's and is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport (CARS).



Robert Giannou (709)722-2413
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