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Top team takes on Targa Newfoundland

TORONTO (June 1, 2005) -- An unusual Canadian team is making an unprecedented assault on both the modern and classic divisions at the ultimate North American tarmac rally.

The Vehicle Dynamics Group team is already drawing attention as a top contender among a competitive field at the fourth annual Targa Newfoundland rally. The dual entry -- a furiously fast 1967 Acadian Canso Sport Coupe and a powerful 2005 Subaru WRX STi -- will be piloted by drivers Jud Buchanan and Keith Townsend. They are joined in competition by co-drivers Peter Wright and Jen Horsey.

The team is vying for the first outright Canadian win in the race?s four-year history. They will take on 2,100 kilometres of challenging, twisty Newfoundland terrain over six days -- including more than 500 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.

Veterans Buchanan and Wright are proven contenders, delighting spectators year after year as they push the rare Acadian Canso Sport Coupe to stunning speeds. The duo finished a close second in the classic division and third overall in 2004. They have put up a competitive effort each year since the first Targa Newfoundland in 2002.

Buchanan has built a reputation for impeccable car preparation and a fast and precise driving style perfected in countless road race, rally, and solo events. The former Canadian Auto Slalom Champion from Halton, Ont., has also taught at the Porsche Canada Advanced Driver?s School.

Navigator Wright, of Mount Albert, Ont., is also an experienced competitor. The former Canadian GT1 Road Race Champion has also instructed at the Porsche Canada Advanced Driver's School.

Observers are also keeping a close eye on Townsend and Horsey.

Although the pair are new to Targa competition, the 2005 race marks Townsend's return to top-level motorsports in Canada. A regular challenger at North American performance rallies throughout the 1990s, he is known for his fast times and dogged perseverance.

He and novice navigator Jen Horsey, also from Toronto, have already shown promise as a team with outstanding showings in two very competitive winter rallies earlier this year.

Horsey is also a driver herself, campaigning as part of a rare all-woman crew in the Ontario Performance Rally championship.

The team is backed by some of the top mechanics in Canada: Andrew Sorensen, of Fredericton, N.B., Art Visser, of Halifax, N. S., and Jim Adams, of Pickering, Ont. Between them, these talented wrenches have decades of competition experience -- honing their skills on the special stages of the World Rally Championship and previous Targa Newfoundland competitions.

Castrol, a perennial sponsor of Buchanan, is supporting this top two-car effort for 2005 as part of the aggressive promotional efforts of Wakefield Canada, the brand's new distributor and marketer in Canada.

Team VDG is proud to compete on behalf of Show Kids You Care, a Toronto-based public awareness campaign that encourages more active, frequent and positive interactions with children. The team is also supported by StaggeredTime Solutions, an internet solution provider.

Billed as the premier motorsports adventure in North America, Targa Newfoundland frees drivers from the regular rules of the road and gives them a chance to drive the way their cars were intended to be driven. The event draws competitors from as far away as the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Holland, the Bahamas and the U.K.

The rally starts in the capital city of St. John's on Sept. 10 and finishes back there a week later. Targa Newfoundland is owned and organized by Newfoundland International Motorsports and is sanctioned by ASN Canada FIA.

On the web:
- www.teamVDG.com
- www.castrol.com
- www.targanewfoundland.com
- www.showkidsyoucare.net

/For more information, please visit www.teamVDG.com. To arrange interviews contact: Keith Townsend 416.806.2640 / [email protected] or Jud Buchanan 647.224.7163 / [email protected].
 

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Jud must start as the favorite to chase the non-existent First Overall prize, that coveted honour that has never been won twice by Californian Bill Arnold. A Mustang from Australia didn't win in 2002, as I don't remember.

People on this forum don't take Targa seriously. Their mistake.

It may be the best-organized, best-promoted stage rally on the continent. Over 90 paid entries are already registered. The imaginary 2005 winner is going to have to earn it. Good luck Jud and Keith!
 

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Well,

If they have 90 paid entries, they are sure keeping it a secret. Only 67 entries show up on the web site, I believe significantly fewer than last year at this time.


David Weiman
rallydave at pobox dot com
 

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Only 67? ..hmmm. That's what happens when you forget to account for the Optimism/Hyperbole Factor during conversations with event promoters. Sorry, I should have checked the official list before I posted. In any case, 67 three months out doesn't sound bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lawrence must be talking to the organizers. I too have heard that 90 number. Apparently, they have a bunch of additional committments - including several factory backed teams, but don't have the paperwork so they are not listed on the website.
 

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There seems to be fewer Touring Class entries from returning teams so far this year. Some Touring Class competitors (the Jarvis entry with their BMW 2002 tii) have entered the Targa Class. The Targa Class looks strong and the Unlimited Class looks quite interesting with those new Chryslers.

Yes, Bill Arnold will win the non-existant overall title again and will continue to do so as long as the rules permit a car with 1995 and newer running gear/brakes etc. in a 1972 body run with a 14% time advantage over the same car under a 1995 body. The Modern cars have little chance of an overall victory. If the Paynter brothers could not even be close to it last year in Pat Richard's Subaru Canada Rally Team car then I doubt that it will ever happen without more equitable target times.

I agree that there are always a large number of apparent last minute entries. I'm looking forward to being in Targa for a third time this year.

Steve McKelvie
Targa Car # 903
 
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