Canadian Tarmac Rally Newfoundland announcement

Targa Tasmania and Octagon help establish Canadian Tarmac Rally. TUESDAY, JULY 16: Targa Tasmania organisers are playing a pivotal role in helping establish a similar tarmac rally in the Canadian province of Newfoundland to be held for the first...

Targa Tasmania and Octagon help establish Canadian Tarmac Rally.

TUESDAY, JULY 16: Targa Tasmania organisers are playing a pivotal role in helping establish a similar tarmac rally in the Canadian province of Newfoundland to be held for the first time in September.

Global sports and events marketing company Octagon, which owns and produces the annual rally in Tasmania, is acting as a consultant for the inaugural Targa Newfoundland from September 13-22 and will supply officials to assist during the event.

Octagon's Tasmanian General Manager Rob McGuire travelled to Newfoundland in June for two weeks and met with rally organisers and Government representatives, and today Hobart-based Operations Manager Ken Roddam heads for the north-east Canadian province to brief officials.

McGuire said the association between the two events was forged during a visit to this year's Targa Tasmania during April by Bob Giannou, organiser of the Newfoundland rally. Previously, Newfoundland driver Doug Mepham competed in the Tasmanian event in 2001.

"There are many similarities between Tasmania and Newfoundland in that both are sparsely-populated islands of around 500,000 people," said McGuire.

"Bob Giannou came to Targa this year and was impressed -- he went home and is now full steam ahead getting the Newfoundland event up and running with Octagon's assistance."

"The organisers were keen to tap into our 11 years of experience running Targa, which led to my trip over there, and now Ken (Roddam) is going as well to brief them on all the logistics required and train their officials."

"It's good for Australian motorsport that our knowledge and expertise is being sought overseas, and it proves our officials, many of them volunteers, have been doing an excellent job."

McGuire said he had inspected part of the proposed 2,300km Newfoundland course, which included 500km of competitive stages, and said the terrain was not as hilly as Tasmania.

He confirmed five Australians had entered Targa Newfoundland -- Tasmanian Mark Saxby (Porsche) and Victorian quartet John Lawson (Alfa Romeo), Len Cattlin (Porsche), Kerith Buckingham (Porsche), and Peter Buckingham (Porsche).

"The Newfoundland organisers are expecting to draw most of their entries from North America and Europe, and we hopeful that some may be attracted to Targa Tasmania by the presence of the Australian competitors and officials," said McGuire.

The 2003 Targa Tasmania event will be held from May 13-18.

-ottagon/tt-

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