Porsche Targa Newfoundland preview

Thirty-Six cars to take to the Road in Inaugural Targa Newfoundland. Field includes 6 Porsches from a 356 to 996 Targa St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada - September 18 - An eclectic field of 36 took the start today of an event that hopes to ...

Thirty-Six cars to take to the Road in Inaugural Targa Newfoundland.

Field includes 6 Porsches from a 356 to 996 Targa

St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada - September 18 - An eclectic field of 36 took the start today of an event that hopes to become a fixture on the international Targa-style rallying scene, joining such events as the Targa Tasmania and the Carrera Mexico. The Targa Newfoundland is named after the famed Targa Florio, the scene of many Porsche's historic competition victories.

The original Targa Florio was run on the island of Sicily on public road, seldom little more than a racecar wide, and often along treacherous mountain roads. The event was unique in that the cars did not compete "head-to-head" as they did in almost all other international caliber races, but competed time-versus-time, with each car being started at specified intervals.

Because of the increasing speeds of modern prototype sports racing cars, the format was abandoned during the 1970's. But in 1990 the concept was revived - with modifications - on the Australian island state of Tasmania. The restructured event pitted modern "open class" rally cars, historic and vintage vehicles and modern un-modified production cars against one another in a time, speed and distance (TSD) rally format. So successful is the event that the Targa Tasmania attracts over 300 entrants from around the world, each year. The event has remained faithful to the original Targa by still being run on closed public roads.

In an attempt to bring this kind of competition to North America, the Targa Newfoundland was initiated this year with the help of the Newfoundland Provincial government.

The first event has drawn a field of 36 starters from United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Porsches are second only to Ford in the total number of cars in the field. Leading the Porsche squad is the 2002 911 Targa of Ronald Ahrends of Michigan and Donald Menzies of Toronto, Canada, entered in the stock production or "Trials" class. In the heavily modified or "Modern" class are the 1995 911 Turbo of Mark Saxby and Martin Rees and in the "Classic" class the 1963 Porsche 356 of Kerith Buckingham and Carol Fitzgerald, one of only two all-female teams entered.

The 2,400 kilometer long Targa Newfoundland will be run in a five-day format, each day combining extremely difficult "Special" or performance stages with transit stages, which require strict adherence to all posted traffic laws. So treacherous is the course that the first day alone (Tuesday) claimed four vehicles, including the Course, or Pace Car. The Trials cars run the exact same route as the so-called Modern cars but do so to TSD rules. Classic cars can opt to run with either the highly modified Modern class or with the unmodified Trials class.

An up date on the Targa Newfoundland will be posted on Saturday night upon completion of the event.

<pre> Porsche Entries 1963 Porsche 356C Buckingham/Fitzgerald Classic

1965 Porsche 911 Buckingham/Richardson Classic

1976 Porsche 911 Targa Giannou/Winkler Classic

1990 Porsche 944 S2 Seko/Morrow Classic

1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Saxby/Rees Modern

2002 Porsche 911 Targa Ahrends/Menzies Trials

Other Noteworthy Entries

1938 Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia Spyder 1951 Citroen Traction Avant 1959 MG - A FHC 1965 Sunbeam Tiger 1965 Morris Mini Cooper 1970 Volvo P-1800 E 1955 Austin Healey 100S Le Mans (Aluminum Body) 1965 Ford Falcon Rally Sprint Special (2) 1967 Acadian Canso 1997 Dodge Viper GTS 2002 Subaru WRX (3)

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Series Other rally
Teams Citroën World Rally Team