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Targa Newfoundland Web Site set-up story

by Jim Kenzie

 

The first, next-year-it-will-be-annual Targa Newfoundland takes place next week, and you will be able to follow the progress on The Star’s web site by logging on to www.thestar.com/Wheels.

Doug Mepham, local PR wizard and owner/driver of a brilliant rally-prepped 1971 Volvo 142 S two-door sedan, once again will entrust the naviguessing chores to yours truly. We’ll report daily in words and pictures to the web site on our adventures, and those of other competitors as well.

When we’re not tightening bolts and replacing tires, that is...

For those who have missed our previous stories on this remarkable and unique event, the Targa Newfoundland is a six-day performance car rally, primarily but not exclusively designed for vintage cars. It is modelled after the famously successful Targa Tasmania, which has just completed its twelfth year.

Rounds of parties, official appearances and press demo rides take place this weekend. Monday, it’s the “Prologue” - a short stage through the streets of St. John’s to “seed” the field in order of approximate speed.

Tuesday through Saturday will take us through about one fourth of Canada’s island province, over a total of some 2,400 km of paved public roads in the eastern and central parts of the island of Newfoundland, specifically the Avalon, Bonavista and Burin peninsulas.

It will all come out a, um, “screeching” halt with the awards banquet Sunday evening.

About 60 vehicles are entered in this first event. This is lower than organizers originally hoped for - it is the first such event ever attempted in North America, although the format has been a “hit-for-six” in Australia and New Zealand, and many potential North American competitors are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Also, some American entrants just realized that September 16 - the starting date - is a few days after September 11, so there have been a few last-minute cancellations.

Their loss...

The Aussies know how much fun this sort of thing is - five teams are making the trek up from Down Under, and that’s about as far away from Newfoundland as you can get and still be on this planet.

The famed Newfoundland hospitality is bound to make this an event to remember - and there will only ever be one “first ever” Targa Newfoundland...

If you are reading this, chances are you are not entered in this year’s event.

We hope our daily reports will whet your appetite for next year.

“Lard t’undrerin’ Jaysus, byes, we’ll be havin’ a foine toime...”

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