To all our current and potential competitors:
The major joy of Targa Newfoundland is that it is all about reality: it is about real roads, real cars and real people. It is like no other event and has to be understood as such. Each year, we as organizers, deal with the realities of competitors, volunteers, roads, communities and of course, the weather. Please understand, that our tightly knit group of volunteers from Stage and Community Operations, work as hard as they possibly can to provide the best event possible. Another reality is that we in effect, run some fifty rally events in one week. After each Targa, we do a stage by stage review. Based on the results of that review, our experience in the event and the feedback of our competitors and volunteers we often adjust the rules, regulations and operating practices. This year is no different. There will be changes, some of which are outlined below, which are more necessary adjustments to the rules and operating practices of the event. We expect this review to be complete and the revised rules will be published before the end of November, 2016. In the meantime, what follows are some of the adjustments and changes we are currently working on.
Timing Equipment: Improving our timing system is our number one priority for 2017. In 2016, we had some troubles with our equipment, even though it had been tested before the event, just as we always do. It performed flawlessly. However, problems arose which in turn caused stage set up delays. We have reviewed what happened and we understand the issues and appointed a committee to look at the various options available which will provide a much more user-friendly system. The committee is well on the way to reaching a solution to the issues we face, both from an equipment acquisition and staff training point of view. For Targa Newfoundland 2017, we will have a much improved system in place that will meet the needs of the event and the competitors.
Inquiry and Penalty Procedures: We are also in the process of simplifying and streamlining the inquiry and penalty procedures set out in our Rules and Regulations, Volume 1 and 2. For example, competitors will now have 90 minutes after their arrival time in the overnight parking area to lodge an inquiry. We have revised our penalties and will be sharply improving our system of penalty enforcement. Speed penalties, both for average and top speed infractions, will be tiered and made progressive in two ways. Competitors who exceed the speed limits will be penalized based the amount of excess speed and the number of infractions. As all are aware we have long had an issue with corner cutting which spreads gravel over the roads making life extremely difficult for following competitors and for the communities which have to clean up the resulting mess. We have adjusted the rules prohibiting this practice and added the words “intentional” or “willful” cutting of corners. This rule will be strictly enforced in coming events.
New O-Base Group: We are proud to announce that we have decided to create a new Open Pro Group in the Targa Division for those who wish to compete on a zero base time basis. The top and average speed rules will remain. To be eligible to compete in this group, competitors must have suitable experience. The requirements to enter the Group, such as license and experience necessary, will be published shortly. The current Groups; Classic, Modern, and Open will be maintained as they are.
As we enter the between events season and prepare for the holiday season stay tuned. We have many new and exciting things coming for our 2017 Sweet Sixteen Targa Newfoundland. The TV show is in production, entries are progressing well and moving parallel to last year, one of our biggest years. We have had a great and successful Canadian Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Day Special so stay tuned. American Thanksgiving is coming, as are a whole list of great holidays. Who knows what could happen…