Competitors are the key first step in Targa Newfoundland 2020

One person can’t make Targa Newfoundland happen, but a motivated group certainly can!

Targa has never been a one man show. It has always been the result of the collective effort of competitors, communities, volunteers and sponsors. That’s what we are assembling now for the 2020 return of Targa.  Let’s start with competitors.Since our announcement, I’ve heard from many, many former competitors who’ve called and written to share their memories of the event and wish us success in bringing the 2020 event to life. Obviously, there’s no event without competitors so that’s the starting point in our renewal plan.

To get a minimum of 40 entries that we need to run Targa 2020, I’m challenging the many terrific competitors who have been with us in the past to come back for 2020 – and bring a friend!

Our list of past competitors stretches into the hundreds. For some, it was a once-in-a lifetime experience. But for many more, it was an annual ritual that brought them to the event year after year. So whether you came to Targa once or a dozen times, I’m challenging you to come to Targa 2020 to help make the magic that simply isn’t available anywhere else in North America. Come back for the great friendships, gorgeous Newfoundland scenery, tremendous Newfoundland hospitality and a driving experience like no other.

Targa 2020 is your opportunity to re-live the one motorsport event that will stick in your memory forever. Whether you’ve been a Targa division competitor, a Grand Touring entry or driven the Fast Tour, we want to see you on the stages next year. You can make it happen but you have to start planning today!

As always, call my cell at 709 682 7900 to talk about being part of history in 2020 or email me at


Robert Giannou

PR- Targa: Is it Safe?

For Immediate Release
ST. JOHN’S, NL (June 21, 2019)

By: Mike Aylward

Targa: Is it Safe?                                                                                                                       

Safety is a subjective term.

Safety can be about time. Safety can be about accepting risk.

I think safety is about taking responsibility for your actions.

No doubt, “safety” and “safe” are subjective terms. They tell us it is “safe” to get on an airplane travelling at 1000+ Kph at 35,000+ feet in the air.  Really. Mmmhmm.  And if they lose their propulsion system? Or the “autopilot” puts them into a dive…  What safety protocols kick in then?

I can confidently state I feel much ‘safer’ travelling at 90 miles per hour, a few feet above sea level, in my own vehicle; one in which I can also personally vouch for its operational integrity.  We put much trust in others when travelling commercially.

Getting in my Mustang and hammering it around a few turns is not something I would consider unsafe.  Now were I about to take an Olympic ski jump at 85mph or enter a UFC ring, or even get on one of those aforementioned airplanes and skate up to around 35,000 feet… I might say a few hail whomevers.  I have no control and therefore feel the risk is higher.

I guess it boils down to the fact I much prefer to be in charge of my own fate.  To me, anything else is just not safe.

So can we actually measure, how “safe” something is?  Can we really compare planes, trains, and automobiles? And then, when they are out of control?

They have been telling us for years that flying is the safest mode of travel. However in my mind, if there IS an incident; your chances of survivability, are basically nil; certainly if you are a mile or two up… Skydiving? Same deal.  Not for me nope.  Bungee Jumping? Nada.

Point being, what I consider to be safe, may not be the same as the person sitting next to me.

Another example… I was watching the news the other night, and a Newfoundlander made it to the summit of Mt. Everest.  Wicked job buddy!  But you wouldn’t catch me doing it.  Nooo, sir.  Did you see the caravan of dozens of people on those teeny tiny ledges of snow and ice? Fellas beating past each other to get to the very top?  And then many had to step OVER a deceased climber to get down out of it? Sweet honourable frosted tomatoes in the garden bys… SAFE?  I’ll take my chances at 200kph in a steel cocoon under my own control any-day.

Air travel safety statistics are not really directly comparable to automotive safety anyway, as there is no “likelihood of injury vs death” metric for us to use.

Much of the focus in automotive safety is survivability.  We know there will be crashes, no matter what variables we manage to control… So the industry has placed more of a focus on helping drivers and passengers, race officials and spectators all; make it to the end of the race injury-free.  Airline safety is not about survivability, it is about preventing catastrophic system failure. So their research and development dollars are probably not going into the seat restraint systems or safe spectator algorithms.  Safety has a different foundation in that industry.

As with everything, history has taught us much about safety. But not without cost.

Auto racing got its first big safety wake-up call in 1955 at the 24 hrs of Lemans.  After a collision with another car, one of the vehicles left the track at over 100+ mph and careened into the spectator stands.  Over 80 people were killed. It was the worst crash in history.

After that, public and sponsor support for auto racing significantly dropped so aficionados started forming clubs and organizations dedicated to standardizing safety protocols around drivers/vehicles, spectators, and races.  Eventually, significant progress was made in terms of safety of the spectators and events but the risks to the driver, have never fully been eliminated.

When the tires ultimately break loose on a Targa car, we know exactly how the machine is going to behave under most circumstances.  Ninety-nine percent of the population has no idea how their vehicles will react in emergent types of situations or maneuvers. We practice them. I feel safe when this happens.

There are both average speed limits, and maximum speed limits enforced across all Targa classes during competition. Targa class also requires full roll cages, racing harnesses, fire suits and other special safety equipment. Driver and vehicle are about as “safe” as they can be, during Targa Newfoundland.

Every year Newfoundland Motorsports offers its competitive driving school where entrants are trained in the finer points of safety and racing specific to Targa Newfoundland events.  I can personally attest, it is an excellent school and Targa Newfoundland’s (already excellent) track record has been improving steadily since its inception.

# # #

Targa NL Media:
Local: 709-722-2413
Toll-Free: 1-877-332-2413

Be a smart spectator.

Stand at least 10 meters from the road.

Choose high ground.

Never stand on the outside of a turn.

Never stand behind red tape.

Always stand – Never sit down to watch.

Did you know Targa-class requires:

  • Full roll cages equipped in cars
  • Fire suppression system or multiple fire extinguishers
  • Flame retardant nomex racing suits, gloves and shoes
  • Recently certified (within 5 years) Snell approved helmets
  • HANS Device (Head and Neck Support)
  • Multi-point harness restraint system
  • Underhood electrical short prevention
  • Competition Drivers License
  • First aid / Safety Training

Quick Facts:

  • Participating vehicles have driven over 5,000,000 kilometres of NL roads
  • Competing vehicles have driven 250,000 kilometres of closed road competitive stages
  • Stages have been hosted by 120 different communities
  • Those 120 communities have hosted 890 stages

Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2019 event starts with our two-day Driving School on September 12th & 13th. The Tech/Registration Day is September 14th. Prologue Stages occur on September 15th. The competition will start in St. John’s on September 16th and concludes back in the capital on September 20th. The annual rally will cover more than 1,500 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland, including over 440 kilometres of closed-road, high-velocity Targa stages.



Limited Targa Volunteer Openings Available!

Love motorsports? Want to compete in Bambina Newfoundland or Targa Newfoundland but can’t. Then volunteer with us! Help the sport help you! Learn the event up front and personally. Become part of the very special and select group people that run the events. We have just…

Four weeks to the 3rd Annual Bambina Newfoundland from June 28th to July 1st, 2019;

Four months to the 18th Annual Targa Newfoundland from September 14th to 21st, 2019.

There are a limited number of openings for Stage Operations Teams. Support the sport we all love. Volunteer for either Bambina, Targa or both! Event operations training sessions will begin shortly.

These positions will require you to be available to travel as a member of our Event Operations Group – performing Timing or Set-Up duties:

Set-Up Vehicles set up the stages to ensure they run timely and safely. They work closely with communities and their volunteers.

Timing Teams run the stages, score the competitors and present the results for the Scorer. They work closely with competitors.

We provide accommodations, a meal allowance while on the road and a gas allowance for those that are required to use their vehicles.

If you wish to participate contact Leah Dalton, Volunteer Coordinator at or fill out the volunteer form on our website;
or Call: 709-722-2413 / toll free: 1-877-332-2413

MINI Canada offers Contingency Award Program

MINI Canada offers Contingency Award Program

MINI Canada offers Contingency Award Program for the 8th year in a row to Targa Newfoundland MINI competitors.

MINI Canada and Targa Newfoundland are proud to announce that for the 8th year in a row MINI Canada will provide the Contingency Award Program. This program rewards those competitors using a MINI and who finish first in their competitive division, to receive $3,000.00 CDN directly from MINI Canada!

*For more information about the rules and regulations are available from or by contacting the Targa Newfoundland office at


Specials for the 2019 Targa Year

There is always a certain amount of fussing about Targa specials so we decided to announce them as a group this year with specific start and finish dates. They are all set out below for clarification but if there are any questions please call Alita Whynot 1-709-746-0783 or Nancy Dowden 1-709-769-2412.

Bambina Entry Special:  Effective immediately, continues until the Bambina registration.
Enter Targa at full price (any division) and the entrant will receive the opportunity to enter the Bambina event for $500.00.  Effective from now until the start of Targa Newfoundland.

Bambina Guest Entry Special.  Effective immediately, continues until July 1st, 2019.
Enter Bambina at full price and the entrant will receive a gift certificate that can be given to a friend to enter the two Bambina Prologue stages for free with the option to finish the Bambina Tour for $800 (a saving of $395).

Bambina or Targa Team Entry Special.  Effective immediately, continues to the Targa event. Enter a team of three cars in the Bambina event and/or Targa event and receive 20% off each entry. This discount is event specific and applies to all entries for the team.

Targa Guest Entry Special.  Starts on July 1st, continues to the Targa event.

Enter Targa at full price and the entrant receives a gift certificate that can be given to a friend to enter two Targa Prologue stages with the option to finish the Targa in Fast Tour for $3,000 (a saving of $995).

No pyramiding or stacking of these specials. You pick the special that most benefit you. All entrants on payment plans (who wish to participate in this contest) must have their balances paid in full.

Come on in… Experience Real People Driving Real Cars on Real Roads

Call Now 1-877-332-2413

Garnish Confirms for Both Bambina and Targa Newfoundland!

Andrew and Jason for Garnish story

This year we have returned to Garnish for both the Bambina and Targa events.  Garnish is the home of Targa’s biggest fan Jason Nolan who has, since he first saw Targa Newfoundland, became more and more part of the event. Jason in the early years was adopted by Rick McLeod who in turn, brought the Pacione team (a vast enterprise, complete with its espresso machine and travelling cook) into the event and introduced them to Jason. Jason as a result, acquired his own team uniform, driving suit and an electronic wheelchair which was organized by Rick and the Pacione team.  On our first visit to the community’s town hall, we met Jason. Since that first time, Jason has been a fixture of Targa and its biggest fan in the community. We do heartily thank Garnish and its council for inviting us back, and we will do our absolute best to put on a really good show. The courses for Bambina will run from Frenchman’s Cove to Garnish while the Targa course will run through both towns.

Two new Targa Prologue Stages!


We are pleased to announce two new Targa Prologue Stages!

Picture credit: Town of Bay Bulls

For the upcoming 2019 Targa Newfoundland, we have moved our Prologue stages to the famous southern shore of the province. The communities of Bay Bulls and Witless Bay have agreed to host Prologue day for Targa Newfoundland. The whole Prologue day will start in these two communities beginning with the early morning drivers meeting held in Bay Bulls before we run the two stages in that community. Lunch will be held there as well, and then we will be off to Witless Bay for the Prologue stages followed with a car show for Targa local fans. This will be a significant refresh after spending the first 18 years of Targa Newfoundland in the community of Flatrock and surrounding communities who hosted prologue stages.

These two communities have a fascinating history and are the home away from home for those of Irish extract. They are the first communities to be known in Newfoundland as the Irish Loop.  Both communities are actively focused on tourism in the area with two whale watching vessel operations operating out of Bay Bulls alone.  Bay Bulls is also host to the second sea base for the servicing of our offshore oil industry.  Witless Bay, of course, is home to the largest Puffin colony in the North Atlantic which of course will have a special meaning to Targa competitors.

In Memory of Steve McKelvie

Steve Mckelvie

We lost a great friend and competitor recently.  Steve McKelvie passed away. Steve was a multi-year Targa Newfoundland competitor with Rick McLeod (who has also passed) and Harold Von Langsdorff. Steve was different sort of guy; smart, knowledgeable, intense, focused, and temperamental but still very funny. When he and Rick McLeod got together, you could be sure that someone else was going to get gray hair.  Rest in peace Steve, we will remember you, but you will be missed!

It’s that Time of year again.

Andrew Warren Mustang Story

It’s that Time of year again. Time to prepare for Bambina Newfoundland!
You are maybe wondering, what is Bambina Newfoundland?

Written by Andrew Warren.

I had been driving a Mustang GT for nearly 20 years before entering that first Bambina… I thought I knew my car! I thought I had forced it, about as good as I could have; and certainly imagined myself a decent driver. Probably as good as half of those fellas on TV… Right? Sigh. Wrong. I had NO idea. When you strap yourself down, check the fire extinguisher, windows up, helmet on. It gets real! When you have enough road, and can legally hammer that thing around the next turn as comfortable as possible;

The cars sat crackling and popping as they cooled off after the third or fourth race of Targa Bambina 2018, and twenty-five of us sat on the wall by Appleby’s in Burin exhilarated. Grinning ear to ear and as happy as could be. Most of us, honestly could not recollect a single moment in our lives, that was as exciting; as what we had just experienced. It was the stuff that made little boys dream! Driving our machines as we had always envisioned; on wide closed roads, with no oncoming traffic, around the cliffs and into the tree-laden landscape of our beautiful Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is almost, indescribable.  It felt like fire and lightning in our veins! We were blessed, calm and grateful for the opportunity, all at the same time. Brake your limit…or your car’s… Let me tell you something. That is when you truly understand your relationship with your vehicle.  Moreover, perhaps yourself.

So back to the subject. The Tom Hollett Memorial Bambina is a scaled-down version of Targa Newfoundland. Bambina means “child” or “little one,” and it requires less time, less investment, and less equipment. Because the speeds and regulations differ slightly from the full Targa, teams can enter and race for less than a thousand dollars, over a three-day weekend.  You will be trained on Bambina rules and regulations, competition etiquette, and directed safety protocols for road racing.  It is an excellent opportunity for local amateur racers to experience something only available in exclusive areas of the globe, for a fraction of the price these events usually command.

I made friends for life at that first Bambina, and am stoked to rerun Canada Day weekend. There is indeed nothing I am more looking forward to, seeing my buddies again, the incredible home-cooked meals in the communities, and even our cracked, old heave and fro’ patchwork pavement.  Navigating our roads, at speed; is an experience you will not soon forget.

Newfoundland Motorsports would like to thank everyone for the early entries into the 2019 events.  We are indeed up to par and more than equal to previous years.  Targa Newfoundland will have some new brand promotions soon, so keep your eyes open for Targa and Bambina gear giveaways and specials

More to come profiling some of our early entrants, returning competitors, and new stages for 2019!

New Contest


Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited announces the first contest based on who can deliver the most new entries to either of the two 2019 events.

The competition is open to all Targa Officials, Competitors, Crews and Volunteers.

If you want to participate please call Alita Whynot at our office to register;

  • o: 1-709-722-2413
  • tf: 1-877-332-2413
  • c:  1-709-746-0783

Alita will record your name etc. so you can be scored as you bring in entries.

The Prize; an all-inclusive seven day trip to Cuba for two.  (Certain restrictions will apply)

The following are the contest rules:

Points will be awarded for each new entry brought to Targa or Bambina.

  • A new entry will not have not entered Bambina or Targa event since 2016.
  • To be credited as an entry the competitors must be have paid the entry fee.
  • A paid Targa entry will be awarded three (3) points per entry.
  • A paid Bambina entry will be awarded one (1) point per entry.
  • To qualify, contestants must accumulate a minimum of six (6) points.
  • Entries will only count if they are received at posted entry rates  (including any specials)
  • The contest will start Wednesday March 24th.  Entries already received will not qualify for points.
  • The contest will run until September 16, 2019.
  • Gift Prologue entries will not count unless they enter the balance of the event.
  • In the event of a point tie earliest entry will win.

Targa Newfoundland Black Friday Promo

Register today & receive an upgraded clothing package!
2 Targa logoed Melton and Leather Jacket, valued at $500.00.
Email for your entry package and get this great deal!
Terms & Conditions; to secure the upgraded clothing package of the two Targa logoed Melton and Leather Jackets, valued of $500.00. The entry fee balance as to be paid in full by Sunday, November 25 at 23:59 PST. Targa Newfoundland Black Friday Promo is valid from Friday, November 23 at 00:01 NST to Sunday, November 25 at 23:59 PST and excludes Daily Targa Tour.
#blackfriday #TargaBLackFriday #BlackFridayPromo

For Immediate Release- The Finish Line

For Immediate Release

Targa Newfoundland 2018 – The Finish Line.

Lack of sleep and unfamiliar roads make the days quite impressive when you are bombing around at triple the legal speed limit in three thousand (or so) pounds of steel, propelled by hydrocarbon explosions. Throw in high winds, periods of torrential rains, and the North Atlantic Ocean factor and you have a typical trifecta of Targa Newfoundland.

Just completing this race is an incredible accomplishment.  Rally, support and event teams covered well over a thousand kilometers of paved roads located in outstanding scenic locales.  The event is grueling; hard on bodies and vehicles which together pay the Newfoundland tarmac tax, over and over.

Engines failed as did clutches and transmissions. Suspensions wobbled, belts broke, tires blew… Pistons melted into engines. We saw and experienced it all. It was glorious chaos.

For a multitude of reasons, Targa Newfoundland would like to extend our congratulations to all the race teams who entered this year, especially to those who came from far and away to our little rocky North Atlantic retreat. Making it to any event in Newfoundland successfully, and on time, is an accomplishment in itself!

This year was perhaps the most grueling Targa in our seventeen-year history. Harsh weather caused difficult road conditions throughout the week, yet competitors persevered on.  The teamwork, dedication, and skillful driving was both exciting and entertaining throughout our communities while providing significant economic marketing and tourism benefits.

It is always a celebration when new communities are added to our list of Targa supporters. This year Lord’s Cove came aboard with fantastic roads, incredible hospitality, and beautiful scenery.  Although we had to navigate their tight turns in a deluge of Burin Peninsula rain, we completed their course20th with a little help from our trusty tow straps.  Then we managed to dry off and enjoy a little soiree with guitars and hot coffee at the local establishment, Nan and Pop’s Shop, The Pantry.

The home-cooked meals in Mortier, Brigus, Lord’s Cove, Parker’s Cove and North Harbour were spectacular. Twice now, I’ve eaten the chicken soup at the Mortier community hall and twice now, felt it was the best I’ve ever had.  The roads leading into Harbour Mille and Terrenceville were incredible (you MUST try them) and as always, Parker’s Cove and their mighty “Hill”, brought thrills and again a wonderful meal.

So to all the supporting communities past, present, and future; thank you for inviting us onto your streets, and into your homes, halls and gathering places. Thank you for giving us the time and comfort to hang our hats, have a chat, and make new friends. It is much appreciated and makes Targa Newfoundland the special event that it is.

Targa is not about who finishes first.  It is about who finishes. It is a race of endurance and patience and requires significant strength and courage.  It is about teamwork, partnership, and doing whatever it takes to get your fellow teams over the finish line.

We don’t race against each other as such; we race against a clock, versus ourselves. Never one-on-one, like at a drag strip, or packed together like NASCAR.  So although extremely competitive, Targa is very much collaborative, in nature. It is an endurance race for man and machine, driver and navigator.

The camaraderie I experienced that week, was a particular type of something extraordinary.  The race which is coined the ‘Ironman of Motorsports” forges strong and lasting bonds, amongst all who participate.  It is about friends, family, and future success!

There were so many memories made, and stories told, this past Targa.  We all sat around the lunch table in Lord’s Cove, de-vour-ing the spectacular fried chicken and coleslaw; listening to Canadian motorsport legend, Jim Kenzie vividly recounts some of his adventures at Targa Tasmania. It was incredible. Long time Targa veteran Jack Rogers from Indiana told us the best thing about Targa Newfoundland is the people.  “The communities all bonding together and then the people serving us home cooked meals…. This doesn’t happen anywhere else.” said Jack.  “I love coming to Newfoundland.”

Targa would like to thank our volunteers.  Those who have been with us for seventeen years, and those who are new to our ranks… We appreciate you all. This event would not be possible without your dedication, commitment, and down-home fortitude.  We were battered by rain and wind, more often than not this year, and the volunteers kept our field of teams organized, on schedule, and most importantly safe.  Job well done, you are the reason Targa Newfoundland has one of the best safety records of any international motorsport event on the planet.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Targa Newfoundland 2018, and we hope to see you all back again next year!

Please visit for a complete list of Targa Newfoundland 2018 competitor scores and individual class winners/placements.

*Pictures available Targa Newfoundland upon request

# # #


Robert Giannou          1-709-682-7900

David Noseworthy      1-709-222-2053
Mike Aylward             1-709-330-5325
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2019 event starts with our two-day optional Driving School on September 12th & 13th. The Tech/Registration Day is September 14th. Prologue Stages occur on September 15th. The actual competition will start in St. John’s on September 16th and concludes back in the capital on September 20th. The annual rally will cover more than 1,500 kilometers of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland, including over 440 kilometers of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.