COVID still affects us all.  While our country and our province is opening up, there are still very deep concerns about the disease, especially in the smaller communities with the advent of the new variants that are being found.  We therefore have decided to postpone the Targa Rotoura six-day event.  With the course completed, we proceeded to start taking entries only to discover that there are some competitors who have team members who have not yet been vaccinated and some who have no intention of doing so.  We therefore could not accept their entries as that is not acceptable to us or to the communities through which the event would run.  We knew when we set the date and the necessary minimum entry requirements (entry deposits have already been returned) that holding the event would be difficult due to the lateness in the season, especially with the reduced ferry schedules and lingering COVID concerns.

Now with new COVID variants surfacing and numbers rising again, we have decided to slide our events to 2022. Hopefully there will be a clearer view of the future and we, our competitors and participant communities can do more secure long-range planning.

Despite this delay we are delighted to have had the opportunity to reset our management team and develop the courses to a book-print-ready format. The time, energy and investment was certainly not spent in vain as it set in place a great team and established the necessary groundwork to go forward from.

We have now put in place the following full schedules for 2022.  The events will be held as follows…

  • Targa Bambina four-day event (two or three Competition days and one Course Familiarization day) is now scheduled to happen between Thursday July 21st to Sunday July 24h 2022. This course has already been set and will be announced in 2022. 
  • The full Targa Newfoundland eight-day event (six competition days and two Course Familiarization days) is now scheduled to happen from Friday September 9th and Saturday September 17th, 2022. This course is set in concept and will be announced in 2022.

The Competition and Vehicle preparation Rules and Regulations for both events will be the same but may be adjusted to comply with COVID or other Municipal or Provincial requirements.

To reduce any doubt or confusion we will not accept entry applications until the new year.  The office will be open on January 4th 2022 when we will be accepting applications for entry into both events at that time.  We will use the same 10% reservation fee system with all paid fees being refundable, although some specific conditions will apply.


We have created an “in between” event which will be four days in duration. We have named it after its New Zealand counterpart, the town of Rotuora. The word is a Maori word meaning two lakes. While our event’s name is pronounced the same, please note that it is spelt differently. It is a contraction of the words “round” and “tour” meaning a “rotating tour”. It suits our event and is now a pure Newfoundland word.

Newfoundland is now at COVID Level 2, and is continuing to improve daily. The Atlantic Bubble as well as travel inside Canada is open. Things are getting better so “still we rise”. There are now talks ongoing that may lead to the Canadian/American border being open in the near future.

To facilitate the Rotoura having a full field of entries, we have elected to delay the event and run between Thursday October 7th to Sunday 10th inclusive. We realize that this is the Thanksgiving weekend, so we have scheduled the events so it will be complete on Sunday afternoon.
We will require a minimum of 20 entries for this Rotoura event to proceed. That being said we will only accept a total of 30 competitive entries on a first come, first served basis.

Added to the above schedule will be our Course Familiarization Program (CFP). This will be held before the event on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 5th and 6th respectively). The CFP will be compulsory for all competitors. This course and the Targa Rotoura will provide all participants with two full days of Course Familiarization and on-the-road practice, followed by the fast-paced, fun, four-day Rotoura event.

Those volunteering as officials in the event as well as those entering the event and their crews, must show proof of full COVID vaccination. All participating in the event will be tested to ensure they are COVID free. The car preparation rules for the Targa Rotoura will be the rules that are currently in effect for the Bambina event. We have elected to go with these rules as they are better suited to the shorter events and make the logistics of running the event simpler. These rules and the COVID procedures that competitors and volunteers must follow, will be available at registration.

An “Around St. John’s” configuration has been designed for this year’s Targa Rotoura. The daily format will see transiting to stages from 8:30am to 9:30am, and then competing from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. Lunch and open-air shows will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 followed by competition from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Dining and entertainment events will be held subject to COVID regulations. We will be working closely with the host communities to set up both a revenue-sharing program and to ensure that COVID safety practices are in place. The entry fees have been adjusted to provide the necessary additional funding. To balance this, we will provide an upgraded version of the services offered in past events. Detailed schedules will be available at registration.

Media: Chris Langdon

Competitors / Sponsors: Robert Giannou
1-709-683-7900 (cell)
1-709-722-2413 (office)

Bambina 2020 Cancellation

Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited announces Covid Cancellation of its Bambina.

St. John’s (August 31, 2020) After nearly 20 consecutive years of staging one of Canada’s most iconic and

challenging motorsport events, Targa Newfoundland has decided to cancel its Super Targa Bambina event that was

scheduled for this coming September.

Joe Dowden, President of the organization, announced today that it simply did not feel right to schedule the event

under the current circumstances. “COVID -19 has affected each and every one of us in some very measurable

way,” stated Dowden. “Out of respect for the people in the communities through which this event runs and

considering the inevitable interaction between communities and our competitors, the simplest and smartest thing

we can do to avoid interaction and support social distancing is cancel the event. We will gather together our ideas,

then blend them with this experience and concentrate on making ourselves ready for next year’s events. We will be

staying in touch with the communities, our competitors, and the province.”

Dowden explained that this decision has the full support of the event’s Board who have already put the

management group in place which will take the event forward into the future.

Robert Giannou, chairman of the organization, said, “as regretful as this decision is, it is had to be made, this was

the only logical conclusion. We are confident that we can use this time to do some very effective future planning and

try out some ideas we have been considering for some time. We are in the process of entering a very different world

and we feel that the future Targa events may also have to be conducted is a very different to match these times.”

New President Announcement

Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited announces a New President.

St. John’s (August 12, 2020) After nearly 20 years of staging one of Canada’s most iconic and challenging motorsport events, there is a change in management at Targa Newfoundland.

Effective August 10, Joe Dowden will move from Clerk of the Course to assume the role of President of Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited. He will take over the day-to-day planning of Targa Newfoundland and Targa Bambina, the two annual events staged on the roads of eastern and southern Newfoundland. Dowden will shoulder the responsibilities currently held by Robert Giannou who created and has organized the events since the inaugural Targa Newfoundland in September, 2002.

Dowden, who started with the event as a volunteer in 2003 as a Safety Marshal and who has held progressively more responsible positions through the years, will lead a volunteer group to handle the event. Such duties will include route planning, community liaison, volunteer management, registration, safety, scoring and the many other aspects of the complex, multi-day motorsport events.

Giannou will stay with the organization and assume the role of Chairman of the Board concentrating on securing the long-term future of Targa Newfoundland through new ownership.

“Joe knows and understands both events inside-out. He has handled just about every job: from marshalling to dragging cars out of ditches, to working with communities to dealing with competitor issues”, said Giannou. “He has been Clerk of the Course of both events for the past three years and has a proven record that he can lead these events into this new era. Most importantly, he has my total confidence and trust. Joe is the right guy to take the reins at this important time in the history of Targa Newfoundland.”

Dowden’s first duty will be to reconfirm the organization of the event management group. Then he will focus on the presentation of the Super Bambina event scheduled for Friday September 11 through Monday September 14 in the lower Burin. The event will be operated under strict COVID-19 Rules and Regulations. “Operating this event under the present conditions will bring it’s challenges. However, we and all who participate in the event will keep the communities and the volunteers who help run the event, safe and healthy,” Dowden added.

When the situation improves, we’ll be ready to race

St. John’s, (March 25 2020) a Statement from Targa President Robert Giannou: “When the situation improves, we’ll be ready to race at the September Targa/Bambina 2020.”

Targa Newfoundland / Bambina management staff are moving ahead with planning for the 2020 Targa/Bambina joint event.  We are looking to the future.  The Covid-19 Crisis will end and we want to be ready to run this fantastic event, with its multiple stages, in so many communities. While at present no-one can be certain of exactly when the situation will improve. When it does, we’ll be ready to race at the September Targa/Bambina 2020.

We recognise there is significant potential for postponements in the motorsport world generally but, due to our positioning in the Fall of this year, we expect to be up and running with minimum effect on our schedule. We invite all those competitors whose other events have been delayed or cancelled to come join us!  The joint Targa Newfoundland / Bambina Course Familiarization School will be held on September 10th and 11th. Registration will be on the 12th and the event of the 13th through the 19th.

We are in the process of setting up our management team and scheduling our volunteer training, which may take place a little later in the year and will be complete before September.  We will not post our training schedule yet, but we will as soon as travel in Canada and the United States normalizes.

Our regulations will remain the same. There may be some adjustments and slight policy changes to accommodate our new scoring and timing methods; but by-in-large the events rules and regulations will remain the same.

We are streamlining the event to be the best it has ever been! We are following the advice of physicians and provincial health officials, as our first priority will always be the safety and health of our fans, the communities we visit and those within the Targa Newfoundland family. 

When all is said and done, everyone invested in this sport at every level will feel rewarded.  In the meantime, please follow the rules… Wash, Sanitize, Cleaning and Avoid close contact. Seriously!

Best wishes,

Robert Giannou

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

9.6.1 Maximum Speeds, Averages Speeds and Penalties

To all Targa Competitors:

Over the years, as this event has matured, some Targa Communities have expressed a concern about the speeds involved in the event.  Most of these concerns are simply brought about by visual experience, gossip and exaggeration.  Nevertheless, perception often becomes reality and the result is that the event becomes a victim of very exaggerated speed claims.  We have therefore decided to adjust our speed penalties so they include no only monetary fines but time penalties based on the amount on the infraction over the allowed speed.  Both these penalties will be strictly enforced.  Below is the revised section of the rules that sets out the applicable penalties.


9.6.1 Maximum Speeds, Averages Speeds and Penalties


  • Fast/Quick Tour entrants must not exceed a top speed of 130kph or an average speed of 110 kph.
  • Grand Touring competitors must not exceed a top speed of 150kph or an average speed of 125kph
  • Targa competitors must not exceed a top speed of 200kph or an average speed of 140 kph.


Penalties for Grand Touring and Targa Competitors:

Speed 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
0 – 10 kph over Warning $250.00 +

1 sec per kph over

$500.00 +

3 sec per kph over

11 – 20 kph over $250.00 +

1 sec per kph over

$500.00 +

3 sec per kph over

$1,000.00 +

5 sec per kph over

21 – 30 kph over $500.00 +

3 sec per kph over

$1,000.00 +

5 sec per kph over

$2,000.00 +

7 sec per kph over

31 kph & over $1,000.00 +

5 sec per kph over

$2,000.00 +

7 sec per kph over


Penalties for Fast/Quick Tour Competitors:

Fast/Quick Tour cash fines will be doubled due to the non-competitive nature of the division.

Speed 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
0 – 10 kph over Warning $500.00 $1,000.00


11 – 20 kph over $500.00 $1,000.00




21 – 30 kph over $1,00.00






31 kph & over $2,000.00





We trust that you will understand just how serious this issue is for the future of the event. As faster and faster vehicles enter the event it becomes virtually impossible to control the terminal speeds. This therefore becomes an issue of banning certain vehicles (which we do not want to do) and dealing with the safety of the competitors in these extremely fast cars. Some of these cars can far exceed our target speeds if they are allowed to exceed the events maximum allowed speeds.  So rather than ban certain cars we will penalize them.


For the sake of the sport and its safety, and for the sake of the competition we ask you to  abide by these rules.  If that does not work then we will strictly enforce these rules.