ST. JOHN’S (August 15, 2017) – One normally wouldn’t associate the stressful conditions of being inside a hot, noisy rally car barreling down a strange country road at over 150 km/h as the first choice of bonding time between a father and daughter. Yet, for George and Laura Greig, that’s exactly what the two Americans have decided to do in September’s annual Targa Newfoundland international tarmac rally.
George, of Miami Beach, Florida, is the veteran of some world renowned international rallies, such as the Chihuahua Express of Mexico and the Run to Monaco (London – Monaco) rally. He has also attended high performance driving schools by Porsche and Audi. Laura, of New York City, New York, is a motorsports rookie, however is a quick learner and recently completed rally school at the Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park, which has given her great confidence for the Targa. They’ll be competing in George’s 2017 Ford Focus RS in the Grand Touring division.
“I don’t have any racing experience, so in preparation for this trip we spent a couple days together at the school,” she says. “They gave us some really fun and fantastic instruction. I barely knew how to drive a stick in the morning, and by the afternoon I was downshifting through handbrake turns, my face sore from smiling. I think Targa is just the beginning of my motorsports career!” George quickly added, “It’d better be!”
The anticipated result for the Greigs is to finish with Finishers Medallions, but also Targa Plates – awarded to teams that complete all stages within their assigned times. George was hoping Laura would agree to be his navigator for the event, and she didn’t disappoint.
“She said yes before I could finish asking the question,” he explained. “We are both avid road trippers, always looking to build our understanding of the vehicles we love. We’re doing this for the experience; anything else we bring home would be a bonus.”
Both look at the Targa as an adventure and bonding opportunity. Since they live far apart on the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, and share nomadic tendencies, it’s always fun to have a location-based activity to share. The Targa happens to be the activity of choice this time.
“Neither of us has been to Newfoundland,” she says. “But we have Canadian roots, so we look forward to exploring a new province. Dad pitched it as a place not enough people get to see, so wild and isolated. I’ll try not to look at too much scenery while navigating!”
The Greigs have big shoes to fill. Another father/daughter team out of the U.S., Carson and Lauren Scheller, won Grand Touring division in 2015, and competed together in last year’s 15th anniversary Targa. This year, Carson is competing without his daughter, who recently got married and is focused on her career and new family. He’s still coming to Targa to make new memories that he’ll share with Lauren upon his return to California.
“We understood from the start that rally is a team effort, which involves trust in each other,” states Carson. “We each have a responsibility depending on what side of the car we’re seated. Our goals have always been to be safe and have fun, and that has led to success. Certainly we, as all have, ups and downs in the car, and sometimes all within a single stage. That is rally. Yet, at the end of each stage, we fist pump, comment on what just happened and move onto the next stage. Rally creates memories and I’m grateful I have created them with my daughter Lauren.”
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2017 competition will start in St. John’s on September 10th and concludes back in the capital on September 15th. The annual rally will cover more than 1,500 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including over 430 kilometers of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
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