ST. JOHN’S (August 22, 2017) – A team entered in any gravel or tarmac rally consist of a driver and navigator, but for one novice team from western Newfoundland, there will be three people in the car at the start of the 16th annual Targa Newfoundland – at least in spirit.
Glen and Michael McCann of the Port au Port Peninsula will be competing in their first Targa Newfoundland international tarmac rally in September in memory of their late brother Peter, who recently passed away due to cancer at the age of 57. The three had planned to compete in this year’s motorsports classic prior to Peter’s death.
The three brothers attended Targa’s competition driving school last year to learn more about the event with the intention of all three coming back to compete in 2017. Peter’s death means the event now becomes Glen and Michael’s way of honouring their brother’s memory, and fulfilling his wish of having them holiday together.
Targa became the plan once Michael was shown one of the Targa television specials by Peter. “I instantly loved the idea, but knew we couldn’t afford it,” said Michael. “Peter, who was going to be our crew chief, convinced me that we could do it, and nothing would make him happier than to see his brothers taking a holiday together.”
The choice of vehicle to honour Peter’s memory is a classic 1974 Datsun 260z. “I was restoring it when I learned about Targa,” stated Michael. “It’s a car that my wife Polly and I have loved since we first saw it. Glenn owned one in his younger days and enjoyed it. No point just looking at the thing.”
The McCanns have been receiving huge amounts of support from the Port au Port Peninsula since the announcement of their entry a couple months ago. Michael believes it is because of their roots in the area.
“Our father (Peter Sr.) was very community orientated and did what he could for it. Our family is still the same way. We love the area and the people that are in it. This is why we moved back home from the mainland over a decade ago and why I hope we are receiving such support now. We’re doing it for them, and for Peter.”
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 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
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*photo available upon request
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