ST. JOHN’S (September 11, 2017) – Heavy rain and high winds welcomed the competitors to the first competitive stages of the 16th annual tarmac rally. The challenging conditions played havoc with the teams as they tried to battle it out for early leads in their classes and divisions.
The Classic division currently has a tie for first place, with the 1965 Ford Mustang of Americans Jack Rogers and C.J. Strupp and the 1991 Mazda Miata of Canadians Bryan Bursey and Martin Cadieux on top of the standings.
The Modern division also has several teams tied for first place, but the bigger story is the fan favourite 2006 Lotus Exige of Stan Hartling and Andy Proudfoot is out of the Targa due to mechanical issues. The team is extremely disappointed to be finished so early into this year’s event.
In Open division, the 2005 Lotus Elise of American brothers Scott and Mark Knott had a major engine failure which means an early exit for the Targa regulars. The team is discussing options to potentially return in another vehicle to finish the event. Several competitors are currently tired for first place in this highly competitive division.
The Grand Touring division has already had some separation, with the leaders splitting away from the majority of the pack. Four teams are tied for first place and will look to increase their lead on the others in Tuesday’s Burin Centre stages.
Stages are scheduled on the Burin Peninsula for Boat Harbour, Petite Forte, Harbour Mille, Grand le Pierre, English Harbour, and Terrenceville.
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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