Exciting Updates for Targa Newfoundland 2024 and Beyond!

Welcome back to Targa Newfoundland! After a four-year break, we’re thrilled to share some exciting news about our recent 2023 event and future plans.

In 2023, Targa Newfoundland made a triumphant return, and while the entry was smaller than in previous years, it added a special touch of fun for everyone involved. Overcoming initial challenges, we successfully concluded the event on a highly positive note.

One noteworthy improvement was the introduction of the Bambina classing system, borrowed from our friends at Targa New Zealand. This system simplified and streamlined our run groups, making the event more accessible and enjoyable for participants. Basic preparation rules remain intact, but the removal of previous performance levels allows competitors the freedom to unleash their creativity and bring one-of-a-kind vehicles to the Targa stage.

Building on the success of this change, we’ve decided to formalize the new class structure for all upcoming Targa events until 2027. This ensures a consistent and exciting experience for participants and fans alike. The updated classes promise a dynamic and inclusive environment, providing competitors the flexibility to develop their vehicles according to their unique visions.

We encourage everyone to check out Volume One for a comprehensive understanding of what Targa events are all about and how Targa Newfoundland runs. Get ready for more thrills, innovation, and camaraderie as we rev up for an exciting future of Targa events!

The new class structure is outlined as follows:

  1. The Targa entries will  be placed in Divisions  Targa 1 (no cage vehicles) and Targa 2 (caged vehicles).
  2. The Targa 1 and Targa 2 vehicles will be divided into:
  • Groups (two wheel drive and more than two wheel drive)
  • Classes (large and small displacement(> 2000 cc’s and < 2000 cc’s)
  • Sub Classes (Classic < 2000 and Modern 2000 and later)

The applicable rules as set out in the attached Volume 2  will read as follows:

6.2.3         Targa 1 and 2 Divisions 

All vehicles in Targa 1 and 2 Division vehicles will be sub-divided into Groups by number of driven wheels, Classes by registration year (Modern or Classic) and by engine displacement (Large or Small). The Organizer reserves the right to change the classification on a misclassified vehicle.

6.2.4      Targa 1 and 2 Groups (TWD or AWD)

The number of driven wheels shall be the determining factor as to which Group a vehicle is classed in

  • The two-wheel drive Group (TWD) shall be composed of vehicles that have no more than two-driven wheels 
  • The all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles shall be composed of vehicles that have more than two driven wheels 

6.2.5       Targa 1 and 2 Displacement Classes  (Large or Small)

Each Classic or Modern Division Vehicle is assigned to either a large or small displacement group based on the adjusted displacement of its engine using the following multipliers applied to the actual displacement of the engine (All appropriate multipliers shall be applied):

6.2.6       Targa 1 and 2 Year Sub-Classes (Modern or Classic)

The year of production shall be as shown fist by the vehicle VIN, second by the registration documents and thirdly should the former not be available by the organizers based on the year of manufacture. 

Hybrid Vehicles with both internal combustion and one or more electric motors capable, individually or together, of powering the vehicle through two or more drive wheels will be classes as modern. 

Electric Vehicles with one or more electric motors capable, individually or together, of powering the vehicle through two or more drive wheels will be classes as modern.

This system applies equally to the Duemila (8 days) and Bambina (four days) and to the  Targa 1 (no roll cages slower speeds) and Targa 2 (roll cages and greater speeds). 

The Fast tour and Grand Touring Divisionals will remain the same.

After a successful return, Targa Newfoundland looks toward 2024 

Fresh from thrilling spectators from St. John’s to St. Bride’s to Leading Tickles and everywhere between, the first event since a four-year hiatus, Targa Newfoundland organizers, fans, and competitors eagerly await the 2024 edition.

Competitors returned to the capital city of St. John’s on Thursday, September 21 after covering close to 2,000 km of the island’s roads in the preceding 6 days. The Targa 1 Division, consisting of vehicles which have not been fully race-prepared, was conquered by long-time Targa competitors and previous winners John Hume Sr. and Craig MacMullen of Ontario and Nova Scotia, respectively, in their Team Hume Media Inc. 2013 Mini GP. Their success was further fueled by the addition of world-renowned rally driver, YouTube personality, and Motor Trend contributor, Randy Pobst of Ohio.  

The Targa 2 Division, composed of competition-prepared, rollover-protected vehicles, saw Savage Rallysport’s entry, driven by Dave Wallingford of Ohio and Leanne Junnila of Alberta, take top honours in their bone-rattling, fully prepped 2017 Ford Fiesta. Rounding out the winners of the competitive divisions, Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D’Souza, both of New Jersey, took home first place in the Grand Touring (GT) Division, in their 2023 Mercedes Benz GLA 45 AMG. The GT Division is a time-speed-distance (TSD) event where precision takes precedence over speed. 

“Our primary goal this year was to deliver a safe and entertaining event for competitors and spectators alike,” said Targa President Joe Dowden. “I’m happy to say we’ve successfully delivered on all fronts. The drivers and their navigators have returned home, but we’ve already received commitments to the 2024 event.” As in previous years, Targa 2024 will run during the edge of the tourist season in mid-September. The 22nd running is scheduled from September 12 to 19, 2024, beginning with a two-day drivers’ school before heading out to explore other areas of the province.  

“Our welcome in the towns and villages of the province is reminiscent of Targa’s heyday,” continued Dowden. “In every community we visited, no matter the size, spectators showed up in droves to volunteer, view the action, and to mix and mingle with competitors during the daily lunch stops and nightly car shows.” 

While entries for the 2023 running of Targa were less than the regular numbers seen in events prior to 2019, organizers are viewing the event as a total success. “While less competitors could be viewed as a negative, the other organizers and I are reminded why Targa is viewed in such high regard in Canada and worldwide,” stated Targa founder and Chairman, Robert Giannou.

“The camaraderie and sense of family which was developed among this year’s competitor group is second to none and shows why Targa was first started and continues to this day. More importantly, we proved to ourselves and the competitors that Targa is back!”  

Targa Newfoundland welcomes pro road racer Randy Pobst

Fresh off setting the modified electric production record in a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Targa is excited to welcome Randy Pobst.

Randy is a career pro road racer with 80+ pro wins. He earned factory driving contracts with Porsche, Audi, Mazda, and Volvo, winning twice at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, four World Challenge GT Championships, finished first or second all six times he raced at the SCCA National Runoffs, won two IMSA driver’s championships and two North American Touring Car championships.

“We’re proud to have someone of Randy’s pedigree competing in this year’s event,” said Targa President Joe Dowden. “Even more than that, we’re excited to show what the province and its people have to offer.”

Randy was Motor Trend’s track tester for twelve years, also writing road tests and doing many YouTube video reviews. He now appears regularly on the Hagerty YouTube channel with videos totalling over a hundred million views. Randy is a popular and internationally known personality, a highly respected driving and racing coach, and a sought-after chassis-dynamics expert, hired by many automotive manufacturers. Randy Pobst said, “I have watched Targa Newfoundland from afar for years, always dreaming of a chance to drive at speed on these real roads in such a beautiful place.  Thanks to experienced winner John Hume and his team, this dream is about to come true!” 

Targa Newfoundland Celebrates the Heartbeat of Newfoundland Communities in Its 21st Annual Event

Targa Newfoundland, the legendary motorsports event that has become an integral part of Newfoundland’s vibrant culture, is gearing up for its 21st exhilarating edition, set to take place from September 14 to September 22, 2023. This year’s event promises to not only push the limits of automotive enthusiasts but also celebrate the essence of the remarkable Newfoundland outport communities.

Targa Newfoundland is more than just a race; it’s a celebration of communities coming together. For over two decades, Targa has woven the fabric of Newfoundland communities into its high-octane tapestry, showcasing the rugged beauty of the island while fostering unity among its residents.

The heart and soul of Targa Newfoundland are the remarkable Newfoundland outports, those enchanting and resilient locales that have witnessed generations of history and migration. These outports, which have played a vital role in shaping North America, have embraced Targa with open arms, welcoming both competitors and spectators to experience their warmth and hospitality.

“Our journey through Newfoundland’s picturesque landscapes wouldn’t be complete without the genuine warmth and support of the local communities,” says Joe Dowden, President of Targa Newfoundland. “This year, we dedicate our event to these hardy Newfoundlanders, whose spirit and dedication breathe life into Targa Newfoundland and make it an unparalleled experience.”

As the sun rises over the horizon of St. John’s on September 16, the roaring engines of Targa Newfoundland will once again awaken the island’s hidden corners. This annual spectacle will traverse over 1,800 kilometers of winding roads, including more than 500 kilometers of closed-road Targa stages where drivers can truly unleash their machines. The rallying cries of motorsports fans will mingle harmoniously with the cheers of local residents, creating an electric atmosphere that only Targa Newfoundland can deliver.

Join us in celebrating the heart and soul of Newfoundland, the communities that make Targa Newfoundland a legendary event. Let the engines roar and the spirit of competition thrive as Targa embarks on another unforgettable journey across this rugged island.

Targa NL Enters Development Agreement with Sphere Media for Documentary Series

Targa NL road rally is pleased to announce a television development agreement with Sphere Media, one of Canada’s largest independent and most respected production companies. Sphere’s documentary credits include 9/11: Cleared for Chaos (Discovery Canada, National Geographic International) and 100 Days to Victory (History Canada, BBC, Foxtel).

“Sphere is the perfect partner to translate the excitement of Targa to a documentary series,” said Robert Giannou of Targa. “Targa promises the kind of gripping content that broadcasters and streamers are hungry for right now,” said Kim Bondi, Sphere Media’s SVP of Development and Content.

Bondi, who was an Executive Producer of the popular Newfoundland docuseries Rock Solid Builds (HGTV Canada), added that the series “Will highlight the rugged beauty and charm of Newfoundland as explored through the eyes of a diverse group of competitors taking part in North America’s largest open road rally race.” Veteran Canadian TV and film producer Peter Hume will round out the creative team.

The agreement launches the trio on a path to develop and market a ten-part docuseries about the people, passion, and pulse of Targa Newfoundland – a race like no other. The series will focus on competing teams, as well as the host communities and volunteers who make this sprawling annual event possible.

Creative work will start immediately with an aim to begin filming in 2023, and conclude the first season of the series with the 2024 event.

Sphere Media is a production and distribution company with world-class talent creating premium content for the fast- growing global market in both scripted and unscripted spaces. Among Sphere’s international scripted series are Transplant (NBC), The Porter (BET) and Peabody Award-winning Sort Of (HBO Max). Sphere’s track record in the unscripted space include documentaries 9/11: Control the Skies (Nat Geo), 100 Days to Victory (BBC), and One Of Ours (CBC), along with many documentary series like Could You Survive? (Weather Channel), Kal Penn Approves This Message (Freeform) and Untold Stories of the ER (TLC). In 2023 Sphere Media’s various productions garnered 22 Canadian Screen Awards – a strong indication of Sphere’s commitment to excellence.

Targa Newfoundland introduces electric vehicle touring class

As part of its first event since 2019, Targa Newfoundland is excited to invite the owners of electric vehicles to participate in an all-new touring class.

This new class is a non-competitive tour within Targa that focuses entirely on electric vehicles. “The EV tour is designed to allow the owners of electric vehicles to push them to their limits,” said Targa Newfoundland President, Joe Dowden. “They’ll get the full experience of Targa, without the stress of competition.”

As the network of EV charging stations across Newfoundland and Labrador continues to grow, Targa Newfoundland organizers saw an opportunity to open the event to the ever-growing number of electric vehicles on the province’s roads. Charging stations are available in all communities with overnight stops, as well as some towns throughout the route.

“A lack of charging capabilities has made it difficult for us to accommodate electric vehicles outside of the St. John’s metro region in previous years,” added Dowden. “Improvements in technology, as well an increase in charging stations, has opened up a lot of possibilities.” Use apps like PlugShare and ChargePoint for a list of charging stations located on the Targa Newfoundland route.

Targa Newfoundland recognizes National Volunteer Week

With preparations in full swing for Targa Newfoundland’s first event since 2019, organizers are proud to acknowledge the contributions of volunteers spanning its two-decade history.

Since its first event in 2002, Targa Newfoundland has benefitted from the participation of thousands of people with varying skills and backgrounds. “Without the invaluable contributions of our amazing volunteers, Targa could never have left the Start Line,” said Targa Newfoundland President, Joe Dowden. “Whether it’s our Stage Marshals, week-long volunteers, or Management team, this event is built on volunteers.”

During the 22 events successfully run by Targa, volunteers in over 200 communities around the island have provided some 21,000 days of service. These fans and supporters have hailed from the communities hosting the event, from across Canada, and from around the world. 

“Participating as a volunteer has truly become as much an experience as competing in the event,” added Dowden. “Volunteers who return year after year, and colleagues who have become life-long friends are a testament to that.” Visit for more information on volunteering.

Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2023 event starts with our two-day Course Familiarization School on September 14-15 with Prologue Stages occurring on the morning of September 16. The actual competition starts in St. John’s on the afternoon of September 16 and concludes back in the capital on September 21 with the annual Awards Gala held on September 22. The rally will cover more than 1,800 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland, including over 500 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages

Corey Finkelstein joins Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited

We would like you to meet your friendly neighbourhood car enthusiast and racing aficionado, Corey Finkelstein. As a long-time fan of Targa Newfoundland, it is truly an honour for us to have him as part of our incredible event and its dynamic team. 

Corey has always had a deep appreciation for the thrill of speed and the raw power of high-performance vehicles. His passion for cars and racing has been with him for as long as he can remember, and Targa Newfoundland has always held a special place in his heart. The people, the breathtaking scenery, the challenging courses, and the competitive spirit of the event have always inspired him to push himself to the limit. Corey, along with his navigator Wayne Lorenzen, raced the Targa Bambina, Newfoundland in 2018.

To quote Corey, “As a member of the Targa Newfoundland team, I am excited to bring my passion and expertise to the table. With years of experience in the automotive industry, I have gained an in-depth knowledge of the latest trends, technologies, and marketing strategies. I am always looking for innovative ways to promote Targa Newfoundland and to engage with Targa fans and supporters.

“My role at Targa Newfoundland will involve managing a wide range of responsibilities, from coordinating events and liaising with sponsors to developing marketing strategies and creating engaging content for social media. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities to showcase the event and to bring in new fans and supporters”, says Corey

At the end of the day, Corey’s goal is to help make Targa Newfoundland the best it can be. He is committed to working closely with the team and leveraging his skills and experience to ensure that the event continues to thrive and grow.

When he is not working on Targa Newfoundland, he can be found tinkering with cars, attending car shows, or racing on the track. Corey is a true car enthusiast at heart, and always looking for ways to deepen his knowledge and appreciation of this Canadian incredible industry.

In summary, he is Corey Finkelstein, a dedicated car enthusiast and proud member of the Targa Newfoundland team. With his passion, skills, and experience, he is committed to helping make this event a resounding success, year after year. To once again quote Corey. “Let’s rev those engines and race the rock!”


Corey Finkelstein

[email protected]

Targa Newfoundland improves on safety ahead of return in 2023

With the goal of building on an already spectacular safety record, Targa Newfoundland has updated its rules and regulations to better reflect advances in technology, and to incorporate safety measures learned from similar events.

After a 3-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Targa organizers felt it was the perfect opportunity to make important changes. “Although our safety record is second to none, we recognize there’s always room for improvement,” explained Targa President, Joe Dowden. “To that end, we’ve implemented a number of measures, including GPS tracking, to increase the safety of competitors, volunteers, and, most importantly, spectators.” 

Using transmitters attached to competitor and volunteer vehicles, the event’s Command Centre will be able to monitor speed and location in real-time, enabling Targa organizers to act immediately if safety concerns are presented. In addition, new regulations with respect to in-car safety equipment and measures have also been implemented. 

“After an extended break,” said Dowden, “Targa will be back – better and safer than ever.” The updated rules and regulations can be found at 

The 2023 event starts with our two-day Course Familiarization School on September 14-15 with Prologue Stages occurring on the morning of September 16. The actual competition starts in St. John’s on the afternoon of September 16 and concludes back in the capital on September 21 with the annual Awards Gala held on September 22. The rally will cover more than 1,800 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland, including over 500 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.

Confirmation of the 2023 Targa Newfoundland

We are pleased to announce the confirmation of Targa Newfoundland 2023. Registration is now open to a limited number of entrants. The deadline to register is May 21st, 2023. It’s been 4 years since the last event and this year’s event is anticipated to be the best Targa yet, with some exciting details soon to follow.

The 2023 event will start on Saturday, September 16th in the Southern Avalon Peninsula in
communities that border on St. Mary’s Bay, then progress on Sunday the 17th to the South
West Avalon moving through communities on Placentia Bay. On Monday the 18th, it will travel to the Notre Dame Bay area communities and then move on Tuesday the 19h to the Eastport
Peninsula on Bonavista Bay. On Wednesday the 20th, it will be in the Random Island area on
Trinity Bay, then travelling on Thursday the 21st to the final day in the Conception Bay area,
finishing up in the penultimate and final stages in Brigus. The awards gala will be held in St.
John’s on Friday evening September 22nd.

“I believe that we start to see our true personalities when we go through the
most difficult moments. This is when we get stronger” (Aryton Senna)