About Targa Newfoundland

Targa Newfoundland Competitor in a replica Ford GT40

Targa Newfoundland is the first and only tarmac rally of its kind in North America! As motorsports enthusiasts, we know that limits are made to be pushed and that cars were designed to be driven. It’s all about the drive!

After competing in the Targa Tasmania in Australia in 2001, automotive journalist Jim Kenzie and public relations executive Doug Mepham were inspired to bring the excitement of that event closer to home. As Jim wrote in Toronto Star Wheels, “We got talking and thought: Island; welcoming population; needs tourism dollars. How about Targa Newfoundland?”  

Kenzie wrote about the idea and Mepham sent the article to Bob Giannou, who had promoted Formula Atlantic races in St. John’s in the early 1970s. A year-and-a-half later, Targa Newfoundland was born. Targa ran for the first time in 2002 and there have been 23 runnings of the famous road rally since then.  

As we enter our third decade, we offer a 2,000-kilometre (or about 1240 mile) course that brings you through scenery we know you will not find elsewhere. While the courses are fantastic, they are often outdone by the sheer spectacular beauty of the scenery which surrounds the competitive stages. From the pristine seaside and the wild looming rugged ocean cliffs to the centuries-old towns and villages to the uplands and into the mountains; the island of Newfoundland is spectacular! And all this breathtaking view is encompassed by clean fresh ocean air scented with the tangy taste of the saltwater ocean that surrounds this wonderous and beautiful island.

Enjoy the scenic, paved roads that we have selected for your Targa Newfoundland adventure the way few have the privilege of experiencing… by entering and participating in Targa Newfoundland. Our competitors’ only complaint is that their speeds are so fast, and their focus so complete, that they have little time to enjoy the smell of the saltwater or the up-close and personal views as they drive along the shoreline edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

The competitive sections of the stages are held on roads closed to the general public. They comprise approximately 30% of the total course. The balance of the course takes participants from one stage to another in what we call transits.

Our volunteers are world-class. They come from our local communities as well as from all across North America. When it comes to this type of all-weather motorsports event, they are the best. In the 20 plus years since we created this event, we have built a first-class volunteer team of people who run a safe and timely event and who really want to help you do your best and enjoy your time with us.

With its specially created Course Familiarization Program (CFP), which is included in the registration fee, the Targa Newfoundland event has established a safety record that is second to none.

We want everyone involved, including competitors, volunteers, marshals and spectators to have a safe and fun event.  

Come join us for Targa Newfoundland 2024. You won’t get the same adventure and experience anywhere else in North America.  

Targa Events

Targa Newfoundland is subdivided into three distinct events.

  • Targa Bambina — a two-day competition
  • Targa Rotoura — a three-day competition(launching 2025)
  • Targa Duemila — a six-day competition

Learn more