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)

Robert Giannou- Inducted into Canadian Motorsports Hall Of Fame


We are extremely honoured to announce Robert Giannou’s induction into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Robert joins an elite group of 262 members that have been recognized for their significant contributions to Motorsports in Canada.  

Giannou has held various roles with CASC over the years, including Race Director Atlantic Region and Assistant National Race Director, most notably starting Targa Newfoundland in 2002. Without Roberts’s vision and guidance, we wouldn’t have such an exceptional event today that challenges drivers, cars, and teams, and brings communities across Newfoundland together all for the love of motorsport. In 2010, he worked with Janet Brake to create a safety protocol that made Targa Newfoundland the safest of the three main Targa events, with incident rates being reduced from 17% to 1.5%.

We thank you for all of your dedication to the motorsport community and the communities in Newfoundland.