Another year, another Targa Newfoundland is in the books. This year’s edition saw a hotly contested battle for the overall podium, and many dramatic "press-on-regardless" moments that Targa is famous for. Roy Hopkins and Adrienne Hughes repeated their winning performance in a 1969 BMW 2002. Jud Buchanan and Jim Adams in the ground-pounding 1967 Acadian Canso found themselves the perennial bridesmaids in second place again this year, and Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jen Horsey brought the new Mitsubishi Evolution X into third place, winning the Modern division in the process. Check out the highlight video from Targa after the jump…
The final day of competition had its fair share of excitement, with challenger Bill Arnold in his BMW Bavaria sidelined with suspension damage on the second-last stage. He was able to McGyver a field repair and continue to the finish, but not before losing a lot of time in the process.
One of the showcase stages at Targa, the town of Brigus hosts a narrow, technical, first and second gear blast through the small fishing village. Featuring a few "gotcha’s", the deceptive corners and narrow sightlines gave some teams an exciting ride. One corner in particular caught out several competitors, and even the course opening car became close friends with a white picket fence, much to the crowd’s amusement.
The Spirit of Targa award was awarded to the classic mini team of Dave Pledger and Chris Willett from Las Vegas, but the entire "Brick n’ Brute" team was brought to the stage to share in the honours. Starting even before the event began, they popped a motor before leaving for Targa and were about to cancel their entry in the event. The rest of the team wasn’t going to hear of it, and found a replacement motor for them. When the team of Dyrk Bolger and Terry Milnes crashed on the first day of competition, the incident had a silver lining because the spare parts would be needed to keep "Lucy" the mini alive over the course of the week. Three motors later, and a parade of repairs to head gaskets, distributors, differentials and more, the pair crossed the finish line in St. John’s with smiles on their faces. Press On Regardless is a favourite saying of rallyists, and it was a suitable discription of the whole team’s attitude towards keeping their teammates on the road.
Targa Newfoundland is a test of motoring endurance like any other, and the actual act of driving is just a small part of the experience. Whether competing, servicing, volunteering, or photographing the event, everyone walks away with a year’s worth of stories to tell. Targa will be back again on September 12-18, 2009…start planning and we’ll see you there!
Here is a highlight video reel from Targa Newfoundland 2008. Watch targanewfoundland.com in the coming weeks for details on the full television program!