This year’s Targa Newfoundland had its official start on Sunday, followed by the three prologue stages, a chance for cars and drivers to get used to what they’d be driving over for the next week. And even though the day’s results don’t count, no one was taking it easy, as you can see from the attached video.
But let’s backtrack a bit and talk about the cars and teams in each of the classes. First off is the Classic Class for model years 1981 and before. There are only four entries this year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be competitive. Based strictly on car number, we have:
- Ben Gill and Dave Didcock from the UK in their 1978 Ford RS 1800 Escort. Hmm. I have them noted as driving a 1979 last year, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same car.
- Chip Brunner (Virginia) and Mark Laitenberg (New York), in their 1965 Ford Mustang GT. I remember that car from last year, too.
- Jack Rogers and CJ Strupp from Indiana, in another 1965 Ford Mustang.
- Finally, we have Edison and Margo Wiltshire from Newfoundland, in a 1979 Porsche 911. They were also competitors last year.
There are 12 entries in the Modern Class, and many of them are repeat contenders. Again sorting strictly by car number, we have:
- John Hume, Jr. and Ron Bartleet, both of Ontario, in a 2004 BMW M3
- Dan and Tina Aweida from Colorado in a 2008 Ford Mustang FR500S
- Jacques Deshaies* and Guy McKenzie from Quebec in a 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX
- Michael Hiscott and Max Cline Abrahams from Newfoundland in a 1995 Mitsubish Lancer Evo
- Jim Kenzie+ (Ontario) and Brian Bourbonniere (Nova Scotia) in the second official Kia entry, a 2012 Kia Optima EX Turbo
- Mark Rittenhouse (Ontario) and Robert Semrad (North Carolina) in a2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
- Don and Skye Sawyer from New York in a 2006 Mini Cooper S
- Brad Melendy and Wayne Lorenzen, both from Newfoundland, in a 1986 Chevrolet Camaro
- Matthew and Brian Oldford from Newfoundland in a 2004 Subaru WRX STI
- Doug Mephem and John Solecki, both from Ontario, in a 2006 Mini Cooper S JCW
- Scott Robbins and Stewart Tymchuk, both from Ontario, in a 1988 Ford Sierra Cosworth
- Stan Hartling (Turks and Caicos) and Andy Proudfoot (Newfoundland) in a 2006 Lotus Exige
*You can follow Deshaies on his blog (in French) at www.autonet.ca
+You can follow Kenzie on his blog at www.wheels.ca
Next we have the Open Class, with seven teams, four of which are driving Subarus. Hmm.
- Jean Luc Bergeron and Eric Kirby of Quebec in a 2006 Subaru STI
- Menelaos and Gregory Georgiadis of New York in a 2008 Subaru STI
- Dave Pledger (BC) and Robin Willett (North Virginia) in a 1971 Ford Escort Mark IV
- Mike Davenport and Brad Benson of Ontario in a 2002 Subaru WRX
- John Howard and Matt Kelland of Newfoundland in a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
- Richard Atkinson and Kirk Tarrant of Newfoundland in a 1995 Acura Integra
- Scott and Mikey Waterman of Newfoundland in a 2002 Subaru WRX
Finally, there’s the Grand Touring Class.
- Terry DaSilva and Graham Austin of Ontario in a 1980 MGB
- Mark McDonald and Andrew Fuller of Ontario in a 2003 Audi A6
- Jon Riddell and Briar DeLange of Ontario in a 2008 BMW 135i
- Craig MacMullen (Nova Scotia) and Justin Russell (Newfoundland) in a 2013 Mini Countryman JCW
- Gary and Judi Trickett of Florida in a 2004 Audi S4
- John Hume (Ontario) and Justin Crant (Newfoundland) in a 2011 BMW 335is
- Peter Bartlett and Bridget Picco of Newfoundland in a 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo
That makes 30 teams in all. If you’re wondering where all the exotics are, they mostly tend to do the Fast Tour, which isn’t scored.
There were heavy showers and wet driving conditions for the three prologue stages, held in Flatrock, Pouch Cove, and Torbay. Certainly a good test for the cars and drivers. And the weather didn’t stop the spectators from coming out. There were a few glitches. One car had an engine failure, while another had some minor damage to its front end due to a mechanical issue taking it off course. A third car also went off course with minor vehicle damage. No participants or spectators were injured. With the possible exception of Hume and Crant’s BMW in the Grand Touring Class, all were expected to be able to continue, though Hiscott and Cline of the Modern Class didn’t complete all of the prologue stages.
Next up, Day One