Monday, June 9, 2014

Paraplegic Driver Takes on Targa Newfoundland’s Fast Tour

Brian Donato, Kenny Yamamoto of Mitsubishi Motor Sales
of Canada, and the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
destined for the 2014 Targa Newfoundland
(CNW Group/Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc.).
Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada has announced that it will be partnering with Ontarian Brian Donato for this September’s TargaNewfoundland. Donato and his trainer and navigator Rick Bye, a racing driver in his own right and former Targa competitor, will be tackling the five-day, 1,550 kilometre race in a 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart sedan donated by Mitsubishi. You can find out more about both of them and their route to Targa on the RollWith It Racing team webpage.

According to Donato, "It has long been a dream of mine to drive in the Targa Newfoundland. The folks at Mitsubishi share in the dream, and the hope that Canadians with physical disabilities might be inspired by our effort."

He wouldn’t be the first entrant with physical disabilities, as Soldier On has entered a team at least once that I know of. Said Targa organizer Robert Giannou, "Since its beginning, Targa Newfoundland has been about perseverance, fortitude and triumph over adversity. Targa is the measure of an individual's true mettle. Just getting to the starting line has been a triumph for Brian and Rick, and they will be welcomed in Newfoundland as heroes."

I don’t doubt it. Just finishing the race is an accomplishment, though the Fast Tour is perhaps “easier” than the timed rally classes—or not, given that it tends to attract people with exotic supercars. The Mitsubishi will be modified to the extent that it will have hand controls for the brakes and accelerator, as well as five-point seatbelts. However, Mitsubishi points out the Lancer Ralliart is already equipped with racing style Recaro seating and Brembo racing brakes, a standard part of the premium package.

[SOURCE Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc.]

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