April 19, 2006

Major automakers rumoured to be coming to Targa Newfoundland

St. John’s, Newfoundland – Subaru Canada is the only vehicle manufacturer to officially declare its intentions to compete in the 5th Anniversary Targa Newfoundland, September 9-16, but other automakers are rumoured to be making plans, according to the organizers.

Subaru will enter one car in the Open Division in the 2006 event, and possibly others. BMW Group Canada, which markets the Mini, announced in January that it would return to Targa 2006, but revealed no details. The company was rewarded for three years of participation in Targa with the Open Division win last year when Jim Kenzie of Ontario and Brian Bourbonniere of Nova Scotia wheeled a MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works Edition to the top of the charts.

Kia is another long-time supporter of Targa, and the Korean company has collected class trophies over the years with its Rio and Spectra models in the Standard Specification category of the Modern Division. The chatter this year is that Kia is considering stepping up to a Modified entry in Modern, but again no details have been released.

The motorsports arm of Detroit-based Chrysler Group put on a terrific show in 2005 with the thundering Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8 cars and the team vowed to return for Targa 2006. Possible cars include the SRT4 version of the new Caliber compact and the Jeep Grand Cherokee in SRT8 trim.
Speculation continues over other factory entries, too. Inquiries have been received from other companies, including Suzuki Canada, which already has cars in the Canadian Rally Championship.

The 5th Anniversary Targa Newfoundland (Sept. 9 to 16) will start and end in St. John’s and will cover more than 2,100 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland over six days, including more than 500 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa Stages.

In addition to the two primary competitions for Targa and Grand Touring entries, a new category known as Targa Tour has been added for 2006. The latter gives motorsports enthusiasts and collectors of unique and rare vehicles the opportunity to enjoy all that Targa has to offer without the pressure of competition or the need for stringent vehicle preparation.

Targa Newfoundland is owned and organized by Newfoundland International Motorsports. Their Web site is www.targanewfoundland.com.

Connect with Autos.ca