September 20, 2003

Report from Targa Newfoundland


As Paul Williams expected, day four of the Targa Newfoundland proved to be the toughest day yet. An accident in Grand Bank that eliminated the Jarvis/Jarvis 1973 BMW 2002 Tii (Touring Class) – both driver and navigator (Brian and Ken Jarvis) were shaken up but otherwise unharmed – encouraged others to drive cautiously, and led to numerous vehicles missing the window on that and later stages.

The Mini Canada factory team 2003 Mini Cooper S driven by CanadianDriver’s Paul Williams and Brian Harper of the National Post missed a stage by a full 16 seconds. But even with that setback, the team still managed to move up in the standings. With one day remaining in the Targa Newfoundland, Williams/Harper are in fourth place in the Touring Class – 22 seconds off the pace.

Currently in first place is the Squires/0’Grady 1999 Mazda Miata, followed by the 2002 Mini Cooper S driven by Harald von Langsdorff and Steve McKelvie (5 seconds off) and Pete Stout and Jack Baker’s 2003 Porsche 911 Targa (5 seconds off), another factory team car.

The top five competitors in the Targa Class are much closer:

  • Arnold/Guagenti, 1972 BMW Bavaria

  • Silver/Fuss, 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback (0.00.06)*
  • Buchanan/Wright, 1967 Acadian Canso Sport (0:00:06)
  • Hill/McNeely, 1965 Ford Mustang (0:00:08)
  • Salter/Harber, 1953 Austin Healey 100 (0:00:13)
    * margin in brackets

Obviously, it is not necessary to have a modern car in the Targa Class as the top six competitors are driving classics. The top modern car in the Targa Class is the 1988 Honda CRX Si of McNutt/Ellis, 36 seconds off the pace. In touring class, it is the reverse, witb the top five competitors driving modern cars; the 1964 Porsche 356 C Cabriolet of Kieley/Hall being the top classic competitor in Touring Class.

Paul Williams told CanadianDriver that the 6.63 kilometre in-town stage through Grand Bank which took out the ’73 BMW was “brutal.. lots of gravel, sand, steep inclines and people everywhere,” as local residents gathered around the closed streets in front of their homes to watch the race. Williams said the BMW “hit a wharf. The occupants (Brian and Ken Jarvis) were all right, but the car was toast.”

The fourth leg of the 2003 Targa Newfoundland began and ended in Marystown, with stops in Garnish, Burin, Mortier, Grand Bank, Fortune and Frenchman’s Cove in between. Tomorrow the fifth and final leg will take the competitors from Osprey East, through Placentia Arm, St. Bride’s, Branch, St. Catherine’s, Witless Bay and on to St. John’s – Petty Harbour.

For more on the 2003 Targa Newfoundland, visit

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