St. John’s, Newfoundland – Targa Newfoundland has announced the President’s Challenge for Manufacturers, a new competition that will be a feature of the upcoming seventh annual Targa road rally.

The new competition creates a level playing field so that manufacturers’ entries in both the Grand Touring and Targa competition can compete for the President’s Cup, which signifies overall achievement in design, performance, durability and competitive spirit. Since the event’s inception in 2002, BMW, Chrysler, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche and Subaru have supported entries in the six-day contest.

“We have had outstanding support from the community of car manufacturers in Canada,” said Targa organizer Robert Giannou. “Each has come here for their own reasons, and each has thrilled and entertained the many thousands of fans that follow the event here, across Canada and all over the world. We are indebted to each and every one for their contribution to the event.”

While the carmakers have frequently won class and category honours, there has never been an opportunity to compete directly with each other, Giannou said, in a way that acknowledges the differences in their products.

For 2008, manufacturers entering two or more cars are automatically entered in the President’s Challenge; eligible vehicles can be entered in Grand Touring Equipped, Grand Touring Unequipped, Modern Standard Specification, Modern Modified Specification, Modern Hybrid or Open, but both entries do not have to be in the same category. Entries are scored on their finish within their category at the end of the event, with points allocated on the basis of their finishing position, and with the combined score of the two best entries compared to select a winner.

The 7th annual Targa Newfoundland will run from September 13 to September 19, starting and finishing in St. John’s and covering more than 2,000 km of roads in the central and eastern portion of the island.

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