August 26, 2004
Winning competitors return to Targa Newfoundland 2004
St John’s, Newfoundland – Four of the more than 150 competitors expected for the
third annual Targa Newfoundland international rally could carry off a
golden reward for their determination and skills in Canada’s longest and
toughest motorsport event, Targa organizers have announced.
The four – one team and two individuals – could be the first competitors
to be awarded gold Targa plates, symbolic of winning the coveted Targa
plate for three consecutive years.
Three of the individuals were in contention for the overall victory in
the Classic competition last year and are expected to pick up the fierce
battle where it left off last September when the cars take the start on
Sunday, September 12, 2004.
The Classic division winner in 2003, Bill Arnold of San Rafael,
California, returns to the event with two Targa plates on his wall. In
the inaugural event in 2002, Arnold and co-driver Tamara Hall headed the
Modern division and claimed fifth place overall in a BMW M Coupé. Arnold
returned for the second year with co-driver Peter Guagenti in 2003 with
another BMW, this time a 1972 Bavaria sedan that powered him to a
division victory by just 5 seconds over the charging Jeremy Hill of
Toronto and co-driver Lennox McNeely of Whistler, B.C. in McNeely’s 1965
Hill and McNeely are also in line for a gold Targa plate in 2004. After
being second for the two previous years, they are considered serious
contenders for the top spot in Classic as well as being the only
driver/co-driver team with a potential gold plate on the line.
Doug Mepham, of Belleville, Ontario, also returns to the Classic
competition with a chance for a gold plate. Mepham’s 1971 Volvo 142S
collected fourth in 2002 with co-driver Jim Kenzie and sixth in 2003
with co-driver Dave Osborn.
Targa plates are awarded to competitors – drivers and co-drivers — who
complete all of the competitive Targa Stages in the rally within the
minimum time requirements set by the organizers. Competitors covet Targa
plates as a symbol of a consistently fast and clean performance over the
course of the week’s competition. In 2004, the rally will have 40 Targa
stages included in more than 2,100 kilometres of route.
“When we first announced the gold Targa awards in 2002, it seemed like a
long time before we would have any winners,” says rally organizer Robert
Giannou. “Suddenly, we’re facing our first three-time Targa plate
winners and I’m delighted.”
The third annual Targa Newfoundland covers 2,100 kilometres of the
challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the
province over six days, including more than 500 kilometres of
closed-road, flat-out Targa Stages. Competitors have come from the U.S.,
Australia, New Zealand, Holland, the Bahamas and the U.K. for the first
two editions of Targa Newfoundland. The rally starts with registration
and technical inspection on Saturday, September 11 and finishes back in
St. John’s a week later.
Targa Newfoundland is owned and organized by Newfoundland International
Motorsports and is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport