Targa Newfoundland: Racing Hurricanes

There is an island in the middle of the North Atlantic where hurricanes come to die.

This island, hewn from the rock of the Great Canadian Shield and comprised of 500 million year old stone is called Newfoundland Labrador.

When the Vikings settled in the northern tip of the province millennia ago, they knew living here would be tough. Even the mighty Vikings didn’t stay long.  Of the people who remained, some still make their fame and fortune and others lose their lives in the ocean that surrounds and protect our island.

Newfoundland is a destination island.  Like Hawaii or Fiji, you can’t accidentally arrive here. Plane or boat are your only option and if you come by boat prepare for a long drive.

What some call inhospitable and bleak, we call home and every fall a great motor event takes place on the public roads – Targa.

Targa Newfoundland

Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa Motorsports events in the world. From their website at http://www.targanewfoundland.com/

“The annual rally will cover more than 1,600 kilometers of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of the island of Newfoundland, including over 440 kilometers of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.”

This weekend is the start of the annual Targa.  Now in its 13th year, cars come from all over Canada, the US and from as far away as New Zealand to participate.  Over the years the race organizers have seen mismatched exotics (Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 360),  old classics (1950 Austin Healy, 1969 BMW 2002), classic muscle cars (1969 Chevrolet Camero, 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback) and modern runabouts (Mini Cooper Clubman, Shelby GT 500). All manner of racing enthusiasts enjoy both the racing and the opportunity to meet and talk to the drivers and owners of these fine automobiles.

This year and on this weekend, we are expecting the arrival of Hurricane Henri to our south coast and will just pass by as the race begins on Sunday, September 13.

Ferrari Crash

In 2012 another hurricane barreled down upon Newfoundland on Targa weekend as it had done several years before that but this time it claimed at least one special competitor – a Ferrari – and by accounts one of the only ones to run in the competition’s history. The Ferrari in question was a “typical” Enzo (one of 400) which was converted into a special one of one FXX Evoluzione in 2012 for a special client in Calgary. In 2012 the car and the owner’s crash went viral as shown in this YouTube video.

This year competitors will drive their 1000 miles around our rugged coastline in three divisions.  Timed against the clock it is man versus machine versus weather in the annual Targa Newfoundland.

Targa Newfoundland runs from September 13-18, 2015 see www.targanewfoundland.com for more details.