Over the next few days, we’re very lucky to have a few guest posts by Warwick Patterson from flatovercrest.com who is down on The Rock covering the 2008 running of Targa Newfoundland. Warwick is providing some incredible shots for our readers and even more over at FOC.
The 2008 edition of the Targa Newfoundland rally takes to the roads east of St. John’s on Sunday for the Prologue stages. Teams will have three stages to practice their timing, settle into a rhythm, and find any last-minute faults in their car. While the prologue stages do not count towards the final results of the rally, the organizers use the times to create a start order.
With a large number of manufacturer entries, and a healthy collection of classic and unique cars, Targa 2008 is set to be an exciting event. Mitsubishi has a two-car team, led by Andrew Comrie-Picard and co-driver Jen Horsey in an Evolution X. Mark Hacking and John Leblanc are competing in a pre-production Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart – a direct competitor to the WRX, due out in 2009. ACP Rally had a frantic month prior to Targa, building both new cars in a span of six weeks, and rebuilding the Evo 9 after their X Games flip.
Subaru has entered the second Impreza STI built by Rocket Rally, with Targa veterans John and Clarke Paynter behind the wheel.
BMW MINI has brought back the invincible red JCW edition car, with Jim Kenzie and Brian Bourbonniere manning the controls. The blue MINI that met an early demise two years ago when it came face to face with a spruce tree has been rebuilt and will be piloted by Doug Mepham and John Selecki – perhaps better known for their silver Volvo from previous years.
One car that was hard to miss in the parking lot is the vibrant green Dodge Challenger. I don’t want to think of how many times Ralph Gilles and Karen Wagner are going to have to deal with people asking, “Dude, is that a Hemi?” this week, but this is sure to be a sight to behold tearing down the stages. The team already ran into their first hurdle during the test stage on Friday, when they bottomed out over a jump and cracked the aluminum oil pan. It’s all fixed now, and ready for action.
The rumour mill was buzzing with word that Frank Sprongl had to fly to Europe on Friday to pick up the head for their Audi Quattro’s motor. Neither the car or team made an appearance at the arena on Saturday, so they are likely putting in some long hours getting the car ready. Out of all the cars on the entry list, their Group B monster is easily the most anticipated car amongst the fans.
There are so many cars and teams we could talk about today, but we’ll have a chance to feature many more of the fantastic entries over the course of the week. Some of the other notables to watch out for are: Jud Buchanan in his freshly re-prepped Acadian Canso; the four-car Brick n’ Brute team consisting of three classic minis and an Austin Healey 100; a rare and beautiful NSU TT; a pair of Honda Civics brought up from the Turks and Caicos Islands; and previous Targa winner Bill Arnold in his fine-tuned BMW Bavaria.