Targa changes for Carbonear
New competitive stage planned for community of Freshwater
The 2012 edition of Targa Newfoundland will bring some added activity to Conception Bay North, with a new competitive stage planned for the community of Freshwater, and some significant changes to the stage in Carbonear.
The new competitive stage in the Local Service District of Freshwater is a five kilometre challenge added to the final day of the rally. According to a news release, it uses the streets and roads of the community and is scheduled between the first and second stages at nearby Carbonear.
The new stage is sure to test both experienced competitors and newcomers alike, said Targa organizer Robert Giannou.
“The addition of the new stage at Freshwater takes us to a community with new fans and a new driving challenge in the crucial final hours of the event,” said Giannou.
“We’re very excited about having Targa in our community,” said Eric Parsons, who is treasurer with the Local Service District of Freshwater, a scenic community of roughly 80 year-round families located next to Carbonear.
Parsons said the committee expects to learn more about the event in the coming weeks.
This will mark the third year for Targa in Carbonear, and fans will notice some dramatic changes in the course, said Brian O’grady, director of operations and public works for the Town of Carbonear.
Previously, the stage took place primarily on the southside of Carbonear, in the vicinity of Carbonear General Hospital. O’grady said this posed some challenges with regard to access to the hospital, especially among those living in other parts of the region who may not have been aware that certain streets were closed on the day of the event.
“The hospital has always been accessible, but there has been some confusion about access,” said O’grady. “The message wasn’t always getting out to people in other regions served by the hospital.”
As a result, the 2012 course in Carbonear will be concentrated on streets north of the starting line at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre, which should help avoid any confusion over hospital access, he said.
The revised Carbonear stage will feature steep hills and hairpin turns that are sure to please spectators, added Giannou.
“Changes to Carbonear came from recommendations by the town officials, whose intimate knowledge of the area has helped make this an even more exciting stage,” Giannou stated.
“The Targa Newfoundland route is always changing and evolving. It’s a mix of familiar and new that keeps the competitive challenge fresh.”
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2012 com- petition starts in St. John’s on Sept. 8 and concludes back in the capital on Sept. 15.
The 11th annual rally will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
O’grady said the exact date for the Carbonear stage will be announced in the coming months.
He said the event has been a success in Carbonear, with “98 per cent of the feedback” being positive. And with some 50 course marshalls, he said volunteer support is strong.
O’grady is also encouraged by enhanced measures to improve safety, and noted that hosting Targa is a boost for the local economy and a treat for those who enjoy motor sports.