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Targa scraps Bonavista Peninsula stages this year due to road concerns

Cars race under a bridge in Marystown during the Targa Newfoundland road rally. This year’s race will take place predominately on the Burin Peninsula. -
Photo by Newfoundland International Motorsports Ltd.
Cars head towards Canning Bridge in Marystown during the Targa Newfoundland road rally. The majority of this year’s race will be held on the Burin Peninsula. - Newfoundland International Motorsports Ltd.

Potholes prompt pullout

Any Targa Newfoundland fans on the Bonavista Peninsula hoping to catch a glimpse of this year’s competitors racing through the streets of their community are out of luck.

The annual road rally won’t have any stages in the region for the 2018 event this September.

Last year, George’s Brook, Burgoyne’s Cove, Lethbridge and Brooklyn were among the stages.

There had been others in the region in the past.

Targa Newfoundland president Robert Giannou told SaltWire Network the reason “pure and simple is safety.”

Giannou said the condition of the roads throughout the region are poor and cars aren’t able to move with speed.

“It is not worth it,” he said. “Guys come here, they spend $20,000-$30,000 to compete, and then go home with a broken car because of a … pothole.”

Giannou said, as well, for whatever reason, it was difficult to get any cooperation to fix trouble spots in the area, calling the road conditions “embarrassing.”

Targa is making the Burin Peninsula the main focus for this year’s event – four days and three nights – with Marystown serving as the hub. The Town of Marystown is planning a festival around the road rally called Targa Days.

As per usual, the kick-off events and prologue stages will take place in the St. John’s area once again this year. The racing will then occur for the most part on the Burin Peninsula. The event will wind down with stages in North West Brook, Hodge’s Cove, and the Conception Bay North area, concluding in Brigus, as has also become the norm.

Outside of Marystown and St. John’s, a car show is planned for Clarenville on Sept. 20. Earlier in the week, there are stages in North Harbour, Black River and Garden Cove.

Targa Newfoundland 2018 will run from Sept. 15-21.

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