Targa en route to Central Newfoundland

Chris Ballard
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Racing through Point Leamington area Tuesday

Newfoundland and Labrador's premiere motorsports event, Targa Newfoundland, kicked off Saturday and today the drivers are in central.

This year's event is once again drawing competitors from all over the world, including racers from the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Turks and Caicos.

Darren Sheppard is one of Targa Newfoundland's organizers and he admits the final week of preparations was a little hectic.

While racing is indeed the focal point of the event, competitors and spectators alike will be able to enjoy a variety of activities in numerous locations across the island. The event kicked off in St. John's on Sept. 14 with a car show and welcome reception.

The first day of racing was Sunday, Sept. 15, with prologue legs in Torbay and Flatrock.

From there the racers headed East, for a stage in the Sunnyside area on Monday, ending the day in Gander.

Spectators in the Vista region can expect to first spot some action on Monday, Sept. 16

Racers are in Central Newfoundland Tuesday, Sept. 17.

There's a 9:20 a.m. service point in Point Leamington before heading through Bobby's Cove at 10 a.m., Pleasantview at 11 a.m.

They will then go back to Point Leamington for lunch before heading to Glover's Harbour for 1:30 p.m.

Then it's back for service at Point Leamington, before having a second go at Bobby's Cove at 2:15 p.m., and Pleasantview at 3:15 p.m. before heading back towards the Gander area.

They will be in the Vista region on Wednesday for Targa's first ever stages on the Bonavista Peninsula; through Winterbrook, Port Rexton, Trinity and New/Old Bonaventure.

The Clarenville stages are scheduled to end around 6:15 p.m. before the racers head to the Clarenville Events Centre for a car show.

On Thursday, racers head to the Marystown area. From there they travel to Brigus and Carbonear on Friday, and complete the event in downtown St. John's around 6 p.m. with an awards ceremony on the waterfront at 7 p.m.

The 2013 Targa Newfoundland marks the first time the race has appeared on the Bonavista Peninsula and both organizers and racers are excited to see a new part of the province.

"We're very excited about it," Sheppard said.

"Any new area for us is exciting as an organization but it's also exciting for the competitors. They have never seen this part of the province. We get to experience a new tourism aspect of it as well. There are a lot of great sights, sounds and views there.

"Hopefully, the drivers won't be taking in too much of the scenery. We have actually had people drive off the road looking at the trees and stuff before," he says.

For more information about the race, road closures, safety precautions and spectator information, visit www.targanewfoundland.com.

Organizations: Clarenville Events Centre

Geographic location: Targa, Central Newfoundland, Point Leamington St. John's Pleasantview Torbay Sunnyside Gander.Spectators Port Rexton Marystown Brigus Carbonear

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