At this year’s Targa Newfoundland several super cars showed up in a new class called the “Hot Tour”. During the week of Targa Newfoundland my opinion of this class changed completely. Initially when I saw those cars, I thought that bringing those super cars to the streets and roads of Newfoundland was crazy. However during the week, I eventually concluded that bringing those cars to Newfoundland was the perfect thing to do.
During the week, as we were running at or near the front of the Grand Touring Class, I had the priviledge to see these cars at the start of every stage. The sights and sounds of these cars as they roared off down the road were spectacular. These cars were not competing in any timed competition, but the drivers were driving their cars on the closed stages of Targa Newfoundland very vigorously. They were started at intervals of 10 to 15 seconds between cars. They were driving the cars they way that they were meant to be driven. They put on quite a show!
Ferrari 430 Spyder
There were the widespread stories about Zahir Rana putting his Ferrari Enzo into the Newfoundland ocean. While this was unfortunate, it is indicative that these cars were driven quite vigorously in Newfoundland. These cars were not babied. I admire the drivers for having both the financial capability to buy these cars and for having the enthusiasim and “attachments” to drive these cars as fast as they drove them at Targa Newfoundland.
Then each night there were the car shows around Newfoundland of the cars competing in Targa Newfoundland. The popularlity of these cars was impressive. Both grown-ups and kids hurried to see these supercars. This might be the only opportunity these people will ever have to see these cars up close or in person. Hopefully these cars have inspired hundreds of Newfoundland kids to work hard and smart to achieve success in life, so that someday, they too will be able to drive cars like these.
Danny William’s Dodge Viper Ran in the Hot Tour for a Couple of Days
Finally there were the people who were in these cars: these were real car people. It was a pleasure to meet Zahir Rana, Roland Linder, Ron & Joyce Valkerink, Ron & Shelby Fehr, Dan Echino, and Melissa Sutton. They have driven these cars very frequently and very vigorously around North America. These cars are not “trailer queens”.
I want to make special mention of Danny Williams and Doug Martin. They had initially entered a very well prepared Subaru in Targa Newfoundland. Early in the week, while competing in the Targa Class, they had severe damage done to the car which caused them to have to withdraw from the Targa Class. Fortunately Danny had access to a beautiful blue Viper and he took part in the “Hot Tour” for a couple of days. These guys wanted to compete in the Targa Class, but circumstances pushed them in a different direction.
In the end, I concluded that these were the perfect cars to bring to Targa Newfoundland and I hope that they are able to come back.