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They’re heading out over the highway today for 17th Targa Newfoundland

Andrew Warren and Jason Nolan raced together in Warren’s Ford Mustang GT during Targa Bambina in July. Nolan is a long-time Targa Newfoundland fan with cerebral palsy who was thrilled to navigate for Warren during Bambina, so he came on board again for the exhibition-style prologue run through Flatrock on Sunday. Leg one of the road rally begins today with the first closed-road race from Black River to Garden Cove.
Andrew Warren and Jason Nolan raced together in Warren’s Ford Mustang GT during Targa Bambina in July. Nolan is a long-time Targa Newfoundland fan with cerebral palsy who was thrilled to navigate for Warren during Bambina, so he came on board again for the exhibition-style prologue run through Flatrock on Sunday. Leg one of the road rally begins today with the first closed-road race from Black River to Garden Cove. - Juanita Mercer

The 17th edition of the Targa Newfoundland motorsports car rally is scheduled to kick into high gear today.

Upwards of 30 teams are entered in the Targa and Grand Touring divisions in the event, which will be run over the next five days, primarily on the Burin Peninsula.

The Targa division, or top division within Targa Newfoundland, is for the heavily-modified cars, with roll cages, whose speeds can approach 200 kilometres per hour.

The Grand Touring division is a time speed distance rally, where teams are expected to travel at average time and speed. They are expected to arrive at the finish line at an exact time.

Finally, there is a Fast Tour/Quick Tour, with the Quick Tour providing teams with an opportunity to participate in Targa, but not over the full five days if they don’t wish to do so.

Targa got under way Sunday in front of St. John’s City Hall, with the Prologue in the Flatrock/Bauline area, an event which doesn’t count towards overall scores.

“It’s a chance to kick the tires, to make sure the cars are working good,” said Targa Newfoundland’s Mike Aylward. “And it’s an opportunity for the drivers and navigators to get to work in the car before things get under way Monday.”

There was one incident during the Flatrock stage, which saw a car overturned causing a slight delay. Both the driver and co-driver walked away from the vehicle, and were then taken to hospital for further assessment.

There are at least 10 teams entered from Ontario, one from B.C. and five from the United States, including California, Arizona and New Jersey. One navigator in for Targa Newfoundland, Allan Cullen, has travelled from Hawaii.

As part of Targa Newfoundland, a car show will be held every night. The vehicles were on display at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay Sunday night. Tonight through Wednesday, a car show will be held at the Kaetlyn Osmond Arena in Marystown, before a show at the Eastlink Events Centre in Clarenville Thursday evening.

A total of 1,200 kilometres will be covered, and some 35 communities visited by Targa before Friday.

The Targa Newfoundland schedule is:

Leg One, today — Burin Peninsula area (Black River, Garden Cove, North Harbour, Boat Harbour, Petite Forte, Parker's Cove)

Leg Two, Tuesday — Burin Peninsula area (Frenchman's Cove, Lord's Cove, Marystown)

Leg Three, Wednesday — Burin Peninsula area (Spanish Room, Rock Harbour, Burin, Mortier)

Leg Four, Thursday — Burin Peninsula area (Mooring Cove, Harbour Mille, Grand Le Pierre, English Harbour, Terrenceville)

Leg Five, Friday — Avalon North area (North West Brook, Hodge's Cove, Colliers, Marysvale, Turks Gut, Brigus, with finish on George St.)

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