By now most of you who follow MotoringFile have probably read the news from last weekend that MINI took first in the unlimited class at the Targa Newfoundland. However for those who may have missed it, MINIUSA have put together a press release that sums up the win:
MINI has won the Unlimited Division of the prestigious Targa Newfoundland tarmac rally. From September 10-17, the MINI Canada/MINI USA backed MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works tuning kit (JCW), piloted by automotive journalist Jim Kenzie, with rally veteran Brian Bourbonniere as navigator, rallied the nearly 1,400 mile route on Canada’s east coast to claim top spot against an international field of high horsepower entries.
‘Our strategy of entering the small but potent MINI in the fastest class of them all worked out perfectly’, said driver Jim Kenzie. ‘This car is sensational.’
Entered in a division that boasted the toughest rally base times and provided no restrictions on vehicle modifications, the MINI proved its potent performance. The 207 horsepower JCW Cooper S was not intimidated by a field of competitors that averaged a massive 437 horsepower. Kenzie and Bourbonniere took charge on Day 1 and never relinquished their lead. They completed the rally without incident or mechanical failure, a testament to the in car duo and indicative of the quality, agility, and sporting characteristics that are MINI.
‘MINI Canada is thrilled for Jim, Brian and the support team,’ said Rob Van Shaik, National Manager, MINI Canada. ‘We were excited for the opportunity to showcase MINI against the ‘big engine’ cars, and the JCW MINI Cooper S did not disappoint.’
‘Congratulations to Jim, Brian and whole team. MINI has surprised and delighted enthusiasts from the day it arrived on these shores,’ said Rich Steinberg ‘ Manager, Aftersales and Product Strategy for MINI USA. ‘As the competition discovered, this victory shows that we still have a few left.’
Targa Newfoundland is the first and only event of its kind to be held in North America. The original ‘Targa’ rally event, the Targa Florio, was run on the island of Sicily from 1906 to 1974 as a road race. In 1990 the concept was re-developed by a group of enterprising motor enthusiasts in the Australian island state of Tasmania. Newfoundland International Motorsports consulted with Targa Tasmania organizers to create the Targa Newfoundland rally and the inaugural event took place in 2002. The 2005 event started with over 75 classic and modern cars from six countries competing.
The new MINI, introduced to the North American automotive market in March of 2002, continues the brand’s rich heritage of racing. MINI’s supremacy at the 2005 Targa Newfoudland adds another chapter to the brand’s celebrated rally heritage. In the mid 60’s the Classic Mini dominated the rally scene capturing championship titles in the 1964, 1965, and 1967 Monte Carlo Rally.
Visit www.MINI.ca/Targa or www.MINIUSA.com for a complete summary of the rally.
Again, congrats to all those involved in this effort. You can check out some video of the 2004 event (2005 will be up soon I’m told) below on MINI Canada’s website.
[ Targa Newfoundland Video ] MINI.ca
And for more on the Targa, take a look at our previous story:
[ MINI Leads the Pack at Targa Newfoundland ] MotoringFile