© Matt Molloy/The Beacon
ONLY ACTION — Spectators who came out to watch the two Gander stages on Tuesday got to see a competitor parade, but that was about it. The two stages were cancelled due to safety concerns.
Safety concerns results in cancellation of Targa stages
Targa recently made its annual trek through Central Newfoundland, as it does every summer, but this visit will be remembered for something different — two cancelled Gander stages.
After completing the Appleton stage without incident on Tuesday morning, competitors headed west on the Trans Canada Highway before returning to Appleton for a 5 p.m. meet and greet.
From there, the drivers headed to Gander for stages 2-8 and 2-9.
The first Gander stage was scheduled to take place at 6 p.m., but spectators were still waiting for the action to begin by 6:40.
A few minutes later, a volunteer stationed at Collishaw Crescent informed those braving the cold that the Gander stages were cancelled.
According to a Targa press release that was posted to its website on Wednesday morning, the cancellation was due to safety concerns.
“The stages in Gander had to be cancelled due to safety concerns. The number of volunteer safety marshals were not at the level required to insure a safe event, for both spectators or the competitors,” read the press release. “Also, the factor of running the stages into the dusk time period, reducing visibility for the drivers, was a concern. In the end, Targa Newfoundland did not feel a safe situation was at hand and the decision to cancel the stages was made.”
"In the end, Targa Newfoundland did not feel a safe situation was at hand and the decision to cancel the stages was made.”
Prior to that incident, everything was running smoothly.
“Appleton, Point Leamington, Bobby's Cove, Pleasantview, and Glover's Harbour were once again held (with) warm welcomes for Targa Newfoundland and its presence within the communities. A decent number of spectators came out during these mid-week stages to support the teams and witness exciting motorsport competition. The scenery in these communities is quite beautiful and allowing Targa Newfoundland to enjoy this scenery with its international competitors is truly a special experience for all involved.”
Gander racers Wayne Lorenzen, Brad Melendy and Andy Proudfoot are competing in this year’s event, which is scheduled to end Saturday in St. John’s.
The Beacon will provide more information as it becomes available.