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Following the infamous incident at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland where Zahir Rana, owner of ZR Auto, sent his Edo Ferrari Enzo, careening it into the Atlantic Ocean, Rana will return to the open road event.
Rana was upbeat in an interview immediately after his crash, “Gee, this was so much fun, I’m going to do it again. Gonna do bigger, better next time,” he said.
Having entered a three car team in this year’s
grueling Ferrari Enzo-killing Targa Newfoundland, Chrysler‘s SRT/Dodge Motorsports entry managed to rack up first and second place finishes in the event, as well as raising almost $26,000 for the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We are really pleased to have raised [this money] to help the [local Autism society],” declared Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand and senior vice president – Product Design, Chrysler Group.
Gilles, driving in his fourth Targa event, finished second place in the Modern Category, behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper SRT-10. Dr. Rob Pacione, a veteran Targa Competitor, who drove a modified Challenger SRT 392 during the event, finished first in the Open Class.
The third vehicle in the triumvirate, another Challenger SRT 392, piloted by Los Angeles based journalist George ‘MotoMan’ Notaras, finished ninth in the Grand Touring category.
It’s interesting to note that all three cars were true production models, even Pacione’s mount, despite running a 392 Hemi Crate engine and performance exhaust, sported factory designed and engineered parts.
The money raised from the team’s participation this year will go towards providing services and assistance for families affected by autism.
September is almost upon us, which means, for motorsports fans, that it’s time for the annual Targa Newfoundland. This year, Chrysler has announced that it will be fielding a three-car team for the event, comprising of a single Dodge Viper SRT-10 and two Challenger SRT-8s.
The Viper will be driven by Chrysler’s SRT brand chief and Head of Product Design Ralph Gilles (who is running the event for the fourth time); partnering him will be Jen Horsey, another Targa veteran. One of the Challengers, in fact the very same one that Gilles drove at the event in 2008, will be piloted by dentist, experienced road racer and long time Targa competitor Dr. Robert Pacione. His long-standing co-driver Brian Maxwell, will join him in the passenger seat.
The third car, another Challenger will be driven by Los Angeles based journalist George ‘Motoman’ Notaras, with co-driver Nick Chambers riding shotgun.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of this 1200 mile plus road rally, considered to be one of the most grueling motorsports events in North America and the Dodge/SRT triumvirate, is the largest single manufacturer sanctioned entry.
The primary object for the team this year, besides competing, is to raise money for individuals and families affected by Autism, with proceeds to be donated to the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“My adrenaline is pumping about this year’s Targa rally,” said Gilles in a recent statement. “I can’t wait for our team to take these three SRT products to the streets and drive them the way they were intended to be driven. Not only do our SRT products look great, but they are reliable and proven both on the pavement and on the track.”
The 10th annual Targa Newfoundland runs from September 10th to September 17th, starting and ending in the provincial capital, St. John’s.