- Two-Car Team to Take On the Competition in Two Different Classes -
(Richmond Hill, ON): Mazda Canada and SIRIUS Canada have teamed up to enter two fierce contenders in the 2007 Targa Newfoundland Rally: a rotary engine-powered Mazda RX-8 and a turbo-charged MAZDASPEED3.
From September 8th to 15th, the cars will compete in the 6th annual Targa Newfoundland rally. The event will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of challenging, twisty roads throughout central and eastern Newfoundland, including 400 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
To broaden its assault on the rally, the cars have been entered in two very different classes. The Mazda RX-8, having successfully run Targa twice before in 2004 and 2006, will once again compete in the high-speed Targa class. The innovative technology and proven reliability of the RX-8’s rotary engine makes it ideal for this type of performance endurance race. Entering the race for the first time, the MAZDASPEED3 will be running in the Time-Speed-Distance Grand Touring class, where competitors are given a set time to complete a given stage. As the country’s quickest hot-hatch, the MAZDASPEED3, with its high-powered, 263-hp DISI turbo four-cylinder engine, and front-wheel-drive layout, will be a thrill to watch on the roads of Newfoundland.
“The attraction for competing in Targa Newfoundland is more about the vibe of the race rather than just about being fastest. It appeals to enthusiastic drivers; people who love cars. And that’s what Mazda is all about,” said Gregory Young, Director of Corporate Public Relations at Mazda Canada. “We build cars that are fun-to-drive and embody that exhilarating ‘Zoom-Zoom’ feeling for people who hold dear the love of motion. And, with our motorsport lineage, we feel that we have cars that can compete effectively in this competition.”
Piloting the Mazda RX-8 is Jeff McKague. A professional racing instructor, coach, and Driving Programs Manager at L.A. Detail., McKague drove the RX-8 to a class win in the Class 9 Standard Small Displacement category in the 2006 Targa. Co-driving for McKague this year will be Mike Gayowski, also a driving instructor and coach with experience in Canadian Formula 1600 Championships.
Spearheading the all-female team in the front-wheel-drive MAZDASPEED3 is Nika Rolczewski. An automotive journalist and racing enthusiast, Rolczewski competed in Targa’s Grand Touring Class in 2004 and the gruelling Rallye Aicha des Gazelles in Morocco earlier this year. Calling the corners for Rolczewski is first-time navigator Sandra Lemaitre.
Starting September 7th, follow the progress of the Mazda-SIRIUS Targa team as the driver’s write about their daily experiences at: http://blogs.mazda.ca/targa2007
Mazda and SIRIUS have also teamed up to sponsor Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador, a charitable organization that is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children with physical disabilities. During each of the nightly Targa Newfoundland car shows (September 8-13), SIRIUS will be raffling off a SIRIUS “Sportster 3” satellite radio with a 6-month subscription. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador. Donations can also be made online at www.easterseals.nf.ca
“SIRIUS is excited to work with Mazda to help support Easter Seals,” said James Byun, Senior Director, OEM for SIRIUS Canada Inc. “Targa Newfoundland gives SIRIUS a unique opportunity be involved with the local racing scene and a chance to share in the excitement with other driving enthusiasts.”