Chrysler is fielding a team of three cars in this year’s Targa Newfoundland. The team is the largest contingent by a single manufacturer and is led by Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT). While Gilles currently calls Auburn Hills, Michigan, home, he was raised right here in Montreal.
Gilles and his co-driver, Torontonian Jen Horsey, will be driving a 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X, factory prepared to compete in road racing. The perfect car to promote the SRT brand. Since Gilles has already competed in three Targa events, he should have a good idea of what to expect. “Ralph has been a tremendous supporter of Targa from his very first time here in 2005,” explains rally organizer Robert Giannou. “In fact, he was the one who coined the phrase ‘The iron man of motorsports’ to describe Targa.”
Car number two, co-driven by US comedians George Notarras and Nick Chambers (better known as MotoMan and Winachee), is a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, in more or less stock configuration. Motoman has his own channel on YouTube, and has said he’ll be documenting the Targa experience, so it might be worth keeping an eye on.
The third car, driven by Canadian race driver Rob Paccione and Brian Maxwell of Toronto, is a lime green 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The car was driven by Gilles in the 2008 Targa, so it has more than a few miles under its fan belt. Not as many as the ‘70s Dodge Dart Chrysler helped support last year, though.
Should be a grand race.