By Johnny Miles
It is ironic that a track weekend founded by a highly successful racing driver would not include any actual racing. However, Brian Redman has hit on a winning formula with his Targa 66 event, now in its 27th year.
When you attend Targa 66, your car is put into one of three groups and whenever your group is scheduled, the track is yours. No one tracks lap times and no one keeps score. Although most attendees use the event to exercise their cars and hone their driving skills in a low-pressure environment, for those in historic racing it is also a great early testing opportunity.
Targa 66 offered the perfect opportunity to fully exercise and test our Porsche 907 for the first time since being restored. Photo: Johnny Miles
Targa 66 is a family affair. Brian and son James, along with their wives, Marion and Dawn, work with racing friends to plan and host the Targa 66 gathering each year. Over half of the drivers are repeat attendees. The atmosphere is social, with old acquaintances and friends greeting each other convivially and sharing stories about a common passion.
Brian and James concede that it is no accident that they host the event at balmy Palm Beach International Raceway in February when most of the country’s sports cars are sequestered away from icy and salty roads.
The diversity of cars in attendance also distinguishes Targa 66 from your normal track day. Not one but two of the just-released Aston Martin DB4 GT continuation cars were in attendance. They could be seen lapping the track along with everything from a Group C Porsche 962 to a brand-new McLaren 720S.
One of two Aston Martin DB4 GT continuation cars that was in attendance at Targa 66, out of a total run of 25. Photo: David Santiago
This year, The Revs Institute brought an unprecedented six vehicles: the Miles Collier Collections’ 1958 Scarab Sports-Racer, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, 1968 Porsche 907, 1969 Porsche 908-2 Flunder, and 1970 Fiat TC-R, along with The Revs Institute’s 1962 Lotus 23. The six cars kept the shop team and driver Gunnar Jeannette especially busy. Targa 66 is a particularly valuable event for Revs because it gives the shop team a chance to shakedown many of the collection’s race cars that need to run but can’t be exercised on public roads. It also allows us to share the vehicles with an appreciative audience.
If you’d like to know more about Targa 66, or bring a car or two next February, check out the event’s website: https://gorace.com/Home.html
Please enjoy the following photo gallery of the event which we hope will give the reader a taste of the event and the many impressive cars in attendance.
The 982cc engine that protrudes from the rear of the Miles Collier Collections’ 1970 Fiat TC-R 1000 Berlina Corsa. Photo: David Santiago
This 1970 Fiat TC-R 1000 Berlina Corsa once belonged to Alfred S. Cosentino, who founded the FAZA (Fiat Abarth Zagato Allemano) racing team. The team’s livery is painted on the car. Photo: David Santiago
Racing driver Gunnar Jeannette suiting up before going out in the 1970 Fiat. Photo: David Santiago
A study in contrasts: the petite 1970 Fiat TC-R 1000 Berlina Corsa following a Shelby Cobra onto the track. Photo: David Santiago
The 1970 Fiat TC-R 1000 Berlina Corsa in full attack mode on the track at Targa 66. Photo: David Santiago
The Porsche 907 pulling out of the pits for its first track run since completion of a multi-year restoration. Photo: Johnny Miles
The 2196cc, flat-eight air-cooled engine in the Porsche 907. Photo: David Santiago
Two successful but differing approaches to motor racing: the 1970 Fiat TC-R 1000 Berlina Corsa and the 1968 Porsche 907. Photo: Johnny Miles
Firing up the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport. Photo: David Santiago
Gunnar Jeannette unleashing the full power of the Corvette Grand Sport on the track. Photo: David Santiago
Seeing the Corvette Grand Sport on the track makes one think about the success this car could have had if G.M. had lifted its ban on racing earlier. Photo: David Santiago
The Miles Collier Collections’ 1969 Porsche 908-2 Flunder. Photo: David Santiago
Gunnar Jeannette in the 908-2 Flunder passing an Elan DP01 Mazda Prototype. Photo: Johnny Miles
The flat-eight air-cooled engine in the Porsche 908-2 Flunder. Photo: Johnny Miles
Gunnar Jeannette behind the wheel of the 1958 Scarab Sports-Racer. Photo: Johnny Miles
The Scarab on the track at Palm Beach International Raceway. Photo: Johnny Miles
A 1991 Benetton B191 Formula 1 car, powered by a Series V Ford HB V8 engine. This particular car (B191-07) was restored in the livery that the Benetton team used in the 1991 Italian Grand Prix. Photo: David Santiago
This Jordan EJ13 Formula 1 car won the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, making it the last Ford Cosworth-powered Formula 1 car to win a race. Photo: Johnny Miles
Whenever the Jordan Formula 1 car took to the track, its distinctive shriek attracted a big crowd. Photo: Johnny Miles
A Leyton House liveried Porsche 962. Photo: Johnny Miles
This image shows the diversity of the cars at Targa 66, from a Lola T70 Spyder to a Ferrari 1512 Formula 1 racecar to a recent Porsche GT3. Photo: Johnny Miles
A Lola T70 Mark 3B on the track. Photo: David Santiago
A vintage Formula 5000 racer leads a Porsche 910 through a turn at Palm Beach International Raceway. Photo: David Santiago
One of three Ferrari 1512 Formula 1 cars made between 1964 and 1965. Photo: Johnny Miles
The 1.5-liter V12 in this Ferrari 1512 made the most wonderful noise as it raced around the track at Targa 66. Photo: Johnny Miles
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Johnny Miles is a lifelong car enthusiast. He taught 8th grade 20th Century History at St. Albans School in Washington, DC for seven years and recently graduated from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He was introduced to classic cars at a young age when his grandfather unearthed an old stack of car brochures, including one from Johnny’s now favorite marque, the Czechoslovakian manufacturer Tatra. He and his wife Lauren both enjoy the hobby together.