2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

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2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:36 pm

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http://www.targa.com.au

Date: 6th - 11th May

State: Tasmania

2014 Targa Tasmania <Supp Regs>

2014 Targa Tasmania <Course>

2014 Targa Tasmania <Entry List>
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:11 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Regularity a fierce battle of wits

Have you always dreamed about entering Targa Tasmania but aren't sure if you are ready for the main game, or your car doesn't have a roll cage? Or perhaps you have been racing for years and are looking for a different challenge? Well we have the perfect answer for you - our Regularity competition.
inShare.0 The great thing about Regularity is that all vehicles, whether they be Classic or Modern, are each given the same time average speed to contend with, creating parity amongst the field. The trick is maintaining an overall average speed on completion of each stage without going over the restricted 130k speed limit, all whilst still negotiating each corner and bump on the road throughout each stage. This requires a great partnership within the cabin, mathematical calculation and precision driving and as such, the competition becomes a battle of wits.

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Regularity has been gaining momentum since it was launched in 2011. Targa Tasmania 2014 will prove to be our biggest field yet with thirteen competitors already signed up to campaign. Targa Tasmania has always brought a diverse field of cars and regularity is no exception, with Richard Davis's 2008 HSV W427 currently leading the Regularity Championship, a beautiful old classic of Bruce Pollock's 1970's Triumph Stag, to the seamless lines of Chris Waldock's 2012 Jaguar XKRS. Regularity offers a fantastic competitive price point with the launch fee starting from just $3,990. This competition offers the opportunity to experience every stage of Targa, in quite a unique style of tarmac rallying, perhaps bringing a new meaning to the 'Ultimate Tarmac Rally?
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:12 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Targa Tasmania 6 MAY – 11 MAY 2014

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This years Targa Tasmania is set to be very special. For the first time since 2000 Targa Tasmanian will be under new ownership, we are looking forward to it as much as you. We are confident we will deliver a fantastic event to ensure your Targa Experience is the best it can be. We are thrilled to see our entry list includes many loyal competitors, and we thank you for their support.
inShare.0 Once again Targa Tasmania will kick off with the Temco Prologue in Georgetown to seed the field and impress the crowds with fancy hand waving! The finish will take place at Wrest Point Casino in the state's capital, Hobart.

This year's course will be similar to last year with some new but improved subtle differences. Most notably, leg five has been modified to shorten the amount of touring down to the finish line in Hobart, while still providing stages to run to keep competitors alert and on the pace right until the very end. New to 2014 are Westwood, Legerwood Reverse, Ellendale, Molesworth and Grass Tree Hill Reverse. Also new will be the running of the very last stage of the competition, Grass Tree Hill in reverse, which we hope will inspire excitement. Reconnaissance notes are on the website as is the course map.

For the first time since 2004 the event will be run in May, which will likely bring with it some cooler weather and possibly a little wild action, particularly out on the rugged west coast. Maybe even some snow in the mix? While many service crews might be cursing the early morning frost, it's quite possible that many competitors will be excited by the idea of rain. Historically the rain has proven to be a game-changer amongst the field and of course amongst the leaders. Will we see yet another winner to close out the 2013/2014 series?

Once again the Classic field is proving to be the heart and soul of the event with a spread of interesting makes and models. The current top three places for the Championship are a 1973 Datsun 1200 a 1963 Jensen CV8 and a 1975 Ford Escort RS2000 just for starters.

Targa Tasmania is the pinnacle of the series and it evokes strong feelings in all of us for different reasons, whether it be the championship hanging in the balance, conquering that truly epic stage one more time, or the determination to cross the finish line any way you can… or maybe it's that undefinable feeling that keeps us coming back…. see you soon!

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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:57 am

www.targa.com.au wrote:Richards in Showroom Sports with Porsche Cayman S
31-Mar-2014 Tracey Button

Long term competitors Jim Richards and Barry Oliver will campaign a new Porsche Cayman S in their quest for class honours at the upcoming 2014 Targa Tasmania, to be held from May 6 to 11.

The pair will contest the Showroom Sports category for the first time in their long Targa career. Both having missed just one Targa, in 1992, in the event's entire 22-year history.

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Jim Richards taking the Cayman S through it's paces at the Grand Prix earlier this month (image courtesy of Perfect Prints). Jim Richards has said he is excited to be showing off the Cayman S, putting it through its paces over the challenging five day course.

"We want to try to promote this end of the Porsche range and show that you can still have all the power, handling and prestige of a Porsche without the top end price tag of the GT2 and the Showroom Sports competition provides the perfect platform," Jim said.

After debuting the car at Targa Tasmania, the pair will contest the whole CAMS Australian Targa Championship next season, which encompasses Targa Adelaide and Targa High Country in 2014, and Targa Wrest Point and the 24th Targa Tasmania in 2015.

Image kindly supplied by Targa Tasmania official event photographer Perfect Prints, p: 03 6224 2220 or visit 100 Collins St, Hobart or www.perfectprints.com.au.


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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:41 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Who will win the 2014 Targa Tasmania?
18-Apr-2014

The demise of the fast but fragile Lamborghinis leaves the winning circle open this year. Who are the top contenders?

A late entry by Tony Quinn has prompted some idle speculation by me on who will be the outright winner of Targa Tasmania for 2014. We have a number of contenders. With good previous form I am inclined to view the Quinn/Catford Nissan GTR as the favourite but Glenney /Webb will press them, provided they finish and the same goes for Close/Mourant in the Audi TT RS+ .

The White's Lamborghini being out for the count has resulted in their entry in an Evo IX. However this has not been a lucky car, having suffered many off road excursions in the hands of the previous owner and even Jason had a big drama while competing in the recent Poatina Mountain Race when the Evo laid down in a ditch to have a little rest.

Jim Richards & Barry Oliver would have kept them all honest but is in the Showroom Sports category in a Porsche Cayman S. They should be a shoo-in to win that class. I don't believe that being confined to this class means that Jim is not able to put up a winning time but the stock Cayman should not be anywhere near as quick as his 911. It will be very interesting to see how this car goes in the hands of great driver. Jim and Barry have an enviable finishing record as well as being in great form.

Pity Kevin Weeks has not entered (yet) as this may have been his year in the Lamborghini. A great shame that we will not hear that fantastic engine wailing through the mountains in 2014.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:07 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Rickards chases Targa Tasmania victory
29-Apr-2014

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Fresh from his maiden victory at Targa Wrest Point in February, Hobart’s Matt Rickards has his sights set on upsetting the more fancied runners in this month’s Targa Tasmania.

An electrician by trade, Rickards has fully rebuilt his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 ahead of "the big one", and is full of confidence, despite having only contested the event once before.

That was in 2012 when he drove for the factory Mazda team, but it was an event he'd rather forget with a number of problems throughout.

"Targa Tasmania is all very new to me, but I'm hoping that the car will be reliable and that we have done enough reconnaissance to get a good understanding of the stages," Rickards said.

"We've already spent five or six days writing our pacenotes, and we'll put in another three or four days driving the stages before the event."

Rickards and co-driver, Michael Potter, were surprise winners at Targa Wrest Point, but they are a combination that have been knocking on the door for some time, and have often shown that they have the pace to challenger the leaders.

With no chance of winning the CAMS Australian Targa Championship (of which this is the final round), Rickards can concentrate on driving fast and aiming for the Targa Tasmania victory.

"Of course we'll be driving as hard as we can and aiming for an outright win or a place on the podium, but it certainly won't be easy.

"Steve Glenney will be the man to catch in his Nissan GT-R, but Jason White (Mitsubishi), Tony Quinn (Nissan) and Matt Close (Audi) will also be very fast.

"We just need to make sure that we keep the pressure on and don't give them too much of a head start early in the event.

"If we keep the pressure on, there's more chance that others can have mechanical problems, which could work to our advantage," he added.

Richards' team have made a number of suspension changes to the Lancer Evo 9 in the lead up to Targa, hoping to improve the car's turn-in, and improving its speed through corners.

The car suffered no mechanical problems in February, and with everything rebuilt, Rickards believes that the car will be up to the job.

"We blew an engine in Adelaide last year, and then had more engine dramas at Targa High Country, but the car was perfect in Targa Wrest Point, so we're hoping it will be in this event as well.

"It's a long event though, so we just need to make sure we get to the finish and see where we end up from there."

Being a Tasmanian, he's not too fussed by what weather conditions are thrown up, although he admits that he prefers the dry running, and the forecast will have a bearing on which tyres they use.

"We're restricted in the number of tyres we can use," he explains. "If it's dry then we can get away with medium compound tyres, but if there's wet weather predicted then we'll have to go with a mix of mediums and softs."

Like everyone else, Rickards will be watching the weather forecast closely in the lead up to Australia's biggest, and best, tarmac rally.

After a prologue stage in George Town on Tuesday, May 6, Targa Tasmania runs over five days, from May 7 to 11. The event starts in Launceston, where it is based for the first three days, before heading down the west coast to Strahan for two nights. The final day sees the field travel east to Hobart, for the Sunday afternoon finish at Wrest Point.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:16 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:North-West to star
30-Apr-2014

The roads of the North-West and West Coasts will be the real stars of Targa Tasmania when the iconic motorsport event blasts off for the 23rd time next week.

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Burnie's Jamie Vandenberg Targa Tasmania on show on North-West roads

Considered to have some of the best roads for tarmac rallying in the world, the region will host more than 60% of the event, with 25 of the 39 competitive stages being held on the North-West or West Coasts between May 6-11.

Competitors won't have to wait long to experience some of the region's demanding roads, with Day One action heading straight to the North-West Coast from the event's Launceston base, and featuring stages at Sheffield, Nook, Merseylea, Moriarty, Paloona and Mount Roland, with a lunch stop at Railton.

Day Two of competition (Thursday) will take the field to the East Coast and North-East of the State, returning to the North-West and West Coasts the following day.

Friday's action will include a lunch stop at Ulverstone and stages at Mole Creek, Cethana, Castra, Isundula, Oldina, Hellyer Gorge, Tullah and Strahan, where competitors will stop overnight for two nights, following on from last year's successful two-night Strahan format, used for the first time.

On Day Four (Saturday), the field will return from Strahan to the North-West Coast, with a lunch stop at Burnie and compete over stages near Tullah, the Reece Dam, Hellyer Gorge, Natone , Riana and Rosebery, returning to Strahan again overnight, before the final-day push into Hobart for a champagne finish at the Wrest Point Casino, following stages at Strahan, Queenstown, Mount Arrowsmith and Tarraleah.

Local knowledge could come in handy for a number of North-West Coastal teams competing, especially with the event also counting as the double-points final round of the 2013-2014 Australian Targa Championship series.

Defending Targa Tasmania champions and reigning Australian Targa champions Jason and John White will be hoping their local knowledge could give them an edge.

The Devonport-based nephew and uncle team will campaign a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, after their Lamborghini Gallado, suffered a well-publicised $200,000-plus fire in round three of the series, Targa Wrest Point, in January.

However, regional knowledge may not be enough, with one of their biggest threats also a local.

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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Sun May 04, 2014 10:11 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Experienced Dave enters Rookie Rallye
02-May-2014

Dave Thompson is no stranger to rallying and no stranger to racing unusual or iconic cars – but mainly on gravel roads.

The Devonport-based driver has been competing in the forests of Tasmania and the mainland for more than 31 years, but will make his Targa Tasmania debut next week in the Rookie Rally section of the iconic tarmac rally event.

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A regular in Tasmanian and Australian Rally Championship series, Thompson has built a cult following among the sports enthusiasts, often through his choice of vehicle, including a former Holden Dealer Team L-34 Torana, converted into a rally car, which was a crowd favourite with Tasmanian rally fans during the late 1980s.

Thompson has also contested rounds of the Australian Rally Championship in a Triumph TR-7 and last year competed in selected events in New Zealand in a Ford Falcon GT.

Despite winning the Australian Rally Championship in two classes in 2002, Thompson has until now resisted the challenge of the nation’s most demanding tarmac rally.

“My son had a go at Targa Tasmania a couple of years ago, so I thought it was time I had a crack,” Thompson said.

Thompson will compete in the Rookie Rally section of Targa Tasmania, which is open to first-timers and held over the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday), of next week’s event.

However, the rookie tag will come as a bit of surprise to motorsport enthusiasts who have followed his exploits.

“It’s a very long time since I’ve been called a rookie and some people won’t believe it, but if you’ve never done a Targa-type event before, then you are classified as a rookie,” Thompson said.

“It’s a toe in the water thing for me this year and I’ll look very seriously at doing the full event next year,” he said.

Thompson will compete in a 1989 Nissan R-32 GTR, commonly referred to as the “Godzilla” car, identical to the car in which Mark Skaife and Jim Richards won Bathurst.

In fact the vehicle was a factory-prepared Nissan raced in Malaysia and was a sister-car to the Skaife-Richards Nissan.

As a tribute to the Bathurst-conquering Nissans, Thompson has painted the car in the Nissan Racing livery of the time.

“It’s a proper works-car and it only weights 1300kg, so it’s very light for one of these - it’s got heaps of power with its twin-turbo engine and it’s a lot of fun to drive,” Thompson said.

“It will attract a lot of interest I reckon – if the weather is dry it will be competitive, but if it’s wet, it might be a bit of a handful.”

Joining Thompson in the car will be first-timer Chris Dean, of Ulverstone, who stepped in at the last moment on Wednesday when regular long-time navigator Matthew Sanders took ill.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Mon May 05, 2014 10:27 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Commodore looks ready for action
05-May-2014

Sydney driver Adam Kaplan came to Tasmania to compete in this week’s Targa Tasmania, but has found himself involved in another race – against time.

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The big V8 on show

Kaplan damaged the engine in his beloved V8 Commodore at the official shakedown at Symmons Plains Raceway yesterday and is racing against time to repair the car in time for today’s Temco Prologue at George Town.

One of his main motivations in wanting to make the start is because, like many Aussie motorsport fans, he believes there’s nothing better than a V8 Holden.
The Holden dealership owner is naturally a Holden man through and through, taking his passion above and beyond the call of duty.

His car has been painted in identical colours to the 1990 Bathurst-winning Commodore raced by Alan Grice and Win Percy.

“It was originally my company car when it as brand new in 1988,” Adam said.

“We’ve done a hell of a lot work on it, including a complete rebuild four years ago,” he said.

“It was an iconic car for its time and the drivers were legends.”

“It was one of my favourite eras of Bathurst and one of my favourite cars, so I couldn’t think of a better look for the car.”

While Adam has raced the car in the early modern category of Targa Tasmania for the past three years, he can’t remember where he finished in the field.

“I honestly can’t remember – we just come to have fun,” he said.

The look of the car ensures it attracts a crowd wherever Targa Tasmania stops.

“It’s an Aussie favourite – it’s noisy and it’s a V8 and it’s got heaps and heaps of power,” Adam said.

“Yeah, it draws a crowd wherever we go,” he said.

Hopefully, it still will later this week.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Mon May 05, 2014 10:29 pm

Old Holdens never die
05-May-2014

Before V8 Holdens and Fords hit the racetracks of Australia, the circuits were populated in the 1950s by FX and FJ Holdens and Ford Customlines, among other makes.

It’s where the now traditional Ford v Holden rivalry started.

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For those old enough to remember the cars, any chance to see one again always evokes interest and revives stories of past glories.

Historic touring car fans won’t have to look far during this week’s Targa Tasmania, with the immaculately prepared 1948 Holden FX 215 of Victorian husband and wife team Paul and Christine Freestone guaranteed to be one of the real head-turners in the early classic section of the event.

A former Australian truck racing and GT production car champion, Paul Freestone, and his wife have competed in previous Targa events in everything from a brand new V8 Holden Monaro to a 1950s classic Austin Healey.

However, for the past three years, the pair has competed in the 1948 model Holden, which in its day, was affectionately nick-named “The Humpy.”

Paul explained that both of his and Christine’s fathers either owned or raced FJ and FX Holdens, which had a fair bit to do with their most recent choice of Targa car.

“We also believe the real spirit of Targa isn’t really about what’s happening at the front of the field, but more about the chance to see rare and classic cars in action,” he said.

“Our car is something many of us can relate to when we were younger.”

“It’s a bit of a crowd favourite and a lot of fun and it goes really well for what it is.”

Paul said his car had been re-built to fit into the modified sport section of early classic competition.

“It’s a fairly competitive car, but not a classic outright contender, because it’s too hard on tyres,” he said.

“We finished third on handicap (early classic) and sixth (classic) outright last year – which was amazing for the car – and the year before we were fifth outright and second in handicap,” he said.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Mon May 05, 2014 10:31 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Like a brick on wheels
05-May-2014

Many drivers competing in this week’s Targa Tasmania have chosen to do in cars that can handle the tight, twisty and demanding roads of the iconic motorsport event. But West Australian competitor Mike Moylan definitely isn’t one of them.

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Mike and navigator Don Behets will be campaigning in an unlikely 1963 Ford Galaxie Factory Lightweight replica in the early classic section of the event.

However, like many onlookers, the car’s owner is also left scratching his head as to why he’s in something more like a brick on wheels than a light and nimble high-performance rally car.

“I’m not sure why I’ve chosen it – it’s just a big car and it’s fun to drive,” Mike said.

“It’s got massive horsepower and big brakes – it’s a bit of a handful, but it’s just so much fun,” he said.

“We usually finish mid-field, but we mainly do this for fun – if we wanted to be really competitive we wouldn’t do the event in this car.”

Mike is an old hand at Targa and has competed almost 20 times, usually in a large and ageing Ford.

His current entry is about 300kg lighter than his previous Ford, which was an even bigger handful.

“This one’s much lighter – if you bought a Factory Lightweight in 1964, it came with aluminium bumpers, fibreglass doors, boot and bonnet and a lighter chassis,” he said.

Mike’s Ford also sports the distinctive teardrop shaped bonnet scoop of the day, which, to many motoring enthusiasts, instantly identifies it as a Factory Lightweight.

Despite being named a Lightweight, the Ford is anything but light and still weighs in at around 1700kg.

While logic would suggest the car would be easier to handle on dry roads, Mike doesn’t mind the wet either.

“It’s really hard on brakes and tyres, so you can look after them a bit better in the wet,” he said. “A couple of wet days are usually good for us.”
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Mon May 05, 2014 10:32 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Let the show begin ....
05-May-2014

When Targa Tasmania started 23 years ago, its founder John Large described it as “a multi-million dollar motor show on wheels.”

Hundreds of thousands of Tasmanians have since witnessed the event, which still shows no signs of slowing down, as the 2014 edition gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday).

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Jason White talks to the media at Symmons Plains

A number of competitors put their cars through their final paces at Symmons Plains Raceway earlier today, with the 150-car field to leave the Country Club Tasmania in Launceston tomorrow morning for a warm-up closed-road stage at Kayena before the 4.1km Temco Prologue around the streets of George Town.


Early dramas included a damaged engine for Sydney driver Adam Kaplan’s 1988 Holden HSV Group A SS Commodore, with his team working desperately to get the car repaired in time for the event start.


The event proper will blast off on Wednesday with eight stages encompassing the North and North-West of the state, starting from Launceston with a lunch stop at Railton before returning to Launceston, with stages near Westwood, High Plains, Sheffield, Nook, Moriarty, Paloona, and Mt Roland.


The six-day event will finish in Hobart on Sunday after covering almost 2000km with 37 closed-road competitive stages along the way.


Lunch stops will be also held at St Helens on Thursday, Ulverstone on Friday, Burnie on Saturday and Tarraleah on Sunday.


This year’s competition is broken down into 11 categories, catering for classic and modern cars ranging from 1934 to modern and brand new showroom competitions.


In addition to outright modern and classic sections, the categories also include handicap competitions in early classic, late classic and early modern classes.


The event is also the fourth and final double-points round of the Australian Targa Championship.
Defending champions and defending Targa Tasmania winners Jason and John White, will compete in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, after their Lamborghini Gallardo caught fire, causing more than $200,000 worth of damage in the third round of the championship, Targa Wrest Point, in January.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Tue May 06, 2014 9:21 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Prologue over: The test is all ahead
06-May-2014

After a devastating week where he lost both his father and grandfather, reigning champion Jason White has bounced back to set the fastest time in the official Temco Prologue in George Town on the opening day of Targa Tasmania.

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It’s been a tough year for White, whose $600,000 Lamborghini was burnt to the ground at Targa Wrest Point in February. But the local hope looked at home in his replacement Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, finishing the 4.8 kilometre stage 2.8 seconds quicker than the man considered his greatest rival for the modern crown, Steve Glenney.

Glenney’s Nissan GT-R was 3.8 seconds clear of another former winner, Tony Quinn, the Queenslander also in a GT-R.

Victorian Matt Close, in an Audi TT RS, rounded out the top modern contenders in fourth place, with all four expected to fight it out when the real action begins on Wednesday morning.

“Winning the prologue was always important for my father,” White said. “The old man always loved a prologue victory and would have a tear in his eye, so we couldn’t really ease into it – we had to go for broke right from the start.”

“I was impressed with our run today – we were only two seconds slower than the Lamborghini.”

“It was probably a bit irresponsible as far as tyre-wear goes and there’s no way we will be able to maintain that pace all the way to Hobart.”

Glenney was happy with his opening effort at Targa Tasmania.

“I’d love to go hard early and break their hearts, but Targa is a long event so you’ve got to manage tyres and car and components, so it’s a bit of a balancing act between that and speed,” Glenney said.

“We’ve got a couple of stages in mind where that we think will really suit the car, so we’ll press on there and see if we can gain some time in those.”

In the battle of the classics, Peter Ullrich set the pace, in his magnificent 1963 Jensen CV8, finishing 4.7 seconds quicker than Ted Banks’1971 Porsche 916.

Andrew Miedecke is expected to be the pace setter on the opening leg north of Launceston tomorrow, but he was more conservative in his approach on the opening day.

“We’re fairly confident in the car’s reliability and I’ve just got to make sure I don’t make any mistakes,” Miedecke said.

“This is a very testing and arduous event and anybody who finishes without a problem has done a very, very good job.”

Keeping the local fans happy was Launceston’s Ben Newman, fastest in Showroom 4WD in his Subaru WRX STI.

“We love Targa Tasmania just like everyone else – it’s the pinnacle, the grand final and it’s all about winning this event.”

“But it’s a long rally and there are a couple of thousand corners between here and Hobart, so we plan to enjoy it foremost and just see where we end up.

Another crowd favourite was the 1934 Ford Indy Car Special of Graham Copeland, the official Flag Car that led the field away from the official start at Country Club Tasmania on Tuesday morning.

“I’m glad Targa has recognised it is a genuine historic car and given us the honour of being official flag car,” Copeland said.

“I love these old jiggers and I used to love watching them and numbers are falling away, so I wanted to show my support.”

The two Vintage cars in the field tied in the Prologue. The 1938 Dodge Speedster Special driven by Wayne Clark looks set to push Copeland all the way.

But Copeland and Clark, like the rest of the 180-stong field, face an epic drive across Tasmania before finishing in Hobart on Sunday.
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Re: 2014 Targa Tasmania - May 6th - 11th

Postby Catford on Wed May 07, 2014 8:27 pm

www.targa.com.au wrote:Perfect day for Targa opening
07-May-2014

There may still be four days to run but 2008 winner Steve Glenney has given notice that he is the man to beat in this year’s modern section at Targa Tasmania with an impressive opening day drive in his Nissan GT-R.

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Andrew Miedecke is leading Classic and Early Classic

Glenney opened up a 27-second buffer over the remainder of the field, with Victorian Matt Close second in his Audi TT RS and defending champion Jason White third, a further three seconds back.


The first eight competitive stages north and west of Launceston were conducted in near perfect driving conditions.


In the Classic car competition former Tasmanian touring car driver Andrew Miedecke was in a class of his own, taking his 1971 Ford Perana to a one minute 24 second lead over South Australia Craig Haysman in a Triumph TR7 V8.


Jim Richards was supreme in his newly adopted class, Showroom Sports, steering his Porsche Cayman S to a two minute 33 second lead over Michael Minshall’s Audi.


In a tight tussle, Clinton Arentz in a Mitsubishi Evo X leads Showroom 4WD by just three seconds over local hope, Ben Newman, in a Subaru WRX STI.


Glenney showed his class on the day’s third stage, Sheffield, crossing the 15- kilometre tarmac test 16 seconds quicker than his rivals.


“I loved the Sheffield stage today,” Glenney said. “It’s a stage I’ve liked a lot over the years.”


“There’s spots where there’s time to be made, a lot of corners and crests and tricky bits, so we pressed on and it was nice to gain some time through there.”


“The car’s going alright, it complains a little bit when we thrash it, but most cars have every right to do that.”


Defending champion Jason White is still in the mix, but he knows the Lancer Evo 9 that he’s driving is not quite the Lamborghini that took him to victory in each of the past two years.


“We’re really starting to warm-up to this car gradually and getting used to the very different aspects of this compared to the Lambo,” White said.


“The higher roll centre is taking some getting used to in the fast stuff, but it’s still quite good, so I think it’s fast enough to keep us around where we are in the field at the moment.”


“We’re more than happy with our stage times and position in the field – it’s better than we thought it would be.”


Meidecke is a perfectionist and is committed to getting the most out of his Les Walkden Rallying- prepared Ford V8.


“It’s going well, apart from our wheel spin issues,” Miedecke said.


“We made a few changes to the rear suspension after lunch, which made a bit of improvement and we’ll make a few more tonight, which should make it better for tomorrow.”

“We need to conserve the rear tyres and get the power onto the ground.”


Miedecke also leads Early Classic Handicap ahead of Peter Ullrich’s 1963 Jensen CV8. Canberra’s Barry Faux leads Late Classic in his 1981 Mazda RX-7.


The highly competitive Early Modern class is lead by Tasmanian Ben Manion in a 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-t and Craig Dean heads Modern Muscle Cars in his 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.


Early Showroom leader Adam Spence had an off just before lunch, handing the lead to fellow Renault driver, Andrew Bollom.


The Vintage Rallye sees the Flag Car, the 1934 Ford Indy Car Special of Graham Copeland, 42 seconds clear of the 1938 Dodge Speedster Special of Wayne Clark.


Devonport’s Dave Thompson is looking to hold on to his lead in the Rookie Rallye that concludes tomorrow.


Day two of Targa Tasmania takes the 180-strong field from Launceston out to St Helens on the east coast and back, finishing with a street stage in historic Longford.
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