Wednesday, 06 May 2009 02:53

Targa Tasmania

Written by  Richard Abey
18th Running of Australia's Ultimate Tarmac Rally Richard Abey

Targa Tasmania has been Australia's Ultimate Tarmac Rally since 1992.

References used for this article were taken from two principal sources: (1) The Official souvenir/program Magazine, and (2) The Examiner newspaper, from Launceston, Devonport and Hobart. (he newspaper provided photos and information including an article written by Barry Oliver, Jim Richards' navigator, which gave an insight into the role of the navigator apart from making up ballast, as he described it. 

Motormarques' Richard Abey brought home some 600 photographs. Making a final selection for this article was a teasing if rewarding job.

We begin with our head photo, showing rookies Brian Shearer (driver), Brett Stanistreet (navigator) facing a cold/wet wekend in their 2003 Westfield SE Megabird, powered by a Honda 1137 cc motorcycle engine.  

 Klaus Bischof -
1960 P0rsche 345 GT
 Martin Utber/Mike Kaye -
1961 Vauxhall Cresta
 John Siddins/Darren Ferguson -
1970 Datsun 240Z
 Wayne Clark/Roger Richardson -
1961 Jaguar E Type
 Robert Gambino/Matthew Reid -
1976 Ferrari 308 GT
 Tim Lynos/Alan Letcher -
1965 Ford Mustang GT 350
 Todd Zoni/Michael Kennedy -
2002 HSV Maloo
 Peter Ulrich/Sari Ulrich -
1963 Jensen CV8
 Jason White/John White -
2007 Lamborghini Gallardo

Car number 147, our head photo, is a Westfield two-seater sports car powered by a 1137 cc Honda motorcycle engine that develops 300 bhp. Brian Shearer and Brett Stanistreet, in their first ever Targa outing commented: "If we'd go fast enough, the rain will go over our heads." The event certainly started in cold weather with snow on Mt Barrow, and the weather forecast promising cold and damp conditions.
About 280 contestants entered the rally which covers 460 competitive kilometres.
Subaru Impreza WRX were common entries along with various versions of Mitsubishi, Ford, Holden, Porsche, Mazda, Datsun/Nissan, Minis old and new, BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Jaguar marque's predominating. Daytona, Bolwell, Riley, Volvo, Fiat, Vauxhall, Steyr Puch, Morgan, Renault, Skelta, Lotus and a Davrian were among the rare or less common.
This years winner, Scotsman Tony Quinn, commented later that driving an event like the Targa Tasmania was more exciting than circuiit racing (for which he is also well known) because in circuit racing you get to drive only 3 or 4 races in a day, whereas in this event you are driving further and longer, days at a time. (See photo at the end of this story)

 Graeme Beaupeurt -
2007 Daytona Coupe
 Steven Westwood/Michael Ryalls
 1975 Mercedes Benz 350 SLC
 Mac Russell/Marjorie Russell -
1976 Morgan Plus 8
 Klaus Bischof - 1960 Porsche 356 GT  Ted Banks/Alex Banks -
1971 Porsche 916
 Andrew Clark/Michael Clark -
in the flag car - 1937 Riley
Brooklands Special
 David Currow/Luigi Amori -
1965 Steyr Puch TR Europa
 Bill Griffiths/Kerry Autry
1936 Roesch Talbot BG110 
 Mike Batten/Paul Batten -
1961 Volvo PV 544

  Winner of 2009 Targa Tasmania - Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett - 2008 Nissan GTR
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