Thursday, 1st of July
TARGA Great Barrier Reef is returning for a fourth running from the 2nd to the 5th of September. Organisers have released the proposed course for 2021 today, pending final approval in the weeks ahead.
With many signature TARGA stages such as Gillies Range and Kuranda Range reappearing in 2021, there are also some exciting additions to this year’s course, in an effort to support the events ongoing growth. With local communities still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, TARGA hopes to bring some energy back to Cairns with new stages and events for the public to enjoy.
In a first ever for Queensland, fans will get to see the cars in action like never before, with two brand new TARGA Super Stages. The first will kick off TARGA Great Barrier Reef at the Cairns Showgrounds on Thursday 2nd September, and the second will conclude the event as the final stage, in a thrilling finale around the streets of Innisfail on Sunday 5th September.
The Official Finish and TARGAfest will be combined to create a truly unique event at Fogerty Park on Sunday 5th of September. This will be completely free and open to the public, with the intention of bringing car lovers together for an incredible viewing experience, and as this event also falls on Father’s Day, it will provide an excellent opportunity for families to get out and about. After the roaring success of the TARGA cavalcade in 2020, organisers are bringing it back in 2021 on Friday 3rd September. This year, the event will take on a new route to bring TARGA to different parts of Cairns. The course for this event is due to be released in the weeks ahead, once final preparations are completed.
TARGA CEO Mark Perry said “We managed to get the event up and running last year in spite of almost blanket lockdowns, and whilst we are not on the other side yet, we need to start the rebuild and provide new opportunities for the public of FNQ to continue to enjoy the event. The new Super Stages will provide excitement not seen at TGBR before and will bring TARGA competition right into Cairns for the first time along with giving Innisfail a signature international event right in the heart of town on Father’s Day. We have worked hard in recent months to ensure that TARGA fans get to see more action than ever before.”
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said TARGA Great Barrier Reef had become one of the premier events on the Cairns calendar and the new super stage component would deliver an exciting experience for spectators. “Part of the attraction of TARGA is that residents can get up close to high performance vehicles which they would normally only see on racetracks. This year, the addition of the super stage car rally at the Cairns Showgrounds will give residents an opportunity to see the cars in a race car setting as the make their way around a circuit within the grounds.” Mr. Manning said. “Event season is in full swing for Cairns and our Council is committed to supporting events like TARGA Great Barrier Reef which continue to attract visitors to our city and showcase all our great region has to offer.”
Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor Mark Nolan said the region welcomes the influx of visitor’s that TARGA will draw in, with the event accentuating the unique landscapes and historic townships of Innisfail and the surrounding areas. “The opportunities and exposure events like TARGA bring to our region are invaluable, especially with this year’s event showing an extensive vision of Innisfail that will appear on TARGA’s television show. TARGA will be broadcasted to more than 180 countries and in contrast to former years, is hoping to highlight the individual town’s unique street scapes. This year’s Super Stages will bring the action into the Far North and allow Innisfail and its historical buildings and art deco aesthetic to be more closely showcased in this signature event. More than 1,000 people will visit the region from around the country and our local economy will see a great boost with similar events in Australia having an estimate total value of around $1.75 million between direct spending and national and international exposure.”
TARGA Great Barrier Reef will yet again become the opening round of the Motorsport Australia TARGA Championship this year, which will see all of the leading teams and cars in action after they were unable to attend last year due to border closures. This means that a larger-than-usual field of highly competitive teams will be in attendance, typically reserved for TARGA Tasmania.
TARGA Great Barrier Reef kicks off on September 2nd with a Super Stage at the Cairns Showgrounds; tickets will be on sale from 9th August. The event finishes with TARGAfest and the world’s largest champagne shower on September 5th at Fogerty Park.