TARGA moves dates to maximise impact

In order to maximise the impact of TARGA Tasmania’s 30th anniversary event, organisers have reverted to a traditional late April date to move beyond any likely COVID-19 restrictions.

The event was due to move to an earlier time-slot in 2022 – from March 8 to 13 – but will now be held from Tuesday April 26 to Sunday May 1.

The later date also facilitates the running of TARGA High Country from February 11 to 13, the same slot used earlier this year for the Mt Buller-based event, and away from the scheduled November 2021 dates that were likely to still be heavily impacted by COVID-19 protocols.

TARGA Australia CEO Mark Perry said the new dates buy both events vital time for Australian states to move beyond severe pandemic restrictions.

“The 30th running of TARGA Tasmania is a huge opportunity for everyone who has been involved over the years to join in and celebrate this magnificent milestone,” Perry said.

“Our competitors and tour participants come from all over Australia, and people need certainty in planning their travel and confidence that the event will take place.

“This new schedule buys everyone an additional seven weeks and in our early survey of competitors this was welcomed, seen as a real plus.

“We want to make the 30th anniversary something special – the event of the year for motorsport and car enthusiasts. We have some exciting things planned – not just for our entrants but all the TARGA fans in Tasmania as well.

“These might have been in doubt with a March event but now we can continue to build on our exciting plans to make the 30th TARGA Tasmania something really special.

“TARGA High Country is also an important event on our calendar and the February date will allow far more mainland competitors to take part than if we ran it in November this year as originally planned.

“So the date moves are a win, win. Great for TARGA Tasmania and also for TARGA High Country and great for competitors and also TARGA enthusiasts.”

TARGA Tasmania will get underway on Tuesday April 26, with participants spending the first three nights in Launceston.

The competition cars will then spend the Friday and Saturday nights in Strahan, while Tour entries will stay in Cradle Mountain. The event will conclude in Hobart on Sunday May 1.

TARGA High Country will remain based out of Mt Buller, with three days of competition in Victoria’s north east, starting on Friday February 11 and finishing back in the alpine village on Sunday February 13.

Media contact details

Ian Chesterman – 0417 530 902 

Statement from Mark Perry, CEO of Targa Australia, following the release of the Investigatory Tribunal Report by Motorsport Australia

Thursday September 16, 2021

The Investigatory Tribunal was set up by Motorsport Australia after the tragic deaths in Targa Tasmania this year, and we again express our condolences to the family and friends of Shane Navin, Leigh Mundy and Dennis Neagle for the loss of their loved ones.

It is a loss still felt by everyone at Targa and that is why we welcomed the appointment of the Tribunal by Motorsport Australia and greatly appreciate the effort that has gone into its report.

We fully cooperated with the Tribunal, worked closely with Motorsport Australia and we thank all of the people who made a contribution to the report. We share a common goal to make tarmac rally events as safe as they can be.

We know that competitor safety, while understanding the inherent risks of motorsport, must be a priority for all of involved in our sport.

Targa Australia will now work with Motorsport Australia to implement all 23 recommendations from the Tribunal.

Targa Australia and Motorsport Australia are committed to running a highly successful 30th Anniversary Targa Tasmania event in March 2022. It is an event with wonderful history and together we will work to ensure its ongoing success for decades to come.

Some of the recommendations fall to us to implement, while others fall to Motorsport Australia as the controlling body. We will work together to have them implemented for Targa Tasmania in 2022.

Importantly, at Targa Great Barrier Reef earlier this month, seven of the 13 safety recommendations requiring Targa Australia’s response – around course design and top and average speeds – were already implemented.

All parties understand that we have much to do in the coming months but we embrace the challenge that will see safety at our events continue to evolve and improve.

The full Investigatory Tribunal Report can be read here.

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530 902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 99

Motorsport Australia and Mark Perry media conferences today

Thursday September 16, 2021

Following the release today of the report of the Investigatory Tribunal set up by Motorsport Australia after the fatalities at Targa Tasmania this year, Mark Perry, Targa Australia CEO, will be available at an all-in interview opportunity in the Harbour Room at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Hobart at 3:00pm today, Thursday September 16.

Motorsport Australia is also conducting a media opportunity via Zoom – 2pm AEST
Who: Eugene Arocca, Motorsport Australia CEO
Where: Zoom Meeting (details below)
When: 2pm AEST, Thursday 16 September

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85166130191?pwd=aVk1MnkxRytLclBGSS9xdmE1dEwvdz09
Meeting ID: 851 6613 0191
Passcode: 191717 
Media may also join the Motorsport Australia call by phone, email priordan@motorsport.org.au for dial in details.

For more information on the TARGA media opportunity, please contact Ian Chesterman (0417 530 902orianchesterman@sportcom.com.au)

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 99

What the winners said

credit: Otherside Productions // Simon Chapman

Our reporter caught up with the class winners following the fourth edition of TARGA Great Barrier Reef.

It’s Live in Queensland overall/It’s Live in Queensland GT Outright, Cairns Regional Council GT Production winner: 

Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi)

We had a red hot go and I drove the best I’ve ever driven and we caught him (Quinn) on the Palmerston run (TS 15),” Anear said.

“He wasn’t going to let me by and it was very satisfying. Then we managed to double the lead again on the next shorter stage.”

“Because the roads were damp we reckon the Subaru was the right car for the conditions.

“I’ve got to thank Ben Newman who gave me the car which was prepared by Buckby Motorsport on the proviso that ‘you go up there and win it’.

“If it wasn’t for those guys we wouldn’t have made it here so I can’t thank them enough.”

Dutton Garage Early Modern 2 winner:

Paolo Buccini/Claire Buccini (2008 BMW 135i)

“We had a bit of fun. It was a little bit greasy out there today but as long as you treated it with respect you were fine,” Buccini said.

“The stages were amazing and it was well organised. It was great.”

Dutton Garage Early Modern 4 winner:

Geoff Hewitt/Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R)

“Not quite the perfect weekend because if you look closely at the back and the front of the car on the driver’s side it wasn’t the best weekend we could have had,” Geoff Hewitt said, pointing to some scrapes.

“That was on the Palmerston stage so I guess it could have been worse but we are delighted to have won the class.”

Shannons Classic GT winner: 

Anthony Genocchio/Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore)

“We had a good first day and then on the second day it was dry up until the afternoon,” Genocchio explained.

“I didn’t really like the last two stages on Saturday because they were very wet so we eased off and got the car home.

“That’s where (Jon) Siddins put a minute on me I think on the Palmerston stage. We were having a good battle in the dry but unfortunately he had some mechanical issues (gearbox).

“I’ve had plenty of those and not finished so I have plenty of sympathy for them.”

Shannons Classic Handicap winner:

Patrick Barnett/Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina)

“Very enjoyable event and couldn’t be happier.” 

Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy winner:

Geoffrey Olholm/Matthew Sanders (2019 Toyota Supra GTS)

“The car was really strong in wet conditions. Matthew (co-driver) is from Adelaide and has never been here before so the course was new to him,” Olholm said.

“So Matthew did a great job calling the notes. I was battling the Traction Control system all weekend and couldn’t turn it off.

“That meant I was losing time on the dry stages. But we are stoked to get the win.”

Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy winner:

Tim Hall/Kym Hall (1980 Holden Commodore)

“We had a bit of an incident on the Palmerston stage on the timber bridges and had a bit of an off and (hit) a bit of a wall,”

Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy winner:

Darryl Marshall/Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Pursuit Ute)

“It was on from the word go,” Darryl Marshall said.

“We really didn’t have a moment to ease off at all and had to be right on the ball the whole time. It was as exhausting an event as TARGA Tasmania.

“The three of us (second and third) fought it out the whole weekend. It was really entertaining.”

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye winner:

Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86)

“We had a ball. It was 10 times better than I thought it would be,” Lamont said.

credit: Otherside Productions // Simon Chapman

Anear sizzles to snatch last gasp TARGA victory

Sunday September 5, 2021

Luke Anear and Andy Sarandis unleashed a powerhouse finish to claim a gripping victory at the fourth running of TARGA Great Barrier Reef.

 Going into the final day 11 seconds off the lead, Anear and Saradis surged to the front with two stages remaining in their 2010 Subaru WRX STi, securing a breath-taking win in It’s Live in Queensland overall classification.The pair overhauled last year’s winners Tony Quinn and Brian Foster on the 27.98km Palmerston (15th of 17 stages) test, leaping to a 10 second lead before stretching the margin to 17 seconds at the finish.It was the perfect result for gravel and tarmac regular Anear who was forced into a vehicle change just ahead of the Cairns-based event after an accident in Tasmania to his exotic Mercedes AMG GT R.

Locals Steve Van Der Brug and Linda Rankine finished third overall in 2010 Subaru WRX STi.The top three positions were duplicated in GT Outright while Anear also snared Cairns Regional Council GT Production.

“We had a red hot go and I drove the best I’ve ever driven and we caught him (Quinn) on the Palmerston run (TS 15),” Anear said.

 “He wasn’t going to let me by and it was very satisfying. Then we managed to double the lead again on the next shorter stage.”“Because the roads were damp we reckon the Subaru was the right car for the conditions.“I’ve got to thank Ben Newman who gave me the car which was prepared by Buckby Motorsport on the proviso that ‘you go up there and win it’.”Jon and Gina Siddins were an early casualty after the opening Gillies Range stage when their 1970 Datsun 240Zencountered gearbox problems, cruelly seeing a potential win vanish in Shannons Classic GT.

 The demise of the Datsun left Anthony Genocchio and Robert Horsfall to secure a big victory in their 1983 Holden Commodore.It was a one-act affair in Shannons Classic with Patrick Barnett and Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina) picking up the victory.

Paolo and Claire Buccini guided their 2008 BMW 135i to a comfortable victory in Dutton Garage Early Modern 2, while Geoff and Toni Hewitt prevailed in Early Modern 4 in their beautifully prepared 2009 Nissan GT-R.

Geoffrey Olholm and Matthew Sanders completed the event to take the win in Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy, finishing 2 minutes 16 seconds ahead of Gwesyn Dalliston and Robert Goodwin (2003 Nissan 350Z).

Picking up from where they left off last year, Tim and Kym Hall were victorious in Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy in their 1980 Holden Commodore. The Halls won by almost nine minutes.

Darryl and Peter Marshall were unflappable in their 2002 Ford Pursuit Ute to clinch top spot in the time, speed and distance challenge presented in the Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy.

Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86) took the spoils in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye.

TARGA Great Barrier Reef

Final results – Day 3 of 3 (provisional)

It’s Live Queensland overall

1 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi)

2 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R) +17s

3 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +4min07s

4 Tony/Sandra Seymour (2013 Lotus Exige) +5.03s

5 Mark Griffith/Neill Woolley (2017 Mercedes A45) +5.45s

 It’s Live Queensland GT Outright

1 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi)

2 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R) +17s

3 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) 4.07ss

Cairns Regional Council GT Production

1 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi)

2 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +4.07

3 Mark Griffith/Neill Woolley (2017 Mercedes A45) +5.45s

Dutton Garage Early Modern 2

1 Paolo Buccini/Claire Buccini (2008 BMW 135i)

2 Ian Gough/Zahary Gough (1998 Nissan Skyline) +7:55s

3 Christopher Carney/Lacey Wade (1991 Toyota Corolla GTi-SX) +16.29s

Dutton Garage Early Modern 4

1 Geoffrey Hewitt/Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R)

2 Graeme Colls/Sandra Colls (1997 Subaru WRX STi) 2:58s

3 Christopher Jaques/Kate Jaques (2001 Mitsubishi. Evo IX) 5.15s

 Shannons Classic (handicap)

1 Patrick Barnett/Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina)

 Shannons Classic GT

1 Anthony Genocchio/Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore)

2 Stewart Reid/Jennifer Cole (1980 Ford Escort) +34s

3 Jamie MacFarlane/Raymond Priest (1982 Holden Commodore Rally) +4.46s

Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy

1 Geoffrey Olholm/Matthew Sanders (2019 Toyota Supra GTS)

2 Gwesyn Dalliston/Robert Goodwin (2003 Nissan 350Z Track) +2.16s

3 Joe Chuadee/Jason Holt (2004 Renault Megane) +5.50s

 Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy

1 Timothy Hall/Kym Hall (1980 Holden Commodore)

2 Thomas English/Trent Vidler (1967 Holden HR Ute) 4:47s

3 Leo Rodriguez/Paul Frank (1988 Mazda RX-7) +8.55s

Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy

1 Darryl Marshall/Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit 250) +13 points

2eq Agim Selita/Gezim Bashi (2011 BMW 135i M Sports) +18

2eq Benjamin Brooksby/Rob Sheppard (2005 Mitsubishi Magna VRX) +18

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye

1 Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86)

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995

Social Media contact details
Jenna Carmichael – 0487 828 620

Battle heats up for Quinn with day to go

credit: Otherside Productions // Simon Chapman

Saturday September 4, 2021

Tony Quinn has staved off a late attack to protect his lead after the second day of TARGA Great Barrier Reef.

The canny entrepreneur, who has again teamed up with Brian Foster in defence of their 2020 title in Cairns, will go into the final day of competition with a slender 11 second lead. 

After completing six stages on the second day, Quinn and Foster were unflappable in the 2018 Nissan GT-R.

Luke Anear and Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) started the day 16 seconds behind Quinn/Foster and put in some quick runs before lunch to keep within 20 seconds of the Quinn/Foster Nissan before ending the day within range of jumping into the lead with five stages remaining tomorrow.

Brisbane pair Tony and Sandra Seymour are peeling off some consistent stages to maintain third overall in their 2013 Lotus Exige.

Quinn and Foster also lead It’s Live Queensland GT Outright by the same margin, 17 seconds from Anear and Sarandis who continue to enjoy a solid lead in Cairns Regional Council GT Production.

“We are going along okay, not pushing too hard and keeping out of trouble,” Quinn said.

“We are happy to hold the lead but there are another five stages to go tomorrow so there is nothing to be gained by getting ahead of ourselves.”

The experienced pairing of Jon and Gina Siddins pushed hard to move into the lead in Shannons Classic GT, climbing to a 1min12sec advantage.

The Gold Coast pair are running fresh livery for the event and have reverted to original shock absorbers in their 1970 Datsun 240Z. Overnight leaders Anthony Genocchio and Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore) are back in second place.

Shannons Classic standings sees Patrick Barnett and Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina) are the sole crew left in the class.

Paolo Buccini and Claire Buccini clear out to a lead of over six minutes in Dutton Garage Early Modern 2 while in Dutton Garage Early Modern 4 Geoffrey and Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R) hold a solid advantage.

Positions remain tight at the front of the Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy with Geoffrey Olholm and Matthew Sanders showing the way in a 2019 Toyota Supra GTS.

The Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy class is headed by Tim and Kym Hall (1980 Holden Commodore) while the highly successful team of Darryl and Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit Ute 250) have edged clear in the points-penalty based Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy.

The sole runner in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye, Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86), completed the day’s test. 

 Results – Day 2 of 3 (provisional)

 It’s Live Queensland overall

1 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R)

2 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +11s

3 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +2min36s

4eq Jon Siddins/Gina Siddins (1970 Datsun 240Z) +2min48s

4eq Geoffrey Hewitt/Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R) 2.48s

 It’s Live Queensland GT Outright

1 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R)

2 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +11s

3 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) 2.36s

 Cairns Regional Council GT Production

1 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi)

2 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +2.25s

3 Mark Griffith/Neill Woolley (2017 Mercedes A45) +2.46s

 Dutton Garage Early Modern 2

1 Paolo Buccini/Claire Buccini (2008 BMW 135i)

2 Ian Gough/Zahary Gough (1998 Nissan Skyline) +6mins

3 Christopher Carney/Lacey Wade (1991 Toyota Corolla GTi-SX) +10.08s

Dutton Garage Early Modern 4

1 Geoffrey Hewitt/Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R)

2  Graeme Colls/Sandra Colls (1997 Subaru WRX STi) 4.32s

3 Aaron Dunkerton/Alan Stean (2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII) +4.43s

 Shannons Classic (handicap)

1 Patrick Barnett/Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina)

 Shannons Classic GT

1 Jon Siddins/Gina Siddins (1970 Datsun 240Z)

2 Anthony Genocchio/Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore) +1min27s

3 Stewart Reid/Jennifer Cole (1980 Ford Escort) +1.52s

 Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy

1 Geoffrey Olholm/Matthew Sanders (2019 Toyota Supra GTS)

2 Gwesyn Dalliston/Robert Goodwin (2003 Nissan 350Z Track) +2.27s

3 Joe Chuadee/Jason Holt (2004 Renault Megane) +4.40s

 Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy

1 Timothy Hall/Kym Hall (1980 Holden Commodore)

2 Leo Rodriguez/Paul Frank (1988 Mazda RX-7) +3.37s

3 Thomas English/Trent Vidler (1967 Holden HR Ute) 4:36s

 Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy

1 Darryl Marshall/Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit 250) +8 points

2 Agim Selita/Gezim Bashi (2011 BMW 135i M Sports) +13

3 Benjamin Brooksby/Rob Sheppard (2005 Mitsubishi Magna VRX) +18

 Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye

1 Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86)

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995

Social Media contact details
Jenna Carmichael – 0487 828 620

Quinn establishes early advantage

Friday September 3, 2021

Champion driver Tony Quinn delivered a copybook exhibition of tarmac rallying to lead the overall field following the opening leg of competition in Cairns.

Chasing a second successive victory at the event on Tropical North Queensland’s striking and demanding roads, Quinn and co-driver Brian Foster have established a handy 24 second lead in their Nissan GT-R in the It’s Live Queensland overall standings.

The highly experienced Quinn, whose extensive list of track and rally triumphs is spearheaded by winning the coveted TARGA Tasmania twice, is attempting to duplicate his effort at Cairns last year by leading from the outset.

Officials downgraded the final stage of the day, Copperlode (TS 6) due to road conditions.

“It was a reasonable day of driving,” the laid-back Quinn said.

“It was steady as she goes so we just have to maintain the pace and not make any mistakes. But there is no time to get comfortable.”

Luke Anear and Andy Sarandis are in second place overall. After a late switch of car just before the event, Anear and Sarandis are now doing battle in a 2010 Subaru WRX STi. 

Tony and Sandra Seymour are third overall, 37 seconds behind the leaders, in a 2013 Lotus Exige. The leading three positions are duplicated in the GT Outright class.

Anear and Sarandis also lead GT Production with a 60 second advantage ahead of Mark Griffith and Neill Wooley’s 2017 Mercedes-Benz A45.

Paolo and Claire Buccini (2008 BMW 135i) have forged a tidy lead in Dutton Garage Early Modern 2 while Geoff and Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R) are showing the way in Dutton Garage Early Modern 4.

Classic GT stars Jon and Gina Siddins showed the way in their 1970 Datsun 240z before ending proceedings in second, nine seconds behind Anthony Genocchio and Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore) in Shannons Classic GT.

A tight battle is raging in Shannons Classic Handicap with Patrick Barnett and Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina) clinging to a 24 second lead over Tyrone Gilbert and Tania Wearing (1967 Holden HR Ute).

A scan through the trophy classes sees Darryl Marshall/Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit 250) and Agim Selita/Gezim Bashi (2011 BMW 135i M Sports) co-leaders on three points. Thoroughbred Trophy is headed by Tim and Kym Hall in their 1980 Holden Commodore. GT Sports Trophy is topped by the 2019 Toyota Supra GTS of Geoffrey Olholm and Matthew Sanders.

The sole Rookie Rallye entry of Wayne Lamont and Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86) completed the day’s five stages.

For more information on key components of TARGA Great Barrier Reef and road closures, visit targa.com.au and download the Spectator GuideResults – Day 1 of 3 (Provisional)It’s Live Queensland Overall 
1 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R) 
2 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +24secs
3 Tony Seymour/Sandra Seymour (2013 Lotus Exige) +37s
4 Anthony Genocchio/Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore) +1min16s
5 Mark Griffith/Neill Woolley (2017 Mercedes A45) +1.24s

It’s Live Queensland GT Outright
1 Tony Quinn/Brian Foster (2018 Nissan GT-R) 
2 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +24s
3 Tony Seymour/Sandra Seymour (2013 Lotus Exige) +37s

Cairns Regional Council GT Production
1 Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (2010 Subaru WRX STi) 
2 Mark Griffith/Neill Woolley (2017 Mercedes A45) +1min0s
3 Steven Van Der Brug/Linda Rankine (2010 Subaru WRX STi) +1:10s

Dutton Garage Early Modern 2
1 Paolo Buccini/Claire Buccini (2008 BMW 135i)
2 Ian Gough/Zahary Gough (1998 Nissan Skyline) +4mins:32s

Dutton Garage Early Modern 4
1 Geoffrey Hewitt/Toni Hewitt (2009 Nissan GT-R)
2 Gregg Taylor/Craig Milich (2008 Subaru WRX) +1min:38s
3 Aaron Dunkerton/Alan Stean (2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII) +1:49s

Shannons Classic (handicap)
1 Patrick Barnett/Katie Barnett (1979 Ford Cortina)
2 Tyrone Gilbert/Tania Wearing (1981 Mazda RX-7) +24secs

Shannons Classic GT
1 Anthony Genocchio/Robert Horsfall (1983 Holden Commodore)
2 Jon Siddins/Gina Siddins (1970 Datsun 240Z) +9secs
3 Stewart Reid/Jennifer Cole (1980 Ford Escort) +1min07s

Reef Hotel & Casino GT Sports Trophy
1 Geoffrey Olholm/Matthew Sanders (2019 Toyota Supra GTS)
2 Gwesyn Dalliston/Robert Goodwin (2003 Nissan 350Z Track) +1min08s
3 Warren Hendry/Mitchell Hendry (2020 Toyota Yaris) +1:26s

Shannons Thoroughbred Trophy
1 Timothy Hall/Kym Hall (1980 Holden Commodore)
2 Leo Rodriguez/Paul Frank (1988 Mazda RX-7) +1min:41s
3 Thomas English/Trent Vidler (1967 Holden HR Ute) +3m:12s

Cairns Regional Council TSD Trophy
=1 Darryl Marshall/Peter Marshall (2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit 250) +3 points
=1 Agim Selita/Gezim Bashi (2011 BMW 135i M Sports) +3
3 Benjamin Brooksby/Rob Sheppard (2005 Mitsubishi Magna VRX) +4

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Rookie Rallye
1 Wayne Lamont/Errol Rosenblatt (2012 Toyota 86)

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995

Social Media contact details
Jenna Carmichael – 0487 828 620

Seymour targets elusive podium

Thursday September 2, 2021

Brisbane Lotus pair Tony and Sandra Seymour are primed for redemption at the Cairns-based TARGA Great Barrier Reef starting this Friday (September 3).

One of the top fancies in the GT Outright class, the Seymours have left nothing to chance in their preparation for the fourth running of the critically acclaimed Tropical North Queensland event.

Tony Seymour believes he is better prepared to take on the Outright category in his 2013 Lotus Exige after a splendid run at TARGA Great Barrier Reef last year was spoiled by a mistake on the penultimate stage when he was momentarily second in overall standings.

“I’ve got a bit more experience now because last year in Cairns was my first event in the open class,” Seymour said, who made the large jump from the GT Sports Trophy category.

“I think we will be in a better position than last year.

“There were three in my class last year and I still didn’t manage to finish on the podium so you can’t take anything for granted.”

Seymour recounted the twists and turns that saw him tantalisingly close to a spot on the podium only to encounter a mishap on the 28.21km Palmerston run.

“It was the long stage and (Tony) Quinn (Nissan GT-R) was in front and then Luke Anear (Mercedes AMG GT R) was second and I was third,” Seymour said.

“Luke was in front of me and he went off and holed the radiator. So that put us up into second place.

“But he managed to get the car fixed which enabled him to get back to the finish and still take second.

“It was a strange turn of events because on Palmerston I was going along no problem then I made a costly mistake.

“It’s all a learning experience and we are hoping to be right up there again.”

Entries are up sharply across the 10 classes which number 130, compared with 83 last year.

Highlights of TARGA Great Barrier Reef 2021 include the TARGAcavalcade which features the entire field streaming through the northern suburbs of Cairns under police escort from 3.30pm-4.45pm on Friday, September 3.

The event will conclude with a new-look TARGAfest and official finish at Fogarty Park in the heart of Cairns from 3pm on Sunday, September 5.

TGBR is the opening round of the Motorsport Australia-sanctioned TARGA Championship which also embraces TARGA High Country from November 12-14 and the 30th anniversary TARGA Tasmania from March 8-13.

People are reminded that the Kuranda Range stage is scheduled to be the first stage on the Saturday (September 4) morning. This is a change from previous years when the Kuranda stage was held on Sunday morning.

For more information on key components of TGBR and road closures, visit targa.com.au and download the Spectator Guide.

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995

Social Media contact details
Jenna Carmichael – 0487 828 620

Udy eyes TARGA Great Barrier Reef upset

Wayne Udy in action

Wednesday September 1, 2021

Whitsunday competitor Wayne Udy is angling to produce another barnstorming run when TARGA Great Barrier Reef gets underway this Friday.

Alongside co-driver Mia Williams, Udy almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tarmac rallying when the pair finished second overall at the Cairns-based event last year.

After three days of hard toil on the picturesque and demanding Tropical North Queensland roads, Udy and Williams were only bested by GTO Outright class favourites Tony Quinn and Brian Foster.

While the field was depleted due to COVID restrictions, the performance from Udy and Williams was outstanding given they had soared so highly in their GT Sports Trophy 2019 Lotus Exige 410 Sport machine.

Easily winning their class, the pair are confident of featuring prominently again in overall standings.

“There was a lot of pressure on us last year to perform and we proved we could do it,” Udy explained.

“So this year I’m going out to have a lot more fun. This year the pressure is off a little bit.”

“We are definitely going to aim to be up there in the overall standings again.

“We have only driven the Lotus twice since last year. It’s been sitting in the shed. I bought the car new and it’s only got 3500km on it so with the low mileage it should be pretty reliable.”

Quinn is strongly fancied to defend his TARGA Great Barrier Reef title from last year when he produced a clean run across the three days to prevail in the 2018 Nissan GT-R.

This year’s event has attracted 130 entries, despite the lingering COVID restrictions nationwide and is up from the 83 last year when the event defied the pandemic to stage a highly successful third edition of what has become a signature event on the TARGA calendar.

Highlights of TGBR 2021 include the TARGAcavalcade which features the entire field streaming through the northern suburbs of Cairns under police escort from 3.30pm-4.45pm on Friday, September 3.

The event will conclude with a new-look TARGAfest and official finish at Fogarty Park in the heart of Cairns from 3pm on Sunday, September 5.

TARGA Great Barrier Reef is the opening round of the Motorsport Australia-sanctioned TARGA Championship which also embraces TARGA High Country from November 12-14 and the 30th anniversary TARGA Tasmania from March 8-13 next year.

Please note that the Kuranda Range stage is scheduled to be the first stage on the Saturday (September 4) morning. This is a change from previous years when the Kuranda stage was held on Sunday morning.

For more information on key components of TGBR and road closures, visit targa.com.au and download the Spectator Guide.

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995

TARGA ‘ray of sunshine’ for local economy

Monday August 30, 2021

Locals are breathing a sigh of relief that TARGA Great Barrier Reef will proceed as Cairns prepares to welcome Australia’s leading tarmac rally Championship this week, with the event running from September 3 to 5.

Amid lockdowns and disruptions to business and events nationwide, TARGA Great Barrier Reef has again shown its resilience during the pandemic.

Cairns business owner and avid TARGA competitor Murray Young cannot stress enough the importance the event has on tropical North Queensland which relies heavily on tourism.

“Tourism has been devastated in Cairns,” Young said.

“So for an event like TARGA to be able to proceed brings a ray of sunshine to the region in terms of an influx of teams and crews who will inject a lot of money into the local economy.

“It’s going to be a bit of a shot-in-the-arm with everyone buying the food, using the accommodation etc, so we can’t say enough how valuable TARGA is to our local community.

“I did a recce of the TARGA course yesterday and the region is absolutely spectacular. 

“From a competitors point of view, anyone who is doing this event this year, I can guarantee they will be back again and again.

“All the people coming to Cairns to do the TARGA Tours, they will be blown away by the roads and the scenery.”

The field size has risen by around 25 per cent from last year with 130 cars set to tackle the competitive stages around Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands as TARGA Great Barrier Reef’s reputation as a showpiece tarmac rally continues to flourish. 

There has been some modifications to the event structure as lockdowns interstate have restricted to essentially Queensland competitors.

Organisers have been forced to make the difficult decision to cancel the two proposed Super Special stages.

The Cairns showgrounds was to have staged a Super Special stage on Thursday, September 2, while Innisfail was scheduled to host a Super Special through the main part of town on Sunday, September 5.

“Unfortunately the COVID-19 restrictions has impacted on the number of competition cars this year, which in turn severely impacts the length of the show that we can put on as well as the amount of people that can attend,” TARGA chief executive Mark Perry explained.

“For street stages to work, you need a mass of cars to put on a show, so this year they are just not viable unfortunately. 

“However I want to thank the local councils for their support of the concept and hopefully we will see them in the near future.

“But we are really thrilled that the TARGA Cavalcade will happen again, which takes the cars to the suburbs, and we have implemented a new look on the final day (Sunday, September 5) with the TARGAfest and ceremonial finish at Fogarty Park.”

As previously announced, the Cavalcade is scheduled from 3.30pm-4.45pm on Friday, September 3.

There has also been a change to the Kuranda Range stage this year. This will now be run on Saturday, September 4. In previous years it has been staged on the Sunday. “

“People are reminded to plan ahead and check targa.com.au for all of the road closure times and information,” Perry said.

TARGA Great Barrier Reef is the opening round of the Motorsport Australia TARGA Championship that also includes Mt Buller in north-eastern Victoria for TARGA High Country from November 12-14 and finish with the landmark 30th anniversary of TARGA Tasmania from March 8-13.

For more information including important road closures during the upcoming event, visit targa.com.au

Media contact details
Ian Chesterman – 0417 530 902
Gordon Lomas – 0419 733 995