Competitors complete shakedown ahead of TARGA Tasmania

Some of the key teams have topped off preparations for the 30th anniversary TARGA Tasmania with several hours of shakedown laps at Symmons Plains racetrack south of Launceston.

A decent spread of entries from the 10 classes put their machines through their paces on a day where lucky punters were also chauffeured around as passengers on hot laps.

Among the entries gunning for Outright honours cutting laps at the 2.4km circuit were seven-times TT winners Jason and John White (Dodge Viper), Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis (Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R), Angus Kennard/Ian Wheeler (Nissan GT-R) and defending TT champs Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey (Dodger Viper).

The track day was the final chance for crews to fine-tune set-ups and iron-out any bugs ahead of the world’s best and most demanding tarmac rally which starts on Tuesday.

While the day went largely without incident, Maguire’s Viper suffered a differential failure late in the session.

The problem surfaced after Maguire outlined that the Viper had undergone a freshen-up since the successful campaign at TT last year.

Among changes to the American machine is a new engine, driveline, brake and electronics refinements.

The team were confident the car will be repaired tonight after sourcing a part from Melbourne.

“The output shaft on the differential broke but the spare will arrive in time for us to fix it tonight,” Maguire explained.

“We are quite stoked that the problem happened today rather than on the first day of competition on Tuesday.

“It has also brought to our attention a problem we weren’t aware of.”

Maguire confirmed his team had gone for a different brake package to withstand the punishment over the six-day event.

“One of the only new updates has been the brakes,” Maguire said.

“We have swapped out the carbon ceramic brakes and have gone for the AP system with steel rotors.

“Hopefully we  can get a bit more performance out of these.

“They should be a lot more durable.

“There have also been some refinements to the traction control system.”

Almost 500 cars have entered the milestone event across 10 classes with the first of 34 competitive stages set for Tuesday.

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