Image credit: We are Explorers

Targa Tasmania
Event Overview

27th April – 2nd May 2020

TARGA Tasmania gives you access to some of the world’s ultimate driving roads, where the most exciting challenges are waiting to be conquered.

TARGA Tasmania is your passport to driving your car through the most beautiful, yet technically challenging sealed roads. Experience the primal thrill of tackling turn after turn, the exhilaration of driving your pride and joy, as it was designed, on roads that are otherwise never closed.

TARGA Tasmania travels over 2000kms in 6 days. Starting in the northern part of the island, Launceston is one of the few cities on the planet designed around a gorge. The course will then take you past beach-lined coasts and World Heritage-listed mountains.

Along the way, you will pass welcoming farm-gate producers, cellar doors and restaurants specialising in local produce, before finishing on Hobart’s picturesque waterfront.

Leg 1: Monday, 27th April

Stage 1: Legana

4.90kms

“Legana” a flowing stage run through farming country from Legana to Bridgenorth to get the competition under way. The base time will be achievable by almost all competitors just remember don’t go under the minimum time. The road twists and turns from the start, then opens out to sweeping corners.

Stage 2: Moriarty

5.22km

“Moriarty” flows through farmland with several deceptive ninety degree corners at the end of straights.

Stage 3: Paloona

16.35km

“Paloona” an interesting stage that varies in character, some roads in the open, some through forest, some tight some fast. The road winds through several series of tight corners over tricky crests before running up hills to the east of Paloona dam.

Stage 4: Mt Roland

26.27km

“Mt Roland” Is the first 26km of the Cethana stage in reverse it starts with a hill climb up Mt Claude then a flat run over the top of the plateau then a series of tight bends on the run down the other side of the plateau then a flowing run to the finish.

Stage 5: Golden Valley

12.31km

Golden Valley is the first completely new stage for 2020 it starts off with numerous hairpin’s then there is a flowing section in the middle of the stage then the stage finishes off with another section of hairpin turns as you make your way up to the central plateau the surface is generally good for the entire stage.

Stage 6: Poatina

11.45km

Poatina is a stage not used since the 1992 event it is a 712m descent with numerous hairpin corners so watch those brake temperatures. The surface is generally good for the entire stage.

Leg 2: Tuesday, 28th April

Stage 7: The Sideling

13.96km

“The Sideling” regarded as one of the key Targa Stages to sort outright and category placings, “The Sideling” is the first of five North-East stages using the Tasman Highway for the course. The stage takes competitors through forestry plantations with plenty of sharp corners requiring skill in car placement and gear selection.

An excellent stage which is mostly smooth tarmac and full of tricky corners that come up quickly with lots of ‘clips’ – cutting corners! There most probably will be gravel spread over some corners due to the passage of the vehicles, but this will be visible.

Stage 8: Moorina

8.92km

“Moorina” is a tight and twisty stage all the way up the hill with plenty of sharp corners, but it drives the way it looks. It is over a coarse chip surface and requires concentration to finish close to the base time. A short but very satisfying drive.

Stage 9: Weldborough Pass

13.28km

“Weldborough Pass” is a very twisty stage. Don’t be deceived by the first few hundred metres which are fast, for the twisting and turning suddenly arrives! A long descent tests the driver’s courage and the efficiency of the brakes on the vehicles! Not even the quickest will make the base time.

Stage 10: Pyengana

6.47km

“Pyengana” is a similar stage to Moorina, that winds through bushland where the trees are very close to the road. It then passes through farmland where there are many deceptive bends. There are several dams close to the road on this stage.

Stage 11: Elephant Pass

11.11km

“Elephant Pass” is the most famous East Coast pass and definitely one of the toughest of the event, with switchback corners, steep drops from the side of the road and rock embankments. Run in the south – north direction it becomes a challenging 7km hill climb before winding slightly downhill to the finish. The stage is as daunting as it is challenging to drive.

Stage 12: Rossarden

12.05km

“Rossarden” starts with a fast flowing stage with many sweeping bends and a few that unexpectedly change direction. It then descends very steeply to the finish. On the descent there are many tight, narrow unprotected bends on the left hand side with a steep bank on the right. The downhill descent needs to be treated with Extreme Caution, don’ take risks on this section of road.
Sun could also be a concern from 1.45km to 3.05km.

LEG 3: Wednesday, 29th April

Stage 13: Cethana

37.71km

“Cethana” a great stage, the longest of the day, and considered to be the best long section of tarmac road in the world. Winding with crests and dips it crosses the Mersey river followed by a twisty climb, opening out to a fast section on the plateau, then an undulating run through many difficult corners. This section is followed by a steep descent into the Forth Valley followed by a climb to the finish at Moina.

Stage 14: Castra

7.76km

“Castra” starts off with a nice flowing climb to the top of the hill just to start you off then it has a sharp left turn that many competitors have overshot in the past then comes a very long and steep descent to the Wilmot river with a equally steep climb up the other side of the valley to the finish.

Stage 15: Isandula

7.78km

Isandula starts off flat and flowing and then climbs and at the top of the climb there is a sharp turn right that is hard to see and many overshoot this turn, the run to the finish is a flowing section with nothing to catch crews out.

Stage 16: Oldina

19.65km

“Oldina” Starts of through flowing open farming country until the 15.84km point then it has a sting in its tail with some difficult to read corners.

Stage 17: Hellyer Gorge

20.93km

“Hellyer Gorge” provides one of the events ultimate driving challenges. It starts off gently enough, over an undulating road until suddenly … it’s on in earnest as the road surface changes to a smooth one as it winds its way downhill to the bottom of the gorge
and then twists and turns up the other side to the plateau. The road is almost guaranteed to be wet and slippery, if not for its entire length then on many bends. As this road is now not used frequently by the public (due to a bypass) autumn leaves fall on the road and when damp, add to the slippery conditions. But that is all part of the competition .. so watch it!

Stage 18: Rinadeena

35.13km

Rinadeena is the Strahan stage in reverse, which is a stage that has many changes of character. There are some fast bits and some very slow, over a well made road which is hard to read. There are many sweeping corners followed by corners that tighten and the occasional off camber corner to catch out the unwary. The afternoon sun could be a factor on some sections of this stage.

Leg 4: Thursday, 30th April

Stage 19: Pieman

25.42km

Pieman stage starts off with some sections of flowing bends and some slow sections. It rises and falls with regularity. The surface is very slippery and the edges, where moss is on the side of the road, can be treacherous if wet. There are some corners near the end of the stage that are quiet out of character and will catch out the unwary.

Stage 20: Murchison

20.60km

“Murchison” Is the reverse run of Hellyer Gorge very soon after the start line the descent begins as it winds its way downhill to the bottom of the gorge and then twists and turns up the other side with no ability to rest until you reach the top of the plateau on the other side there is a section close to the finish that has caught past competitors out thinking they had finished with the twisty bits.

Stage 21: Gunns Plains

14.77km

“Gunns Plains” starts through a magnificent valley of rolling pastures, climbs over a steep hill and drops down into another valley. All of this on narrow roads with little margin for error. There are two very deceptive junctions that have a fast approach. The road is very bumpy in places.

Stage 22: Riana

35.98km

“Riana” an extremely important stage due to its length and variety of driving conditions. It is an unbelievably challenge stage that winds up and down three separate river valleys. Full of difficult to read crests and corners, the stage also contains some long straights with crests in them where the car will most likely become light.

Stage 23: Hellyer Gorge

20.9km

“Hellyer Gorge” provides one of the events ultimate driving challenges. It starts off gently enough, over an undulating road until suddenly … it’s on in earnest as the road surface changes to a smooth one as it winds its way downhill to the bottom of the gorge and then twists and turns up the other side to the plateau. The road is almost guaranteed to be wet and slippery, if not for its entire length then on many bends. As this road is now not used frequently by the public (due to a bypass) autumn leaves fall on the road and when damp, add to the slippery conditions. But that is all part of the competition .. so watch it!

Stage 24: Reece Dam

27.18km

Reece Dam is the reverse of the Pieman stage with some sections of flowing bends and some slow sections. It rises and falls with regularity. The surface is very slippery and the edges, where moss is on the side of the road, can be treacherous if wet. There are some corners near the end of the stage that are quiet out of character and will catch out the unwary.

Leg 5: Friday, 1st May

Stage 25: Strahan

33.45km

“Strahan” a demanding stage due to it’s length and almost continuous twisting road. It is a coarse chip surface throughout but it doesn’t offer a lot of grip. It is the most enjoyable rollercoaster driving road in Tasmania, with sweeping corners followed by some tight esses, then a few straights.

Stage 26: Queenstown

6.99km

“Queenstown” hill climb up the moonscape side of Mount Lyell out of Queenstown. Much tougher than it looks, and usually needs to be tackled in second gear all the way up the left-right-left-right climb to the saddle. The run down the other side is a little easier, but still a challenge

Stage 27: Mount Arrowsmith

52.39km

“Mount Arrowsmith” the longest targa stage of the event. It is a mixture of fast open stretches and tight bends and can make or break competitor’s aspirations to outright victory, category or class wins. In parts the road is bumpy and the key to successful fast drive is to be near the maximum on the wide parts and take care on the bends – some of which you may have to apply the brakes, although you may normally feel that you would take them flat out.

Stage 28: Tarraleah

8.68km

“Tarraleah” a challenging stage that sees the Lyell Highway twist and turn down to the Nive River valley and includes switchback bends and a bridge crossing then a fast steep climb back up the other side of the valley. Comparatively short for a leg five stage, it still requires concentration, brakes and tyres in good condition to achieve a quick time.

Stage 29: Molesworth

8.01km (8.45km)

“Molesworth” the shortest stage for the day but it has a couple of right and left combinations towards the end that are out of character with the rest of the stage.

Stage 30: Grasstree Hill

6.72km

“Grasstree Hill” a quick run over Grasstree Hill on the outskirts of Hobart Tasmania’s capital city the road has a very smooth surface for the most part with good grip.

LEG 6: Saturday, 2nd May

Stage 31: Pelverata

10.36km

“Pelverata” starts off straight into the climb up to Kaoota then a steep descent down the other side the surface is quiet bumpy and the descent will test out well worn tyres and brakes with a couple of hairpin corners on the descent as well.

Stage 32: Gardners Bay 1

8.87km

“Gardners Bay” runs along Woodbridge Hill road from Gardners Bay to Woodbridge. It has a rough road surface and is harder than first appears and starts as a steep climb with moderately fast corners to the crest at Heeneys Bluff, followed by a quick run downhill on the other side of the saddle – this second half being hard on brakes and tyres.

Stage 33: Oyster Cove 1

12.13km

“Oyster Cove” consists of a steady uphill twisting climb, followed by a downhill run to the finish.

Stage 34: Cygnet 1

14.94km

“Cygnet” The longest Targa stage of leg six, “Cygnet” takes the vehicles on a long climb and a short descent along wattle Grove road to the spectator area near Kings Hill, followed by a long descent to a tee junction which will be approached at high speed. A run along the banks of the Huon Estuary is followed by a long climb up Silver Hill road to the saddle at Silver Hill before descending back towards Cygnet.

Stage 35: Gardners Bay 2

8.87km

“Gardners Bay” runs along Woodbridge Hill road from Gardners Bay to Woodbridge. It has a rough road surface and is harder than first appears and starts as a steep climb with moderately fast corners to the crest at Heeneys Bluff, followed by a quick run downhill on the other side of the saddle – this second half being hard on brakes and tyres.

Stage 36: Oyster Cove 2

12.13km

“Oyster Cove” consists of a steady uphill twisting climb, followed by a downhill run to the finish.

Stage 37: Cygnet 2

14.94km

“Cygnet” The longest Targa stage of leg six, “Cygnet” takes the vehicles on a long climb and a short descent along wattle Grove road to the spectator area near Kings Hill, followed by a long descent to a tee junction which will be approached at high speed. A run along the banks of the Huon Estuary is followed by a long climb up Silver Hill road to the saddle at Silver Hill before descending back towards Cygnet.

Stage 38: Longley

11.56km

“Longley” is deceptive – it can catch out the unwary. It’s a good tight and twisty run along the Huon road from Vince’s Saddle to Neika, with a combination of sweeping bends and sharp corners and it will be slippery if wet. In fact some bends will be damp as the sun does not filter through the overgrowth at this time of year – so watch out for them!