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21 years and still going strong

Few Targa Tasmania competitors could match the commitment of Devonport’s Drew Kent.

Drew will line up next week for his 21st crack at the event – a remarkable record when you consider Targa Tasmania has only been going for 24 years.
“I missed the first one and I had a couple of years off around 15 years ago, so it hasn’t been 21 straight, but it’s been a big part of my life,” he said.

Drew will be competing in the Shannon’s Early Classic competition in his trusty 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT, which has finished all but a couple of his past 20 Targas.

His son Fletcher was to have joined him in the navigator’s seat for the first time this year, but has unfortunately has been sidelined by an industrial accident.

Having put plenty of preparation, time, effort and money into his entry for this year, Drew didn’t want to withdraw, so he asked long-time pit crew member Keith Snell to call the corners for him.

“Keith’s been with me since day one – he’s been part of my crew for all of the 20 Targa Tasmanias I’ve done,” Drew said.

“He’s always been on the other side of the fence, so I though I’d give him the chance to see what it’s like on this side and it’s a good way to say thanks for all the support he’s given me over the years,” he said.

“He was a little bit hesitant at the start, but I think he’s quite excited about it all now – he’s a Holden man, so he took a bit of convincing to accept a ride in a Ford.”

Drew still hopes to do next year’s Targa Tasmania with his son and was already looking ahead to the 2016 Targa Tasmania.

“Next year will be the 25th anniversary event, so it will be really special for me to be able to do it with Fletcher,” he said.

In his previous 20 Targas, Drew hasn’t tasted podium success.

“The best I’ve done is an eighth in classic outright – but I think the early classic will suit us a bit more because it’s a handicap competition,” he said.

“We’re fairly confident we will do alright as long as the weather stays dry.”

“My Falcon’s got plenty of grunt and we can put it to good use if it’s a dry event.”
“I’m not much of a wet weather driver and this car can be a bit of a handful in the wet as well, so we’re really hoping for good weather for the whole six days.”

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