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Finally, Targa is good to go

Targa Tasmania roars into action on Monday with Day One certain to produce another spectacular days racing with four stages to be fought out climaxing with the George Town street stage.
Targa Tasmania roars into action on Monday with Day One certain to produce another spectacular days racing with four stages to be fought out climaxing with the George Town street stage.

Two names synonymous with Targa Tasmania are four time Modern winner Jason White, who has rebuilt his Lamborghini Gallardo after it was burned to a shell after catching fire in last year’s Targa Wrest Point, and two time Modern champion Tony Quinn, who can’t wait to get behind the wheel of his brand new McLaren 650S.

The Targa veteran has done just 80 kilometres in the vehicle. When he took to the wheel on Sunday at Symmons Plains, he was frustrated to miss the official practice.

“I didn’t do the fifteen minute practice as I had to read the manual to find out how to start the car,” Quinn said.

Quinn will be competing in the highly competitive Showroom class this year and is excited about the course changes for the 2015 event, which includes the re-introduction of the Southern Loop stages around Hobart on the final day.

“The changes are very important,” Quinn said. “In the past, after you completed the Mt Arrowsmith stage, you had a pretty good idea who was going to win Targa. With these changes this will keep the result to the very last kilometre.”

White agreed saying: “It’s a brilliant course with great changes.”

For the past two weeks White has been working twenty hours a day to get the car prepared, and even though it still has a way to go to get back to where it was before the fire, he is looking forward to reaching the start line at Launceston’s Country Club Tasmania on Monday.

While much attention will be at the front of the field, there will be plenty of spectator interest in the Classic section, with nearly 60 classic cars from the 1940s through to the 1980s set to fight it out over the six days of Targa Tasmania, all eager to make it to the finish in Hobart after nearly 500 kilometres of testing Targa stages.

From Paul Freestone’s highly modified 1948 Holden 215, to Barry Faux’s 1985 Mazda RX7, the winner in 2014, the Classic competition covers a wide variety of makes, models and eras.

Launceston’s Pete Nunn and Mowbray’s Keith Johnstone will head into the event as one of the favourites for the Classic Outright win, having taking victory in November’s Targa High Country in their 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo.

“The win at Targa High Country was awesome, but doesn't affect the amount of pressure going into Targa Tasmania. It’s a long hard event and to finish Targa is an achievement in its own right,” he said.

Tomorrow (Monday) sees the popular Targa Expo on at the Silverdome where you will be able to check out all of the vehicles. The expo runs from 6:30pm through until 9:30pm.

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