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Targa Great Barrier Reef is becoming bigger than expected

Organisers of the inaugural Targa Great Barrier Reef tarmac rally in the Far North are considering limiting numbers after being overwhelmed with entries.

Participant numbers have hit 214, far more than a target of 150 for the three-day event from August 31 to September 2.

Event director Mark Perry said the numbers had “wildly” exceeded expectations.

“We may have to impose a limit. We are getting close to a waiting list,” he said.

Mr Perry said the destination was a factor as well as the event being the first and the variety of roads on offer.

“With 200-plus cars it is a massive rally. There are 20 to 50 cars in a normal rally, this is four times a normal rally,” he said.

About 70 per cent of participants are from interstate.

Twenty-seven crews based in Cairns have signed up, most involved in the touring or speed-limited sections as their vehicles are not equipped with roll cages.

“Local people are easing their way into the event,” Mr Perry said.

He said there had been interest from Europe and Asia but no one had been confirmed.

An international marketing push would begin after the first event was successfully delivered, Mr Perry said.

The course, involving 220km of competitive stages, has been approved in principle but still remains under wraps.

Mr Perry said the course would be revealed, probably in mid-June, after consultation with residents along the routes.

“Some stages are close to Cairns,” he said.

Mr Perry said serious competitors were keen to arrive in Cairns early to start reconnaissance missions.

He said there would no street circuit this year for logistical and safety reasons.

Mr Perry said it was critical the first event was staged and all the bugs ironed out before adding further stages.


Article courtesy of Cairns Post

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