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Cairns man Steve Van der Brug gears up for Targa in the tropics

The creation of the inaugural Targa Great Barrier Reef tarmac rally was the catalyst for Cairns builder Steve Van der Brug to take the plunge into the challenging motorsport genre.

Having spent about 10 years racing on dirt with Kharnacross, Van der Brug said it had always been a dream to race in Targa.

Cairns builder Steve Van der Brug and his partner Linda Rankine will compete in the GT4 class at the upcoming Targa Great Barrier Reef tarmac rally. Steve Van der Brug with the 2010 Subaru WRX STI which he bough specifically for the Targa.

“When they announced it, that’s when I started looking for a car because there’s no tarmac event up here at all,” he said.

“I’ve heard about Targa for a long time but it’s in Tassie, which is the other end of the earth.”

The 55-year-old ended up purchasing a 2010 Subaru STI from Tasmania, which he will campaign in the GT4 category throughout the 200km race.

Reaching a top speed of about 240km/h, Van der Brug will be joined by co-driver and partner Linda Rankine thoughout the Far North race, which will run from August 31 — September 2.

“There’s a couple of places throughout the race where you should be able to easily hit top speeds, but whether I’ll do it or not I don’t know,” he said.

Van der Brug got his first taste of the high speed race earlier this year when picking up his Subaru in Tasmania.

Coincidently there was a Targa event in the city at the same time and he was able to give his new car a run.

“We’ll go as fast as feels safe.”“It’d be unrealistic to think that we’re going to finish anywhere near the top, but as long as we finish, that’s the main aim,” he said.

Mr Van der Brug said he also planned on entering the final CAMS Australian Targa Championship round based at Victoria’s Mt Buller, Targa High Country from November 9-11. “You only live once and I’m not getting any younger,” he said.

“I’m not out to win. I’m out to have as much fun as I can.”

Targa Great Barrier Reef will start from the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino on August 31, before the field makes its way to the first of 18 stages at Green Hill.

Locals will also be able to get up close to the cars at Targafest, to be held on The Esplanade in Cairns on September 1, from 4pm to 9pm.

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