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Hyundai confirm historic factory entry

Korean giant Hyundai will create history by entering a factory i30 N prepared hatch at Targa Tasmania from April 29 to May 4.

Brendan Reeves will make history with Hyundai at Targa Tasmania

Taking the plunge into one of the world’s most coveted tarmac rallies signals the first time Hyundai has launched a full factory tilt in an Australian motorsport event.

The i30 N will be driven by Hyundai WRC and factory development driver Brendan Reeves. Sister Rhianon Gelsomino, an experienced topline co-driver, will be calling the notes. 

“We’ve been testing different set-ups and tyre compounds with the aim of tackling Targa this year,” Reeves said. 

“The whole time we’ve been competing in the Tarmac Rally Sprint Series all we’ve been thinking about is Targa, and how we can best develop the car.

“I’m really excited about Targa because I’ve been working with Hyundai for over two years helping develop the i30 N as a road car, and now I get to race it in arguably the best tarmac rally in the world.

“The i30 N, with its driver-adjustable suspension, will help us to adapt the car to the changeable weather conditions which are one of the big challenges of Targa.

“It’s part of the plan to use the standard suspension so when it’s wet we can soften the car with the N custom mode, or when it’s dry we can stiffen the suspension up, just by touching a button.

“We’ll be in the GT2 class, which is effectively the outright class, so we’ll definitely be batting above our weight. We’re aiming for a top 10 result, and if we can get into the top five by the end of the weeklong event that would be awesome.

“You’re racing against supercars, so it’s always a challenge, but if we can stay in there for the long haul and get to the finish, we should get a really good result,” Reeves said.

The 30-year-old Reeves is no stranger to Targa competition, making his debut in the Tasmanian showpiece event 10 years ago.

He now has a prime opportunity to exceed his best Targa Tasmania result of a fourth outright in 2011, the year he also claimed the Showroom class trophy.

Hyundai is confident of producing a strong result in the event which takes on some of the most technically challenging roads in the world.

“The i30 N hot hatchback’s giant-killing ability matched with Brendan Reeves’ extensive rally experience makes a potent pairing for Hyundai Australia’s first entry in an Australian motorsport event,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, JW Lee said.

“We are excited at the potential for a strong result in the grueling Targa Tasmania event, and to prove the performance and durability of the i30 N amidst fierce competition.”

Hyundai will also extend its involvement at Targa by entering three newly i30 Fastback N media cars in the non-competitive Targa Tour class for the Australian motoring press.

Targa Tasmania 2019 Spectator Guide

With more than 33 competitive stages covering an overall total distance of 2000km, there are a veritable endless choice of spectator vantage points at Targa Tasmania from April 29 to May 4.

As the time-honoured tarmac rally sweeps the length and breadth of the state, we have compiled an exhaustive Spectator’s Guide that covers everything you need to know to help you safely enjoy the event.


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Accomplished gravel rally driver Brendan Reeves is excited about returning to Targa Tasmania to spearhead Hyundai’s maiden Australian factory motorsport effort.

As announced last month, Reeves will take the wheel of a production-based i30 N hatch with sister Rhianon Gelsomino calling the pace notes.


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Matt Close is primed to resume his arm wrestle with one of the most successful tarmac racers in Australia at Targa Tasmania from April 29-May 4.

While under no illusion of the gravity of stopping the all-conquering Dodge Viper of Jason and John White, Close is looking forward to another challenge.


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