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Bray primed for Shannons Classic GT fireworks

Defending CAMS Australian Targa Classic outright champ Michael Bray is ready to return to winning form at Targa Tasmania from April 29-May 4.

Bray suffered a rare reliability issue in his 1975 Holden Torana in the dying kilometres of Targa High Country last November.
However he had accumulated enough points (240) in the first three rounds to hold off Peter Gluskie(232) and good friend and rival Mick Downey (216) to claim the overall crown.

“Since then we’ve freshened the engine up because it was a couple of seasons old and did a few normal checks,” Bray said.

“There hasn’t been a lot of work on the car, just pulling apart bits and putting back together.”

“At High Country a little metal strip on top of the rotor button on the distributor failed which is a one-in-a-million thing to go wrong.

“It then created more problems within the distributor and melted a few bits and pieces then knocked off some of the electrical stuff inside.

“That was game over for us on the last day, last stage about 1.5km from the finish line.

“It’s funny because he (Downey) calls me Braybury (a play on miraculous winter Olympic gold medallist Steve Bradbury) because he keeps crashing and that’s why I win.

“After High Country last year I said ‘mate you can never call me that ever again.’

“But in all seriousness we had a really good run over a number of events leading up to that so I wasn’t going to kick stones too much.”

Constant development of the Torana over the last three seasons has helped the Brays string a series of wins together.

“The car is in a really good place with all the parts and the engine we’ve got with the latest model LS3 engine and Holinger gearbox.

“The bottom end of the motor is stock standard and you can do a bit of work on the porting but that is about it.

“It was a second hand motor and had done 80,000km and I got 18 months out of it which is the beauty of those engines that brings the reliability factor into it.

“The plan is to do the lot (remainder of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship). But we’ll see after Tassie. If we are within earshot then we will probably push on and do the rest (Great Barrier Reef and High Country).”

“The competition is really hot in Classic GT now. You’ve got guys like Mark Dobson (Triumph TR7 V8) coming over from Perth.

“Guys like Downey and (Jon) Siddins. It’s going to be on for young and old.

“Siddins is obviously going to be after redemption after what happened last year.

“And Downey is starting to find a bit of pace in that Commodore and when he is fast, he’s fast.”

The exciting Shannons Classic GT class is one of almost a dozen categories that will compete in the 28th running of Targa Tasmania.

Fans can get up close to all the cars at the three official Targafests. 

In Launceston the cars will be on display at the Silverdome Expo on Sunday April 28 and Wednesday May 1, from 6pm to 9pm, and in Hobart, you can see the cars at MAC2 on Friday May 3 from 6pm to 9pm.

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