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Anear out for Great Barrier Reef redemption

Subaru charger Luke Anear is determined to go the distance and consolidate his slender class lead at Targa Great Barrier Reef from August 30 to September 1.
Photo: Angryman Photography
Anear and co-driver Alan Stephenson go into the third round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship holding a one-point lead over fellow Subaru competitors Jesse Medwin and Zak Brakey.

After showing tremendous pace early in the maiden Targa Great Barrier Reef event last year, Anear and Stephenson plunged out of the event coming down the mountain close to the finish of the TS (Targa Stage) Copperlode run.

It was a relatively innocuous slow-speed understeer moment where the 2015 Subaru Impreza WRX slipped off the road resulting in minor panel damage which had rally-ending consequences.

“We were leading GT4 class and were fifth outright and then rolled off the mountain coming down a hill,” Anear, seventh in GT4 at Targa Tasmania, recounted.

“This year we’ve got to make sure we finish the event and still see if we can be competitive.

“It wasn’t far from the finish of the stage, about 200m, when we ran wide on a corner and ever so slowly tipped over the edge. 

“We were only doing about 30km/h. Just couldn’t quite get it stopped and ran out of road and there was no guardrail.

“It just took a while to get it. There was no major damage, just dented panels.”

Anear says it will be a fine balance between getting to the end of the 16 stages while still having enough pace to be in a prominent position.

“It’s a balance between finishing the event but also coming out of the gate with reasonable pace so you can get through the event to be in a strong position,” Anear said.

“You can’t leave it too late. It’s only a short event, more of a sprint than the endurance of Targa Tasmania.

“So you’ve got to be on the pace from the get-go which creates a bit of pressure.

“Both Alan and I are really looking forward to the event. You don’t get much of a chance to drive on roads like that when they are closed. Targa Great Barrier Reef has got a good atmosphere to it. It’s a real carnival feel.”

Anear will enter the final CAMS Australian Targa Championship event, Targa High Country in Victoria ,which will celebrate its 10th anniversary, from November 8-10.

The Subaru charger will then head straight to Coffs Harbour where he will plunge into Australian Rally Championship round attached to the World Rally Championship finale on the northern NSW gravel roads.

“I did the Tassie round of the ARC in June and its interesting switching from bitumen to gravel. We’ve certainly thrown ourselves in the deep end.”

Ralph and Malcolm Norton remain just 10 points off Anear and Stephenson in another Subaru while the Queensland combination of Crichton Lewis and Adam Kudra are just 18 points away from the lead in their Subaru.

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