There is absolutely no argument that, without the hundreds of dedicated and enthusiastic officials that give up their time to assist in running our Targa events, the events simply would not happen. It would be an untenable commercial proposition.
Mark Perry, Director of Targa Australia, is naturally appreciative of the efforts of the thousands of volunteer officials who come out each year in rain, hail or shine to help run the event smoothly for the benefit of the competitors, most of whom are cosseted in enclosed vehicles.
"Let me tell you, they are indispensable," says Mark. "I am constantly amazed and immensely grateful to the men and women of all ages and backgrounds who come out to play each year.
A couple that has "pretty much seen it all" is Bothwell couple Ron and Marcia Brown, two of Targa's long-serving stalwarts.
Their daughter Samantha was an official in the inaugural event and was so enthused she persuaded Ron and Marcia to get involved. The timing was fortuitous because Ron had just retired from his job as an electrical engineer with Pasminco.
Assisted by Marcia "all the way", Ron took on the very important volunteer role of Support Services Manager, responsible for the safe storage and maintenance of the plethora of event equipment; items such as control and timing boards, clocks, tables, cones, lights, safety tape and so on. At event time, Ron and Marcia arrange distribution of the equipment to the road and stage crews. Then they drive the stages, ensuring that everything is working properly, and replace any faulty equipment.
As if that significant role wasn't enough to keep them busy, in 2000 Ron added Communications Equipment Manager to his Targa portfolio. "It's been really enjoyable" says Ron. "We've met lots of great people and made many friends from all over Australia". After 19 years and at 71 years old, Ron's decided to pull back a little will relinquish the Support Service role but he will still be a familiar and welcome face as he's continuing to look after the communications equipment "for a while longer".
Having seen, up close, the trials, tribulations and evolution of Targa Tasmania over almost its entire existence, the Browns are well qualified to comment on the event.
"Yes, we've watched it grow over the years and seen it become a really polished event," says Ron. "We love it."
To watch what its like to officiate on a Targa Stage have a look here!
Day two of Targa Tasmania heads to George Town this afternoon for the Super Stage, one of the most popular stages of the event.
White remains on top after Day 2
After a hectic opening day that took the Targa Tasmania field from Launceston to St Helens and back, day two of the epic rally was the event’s shortest, with just a quick sprint around the streets of George Town in the state’s north.
Drivers quotes - Day 2
Here are quotes from some of our leading drivers after Day 2.