Targa Tasmania 2012 comes to an end
This year's Targa Tasmania, held from 17 to 22 April, was focused on the western region of the state.
Targa has become a vital part of Tasmania’s motorsport culture and last year’s celebration of two decades in Tasmania attracted record numbers and entry levels.
This year’s event was all about a reshaped course away from the major population centres. The focus was on the western region of Tasmania around the townships of Strahan, Queenstown and Zeehan. George Town continued to host the Prologue.
The extra 70 competitive kilometres added to the course enabled competitors to take advantage of the brilliant, yet under-utilised, roads of the west.
The new course, the first major change in five years, delivered an additional night stay to the state’s west coast.
Targa Tasmania is one of the world’s great motorsport, tarmac rally adventures and the roads of Tassie’s wild-west added to that story.
Targa Tasmania provided the perfect medium for thousands of competitors and accompanying visitors to view, at close quarters, the magnificent coastal and inland, roads around the Island.
Local hope Jason White secured his second Targa Tasmania title in three years, taking his Lamborghini Gallardo to victory in Hobart.
The win has given White and co-driver – uncle John White – a clean sweep of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship, the pair having already won Targa High Country in Victoria and Targa Wrest Point earlier this series.
White had electrical problems early on the run from Strahan to Queenstown, losing 30 seconds and creating some drama on the final morning. But with that problem fixed he charged across the event’s longest stage, the 51km Mt Arrowsmith, to take 50 seconds from his rivals and re-establish his buffer.
It was then a matter of nursing his Lamborghini home across the final three stages to the finish two minutes and 27 seconds clear of 2011 winner, Tony Quinn, in his Nissan GT-R.
Eight-time Targa Tasmania winner, Jim Richards, was back on the podium in third, a reward for setting consistent times in his Porsche 911 GT2 RS while others faltered.
Classic Outright leader Rex Broadbent survived a scare on Mt Arrowsmith as well when he finished up in a gutter. Fortunately, his co-driver, Chris Randell, was able to push him back onto the road, minimising the time loss to a minute.
But in the end the Targa veteran cruised to victory in Classic Outright, his 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera securing a sixth straight title having led the field across the entire five days of competition.
Second was Jon Siddins in his 1970 Datsun 240Z, who put up a dogged fight with Broadbent, finishing just one minute, two seconds behind.
Simon Evans, with co-driver wife Sue, cruised to top Showroom honours in their Mazda3 MPS by 20 minutes and the four-time Australian Rally Champions added their first Targa Championship prize to the family trophy cabinet.
Targa on TV
This year’s Targa Championships are being broadcast on the free-to-air television channel 7Mate, the Seven Network’s high-definition channel.
Classic Targa Adelaide 2011, Friday 06/04/12 at 4.00pm
Targa High Country 2011 (Classic), Thursday 12/04/12 at 5.00pm
Targa High Country 2011 (Modern), Friday 13/04/12 at 4.30pm
Targa Wrest Point 2012 (Modern), Friday 20/04/12 at 4.30pm
Targa Wrest Point 2012 (Classic), Friday 27/04/12 at 4.30pm
Targa Tasmania 2012 (Classic),Thursday 24/05/12 at 4.00pm
Targa Tasmania 2012 (Modern), Friday 25/05/12 at 4.30pm
Targa Tasmania 2012 (Special), Friday 01/06/12 at 4.30pm