Hundreds of rally drivers and some of the world’s best touring, sports and GT cars are set to converge on the state for the 27th Targa Tasmania from Monday, April 16, to Saturday, April 21.
Over the course of six days up to 300 drivers will travel along more than 2000km of Tasmania’s scenic routes and winding mountain passes in this world-class event. Spectators will have the chance to see incredible vehicles from makers such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lotus and many more tackle the almost 40 competitive stages on closed roads across the state.
“This year is the first year of the brand new CAMS Australian Targa Championship, which is the first with full FIA approval and support,” event director Mark Perry said.
“All four rounds count, so that’s making it a lot harder to win. The manufacturers are quite excited about it and a lot more involved.
“This gives us equal status of the Australian Rally Championship (the gravel version) and also Supercars. This is something we have tried to have for 15 years, so it’s good to finally have it.”
While the event encompasses much of Tasmania, starting in Launceston and finishing in Hobart, there are plenty of opportunities for keen spectators to catch the tarmac rally drivers in action on the North-West and West Coast.
Spectators travel from interstate and even overseas to watch the rally, with many bringing eskies, barbecues and even couches to make the outing a real party. Fans are encouraged to use the spectator viewing areas set up on each stage of the course, as these areas are identified as offering the best possible views from the safest locations.
And while the major change for this year’s event is that it is not returning to Burnie for an overnight stop, there will still be chances for fans to check out the vehicles during their lunchtime stop in Burnie and also an overnight stop in Strahan.
“We returned to Burnie last year as a part of our 25th anniversary celebrations after staying in the North West city every year from 1992 to 2007,” Mark said.
“With the visit being a major success, we decided to go back again this year but with large growth in some parts of our event, it is important that we provide the easiest possible schedule to continue this growth. Having an extra night in Launceston will deliver this goal.”
The event encompasses many categories, including vintage cars (1900-1946), classic (1947-1985), early modern (1986-2007) and GT2/GT4 (2008-current). As well as the competitive entrants there are also Targa Tour participants, which gives motoring enthusiasts the freedom of driving their pride and joy, classic restoration or brand new GT on the same Targa stages as the rest of the field. However, it is non-competitive and drivers will be sticking to the posted speed limit.
There is also a Demonstration Category, which is reserved for vehicles that either do not meet the regulations to compete in any other competition or are entered as a prototype, low volume or demonstration type vehicle. Entrant results will not be shown within the official results.
For the first timers, the Targa Tasmania Rookie Rallye offers the opportunity to be part of the world’s largest tarmac rally, while competing against other rookies. This experience will enable rookies to develop their tarmac rally skills and understand the nature of a six-day event, all the while living the dream, driving among the best in the business.
For the keen spectators in the Cradle Coast region, your best chances to see all the entrants in action are on the following stages:
LEG TWO – TUESDAY, APRIL 17
Kentish, Latrobe and Devonport municipalities
Sheffield stage – road closure time 8:29 – 12:59
Nook stage – road closure time 8:54 – 13:24
Moriarty stage – road closure time 10:25 – 14:55
Paloona stage – road closure time 10:48 – 15:18
Mt Roland stage – road closure time 11:28 – 15:58
LEG FOUR – THURSDAY, APRIL 19
Kentish, Central Coast, Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard and West Coast municipalities
Cethana stage – road closure time 7:23 – 11:53 ( 6:53 From Moina end)
Castra stage – road closure time 8:11 – 12:41
Gunns Plains stage – road closure time 8:31 – 13:01
Riana stage – road closure time 8:52 – 13:22
Burnie lunch break – road closure time: 9:53 – 14:23. Wilson Street will be closed between Cattley Street and North Terrace
Hellyer Gorge stage – road closure time 11:34 – 16:04
Rosebery Original stage – road closure time 12:50 – 17:20
LEG FIVE – FRIDAY, APRIL 20
Strahan stage – road closure time 7:19 – 11:49 ( 6:34 from Queenstown end)
Queenstown stage – road closure time 7:54 – 12:24 ( 6:54 from Derwent Bridge end)
Mount Arrowsmith stage – road closure time 8:15 – 12:45 ( 6:54 from Derwent Bridge end)
For a full list of stages and road closures visit https://targa.com.au/tc/news_details.asp?asset_id=31933