Planning is on schedule for the historic 20th anniversary of Targa Tasmania, with the 2011 event set to be the most successful yet.
With a field of over 340 cars and a star-studded entry list that includes five-time Australian Touring Car Champion Dick Johnson, two-time World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl, and eight-time Targa Tasmania winner Jim Richards, Targa fans are salivating at the prospects of six days of furious action.
To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the event, organisers have included a host of activities to bring Targa Tasmania to the fans.
Premiership winning AFL coach, Kevin Sheedy, will be on track at Symmons Plains Raceway on Monday, April 4 in his role as an ambassador for Skoda.
The fireworks will begin, literally, at the Launceston Country Club on Monday, April 4, with a fireworks display commencing at 7.45pm. Spectators on the west coast won’t miss out either, with a second fireworks show to take place in Strahan from 8.30pm on Saturday, April 9.
Before the event gets under way with the competitive stages, cars will be on display in Regent Square in George Town on Tuesday, April 5, prior to the Temco Prologue around the streets of the town.
The Temco Prologue will decide the running order for the remaining five days of the event, which includes 38 Targa stages and over 500km of competitive driving.
The official start of Targa Tasmania 2011 will be in Civic Square in Launceston, with the Flag Car, the vintage 1936 Ford V8 Coupe of Graham and Pat Kent, leading the field into battle at 8.45am.
The only major change to the 2011 route is a brand new stage through the streets of Devonport, which is guaranteed to attract a big crowd of cheering spectators.
With the first three days of the event looping out from Launceston, fans have two further opportunities to see the cars up close, to meet the drivers and to collect autographs.
The Targa Expo will be held on Wednesday night at the Launceston Silverdome, while the popular Targafest returns this year and is sure to set the city alight on Friday night, April 8.
After five tough days, Targa Tasmania will come to a climax in Hobart on Sunday, April 10 with the champagne finish on the roof of the Wrest Point car park.
A massive fireworks display from the roof the Wrest Point Tower will mark the conclusion of the 20th event, getting under way at 6pm.
The outright favourites for this year’s Targa Tasmania are local hot-shots Jason and John White, driving their Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.
After taking victory in last year’s event, the Whites will be hoping to fend off the challenge from the similar car of South Australian Kevin Weeks, the Mazda RX-8 SP of Steve Glenney, and Targa legend Jim Richards in his brand new Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
This year’s event is also the final round of the inaugural Australian Targa Championship, with all categories still in the balance.
Targa Tasmania 2011 will include competition for eight classes of vehicles: Vintage, Early Classic, Late Classic, Early Modern, Modern, Showroom, and Showroom 4WD.