Targa North West preview

Viper attack: Jason and John White will be taking their Dodge Viper around Tasmania. Picture: Scott Gelston.
Viper attack: Jason and John White will be taking their Dodge Viper around Tasmania. Picture: Scott Gelston.

The opening round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship begins this weekend, with the two-day Targa North West event.

In previous years, Targa North West was held over one day, but this year has been doubled in length, ensuring it will be a greater spectacle for fans, comprising 11 stages and 170 competitive kilometres.

There will be some familiar stages, including the popular Montumana, Irishtown, Edith Creek and Oldina legs that form part of Targa Tasmania, as well as the exciting Hellyer Gorge South.

The GT2 class for two-wheel drive showroom cars looks certain to be exciting.

Six-time Targa Tasmania winners Jason and John White in their Dodge Viper ACR Extreme, will be challenged by the likes of Launceston’s Peter Nunn and Keith Johnstone in a Porsche Cayman GTS, who finished a magnificent second overall in last year’s Targa High Country.

GT4 sees a strong contingent of local teams who will be hoping their familiarity with the course and conditions will hold them in good stead.

Crichton Lewis and Adam Kudra in a Subaru WRX STi, as well as Hobart’s David Ayers and Rod Black in a Nissan GTR R35, are expected to be highly competitive in the four-wheel drive showroom class.

A strong field in early modern is also set for round one of the championship, with popular driver Tony Quinn teaming up with Kate Catford in a Porsche 996 Turbo.

Targa Australia event director Mark Perry said fans can expect tremendous racing.

“This weekend promises to be the most exciting event we have run in the North-West to date, with the opening round of the new CAMS Australian Targa Championship being held as part of this weekend’s rally,” Perry said.