TARGA Tasmania defending champions Jamie Vandenberg and navigator Dennis Sims are hoping they can repeat the effort that saw them claim their inaugural Targa title last year as the 2015 event gets under way on Monday.
The Burnie-based driver will again pilot the Nissan GT-R which managed to limp to the finish line last year with a sick engine that shrouded the car in smoke at the finish line.
Preparations on the Adelaide-based car have been carried out interstate for this year’s event and Vandenberg enjoyed some rare time behind the wheel at a practice day at Symmons Plains yesterday.
‘‘It’s the first time I’ve been in the car since Targa High Country so it’s good to be here and in the car and I’m keen for the week,’’ he said.
‘‘The car has been prepared in Adelaide so I haven’t had to worry too much about that so we’ve had time to work on our rekkies to make sure we have them 10 out of 10 and hopefully that will show later in the week.
‘‘We’ve spent a bit of time on different stages and done most five or six times and looking at the details on some stages where we were too slow last year and worked on them.’’
Vandenberg said they faced some quick opposition to defend their title but said reliability was just as important as speed in Targa.
The duo’s 2013 G TR has been reliable in the past running in three of four Targas with consistent top-five results.
‘‘We don’t worry too much about anyone else until day 3 or 4 and see where we are and go from there,’’ Vandenberg said.
‘‘Hopefully we can bring another one home this year.’’