Launceston driver Peter Nunn will enter his eighth Targa Tasmania next week knowing he and navigator Keith Johnstone face some stiff competition.
The duo sit fourth overall in the Australian Targa Championships following a second-place GT2-class finish in their 2016 Porsche Cayman GTS at Targa North-West in February.
“Targa Tasmania is a bit tougher because there is a lot more competition as all the good guys turn up,” Nunn said on Wednesday.
“So realistically in GT2 we’re up against supercars of Whitey (Jason White), Matt Close and Mick Pritchard, and they will be in a different league to us.
“We’re hoping to be the best of the rest.”
Nunn said they were looking forward to a tight challenge with Paul Stokell and Jason Page in their 2014 Lotus Exige and Craig Dean and Mary Hughes in their 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT across six stages.
We’re hoping to be the best of the rest.Peter Nunn
“If we got on a podium, we’d have to have a dream run, but it’s a long event with about 500 kilometres competitive so our plan is to do the best we can,” the experienced operator said.
“I always love the Sideling… the West Coast is always tricky because you just don’t know what the weather is going to do and I think most people rate Cethana as one of the best stages.
“People think that because you’re a local you know all the roads but most of the roads you don’t go on that often, unless you’re going for a recreational drive.”
The event is centred in Launceston and leg one will start with a stage at Holwell on Monday morning, before an afternoon super stage at George Town.
He said his team and car’s strengths will be consistency over the full journey, which ends on Hobart’s waterfront about lunchtime Saturday week.
“We’re a bit slower than the GTRs and so on. We’re down on power to them but reliability and consistency is our key, and we run an R-spec tyre where other cars have to run more of a road tyre,” he said.
“We’ve haven’t had any real good results in Targa, we’ve always done better in the shorter events.
“Our old car was a 1985 Porsche 944 turbo in the Classic GT class and that proved a little bit temperamental and unreliable, and we did have a couple of accidents in it.
“So out of the last seven I’ve only finished three events. Last year we finished but our new car wasn’t really ready.”
Nunn said he was well prepared this time around and looking forward to a long week behind the wheel.
TARGA NORTH-WEST OUTRIGHT STANDINGS
- Steve Glenney/Andy Sarandis, 2015 Subaru WRX Sti
- Paul Stokell/Jason Page, 2014 Lotus Exige, +3m55s
- Tony Quinn/Kate Catford, 2001 Porsche 996 Turbo, 4m47ss
- Peter Nunn/Keith Johnstone, 2016 Porsche GTS, +5m34s
- Jon Mitchell/Joshua Sutcliffe, 2006 Subaru WRX S204, +5m42s