Two-time winner Steve Glenney has played down his chances of being a threat to the Targa Tasmania title.
The in-form Launceston driver is just coming off an all-conquering win at Targa North West earlier this year.
Glenney said the nature of the coastal two-day race had conspired in his favour.
Defending Targa Tasmania champion Jason White was forced to pull out of North West with mechanical issues.
“We only won that by considerable margin because Whitey had that problem,” Glenney said.
“But we had been fighting tooth and nail until then.
“He’ll be back, obviously.”
But near incomparable road conditions is a big issue that Glenney fears puts him behind the leaders.
Even practice at Symmons Plains on Thursday – four days out from the start – gave little indication how the car would handle the driving.
“It was a little bit pointless being so wet and next week is looking dry,” Glenney said.
“We really would have rather a dry test and the wet next week.”
Both White and perennial performer Matt Close, who Glenney has labelled favourites, will be better suited to the unseasonal mild weather.
Glenney enjoys his Subaru WRX Sti, but concedes the vehicle has its limitations.
“It’s a slightly different race for us to them,” he said.
“Targa North West being a two-day event, we can just go flat out with our tyres.
“Whereas in the long Targa Tassie, we really have to think about tyre wear.
“Jason is in a similar boat because he’s got soft tyres too. While Matt’s car has more durable tyres and he can go flat out the whole way.
“So, it’s a bit of cat and mouse – obviously the race is a bit more than just going flat out. But in saying that, with our specification, we have to go fairly flat out.”
Glenney has sat behind the wheel of all types of vehicles heading into his 13th year at Targa that has delivered victories in 2008 and 2016.
Starting out in a GTi, the 40-year-old went on to first win in a Mitsubishi Evo before getting comfortable in a Mazda RX8 for a number of years and later switching to a slick-looking R35 GTR.
“We had a lot more grunt back then, which made life a lot easier, but also it was lot heavier too,” Glenney said.
“So you really can’t carry the quarter speeds as well.
“But this is car is a great to drive, very easy to drive and it’s lighter than the R35s.”
Glenney, originally from Adelaide, said Targa Tasmania was a special occasion.
“It’s probably our biggest week of the year,” he said.
“It’s just such a huge challenge – we don’t do the same stage twice. So every corner is different; every section of the road is different.
“The weather plays a huge role – even when it’s dry you still get different temperatures on the road.”