Targa Tasmania has announced some of the biggest upheavals in the iconic event's three-decade history with George Town following Longford into the pits.
Fresh stages and a sharp increase in competitive distance will see the 2020 edition become the longest endurance test in the race's rich history.
But the controversial decision to exclude the traditional opening-day visit to the mouth of the Tamar will not be popular among motorsport-loving George Town locals.
Targa Australia chief executive Mark Perry said "exhaustive planning over several months" had led to the April 27 to May 2 event embracing 626 kilometres of timed running across 38 competitive stages.
This is up from the 473km and 33 stages for this year's race.
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The highly revised course will introduce two new stages at Golden Valley and Poatina on the opening day and feature a re-introduction of the popular 35km Rinadeena stage between Queenstown and Strahan last used in 2014.
"It will return Targa Tasmania back to the days of a genuine endurance rally, where simply finishing will again be seen as a major achievement," Perry said.
"This is the essence of the event and it is important to recognise this as we head towards our 30th anniversary celebrations in 2021.
"Competitors will be delighted with the new course and the new challenge of the event, and we know we need to constantly keep the event fresh to ensure its on-going success."
Launceston will be the event's base from Sunday through to Wednesday morning, with the field staying at Strahan for two nights and Hobart hosting the cars and crews on the Friday and Saturday nights.
Perry said the opening day traditionally featured either a low mileage trio of stages or a single stage centred around George Town. In this year's race, the field faced just 19.65 competitive kilometres on leg one.
"To achieve our goal of the longest competitive course in the event's history, some tough decisions were needed," he said.
"The opening day of Targa Tasmania has seen very few competitive kilometres for the last 25 years.
"Whilst the history of Targa Tasmania is of vital importance, change is a part of the event's history also and we felt, as did the local council, that now was the right time for this change."
He added: "We have moved to a focus on traditional closed road stages which are a perfect test of driver and car and what Targa Tasmania has become famous for."
The widespread changes to Targa Tasmania's course will result in a new-look schedule.
Monday, April 27: The opening leg will feature a full day of competition totalling 76.50 kilometres, starting with the return for the first time since 2016 of the short Legana dash. Lunch break: Latrobe.
Tuesday, April 28: The traditional Sideling, Weldborough Pass, Elephant Pass and Rossarden loop around the North-East. Lunch break: St Helens.
Wednesday, April 29: Regular favourites Cethana and Hellyer Gorge and the return of Rinadeena en route to Queenstown. Lunch break: Wynyard.
Thursday, April 30: Another North-West circuit including Hellyer Gorge in reverse plus Gunns Plains. Lunch break: Burnie.
Friday, May 1: The traditional run from Queenstown to Hobart including the beloved Mount Arrowsmith. Lunch break: New Norfolk.
Saturday, May 2: Southern loop including Oyster Cove, Gardners Bay and Cygnet.
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