Team Betta Warwick completes the 'ultimate tarmac rally'
REPORT 7: Targa Tasmania is done and dusted.
Team Betta Warwick classified as finishing the event.
We started every stage and finished all but one, due to crook alternator.
I now understand why people say that this event is the hardest tarmac rally in the world to complete every stage. I suppose that it is why the slogan for the event is "the ultimate tarmac rally".
Day 5 out of Strahan was a good one for the team. The first stage of the day was "Strahan" and that was 33 km of cold and slippery roads.
The Team Betta Warwick Evo was rock solid throughout the stage and we managed a rather fast time.
The next stage was the postcard stage of Targa Tasmania. "Queenstown" and its 99 bend road east towards Hobart has been run every year in Targa Tasmania.
It is a stage that drivers seem to love and navigators hate.
Our car was no different to this. After about 10 corners you are about 1000 feet above the township of Queenstown and all that is stopping from visiting the locals below is a rather small cable fence on the right of the car.
For me, I was really glad to see this stage behind us.
On to to the longest stage of the event, "Mt Arrowsmith". 53 kms and about 550 instructions from navigator to driver, if the driver hears them the first time and the navigator doesn't have to repeat the instruction.
A good stage for us and another competitive time.
The day seemed to get easier from there with the next five stages and the run into Hobart.
We arrived at the Macquarie 2 docks and the car was serviced by the boys and put into the security park for the night. Friday night was Targafest night in Hobart and there was a pretty big crowd on hand to view the cars and talk to the teams that were present.
Saturday, the last day, started with the tricky "Oyster Cove" stage to the south of Hobart.
This is a new stage for Targa Tasmania, as with all the stages on Saturday but an oldie for those that compete in Targa Wrest Point.
We found the stage a great challenging piece of road with sharp crests that would have the car off the road if it weren't for the navigator letting the driver know that AIR is not a part of the event.
From there we transported (drove) to the scenic "Woodbridge" stage and on the start line Rob commented on how beautiful the valley was. Not something that a navigator likes to hear when he is preparing to navigate a car at high speed through a race stage.
But all good and a solid time was posted.
"Cygnet" was next and this stage took us into the Huon valley and along the Huon River. This stage was a great stage with lots of tight twisty bits and a few long open corners.
The last stage was "Longley" and this was exciting because the local council, in their wisdom, just regraded the shoulders of the road leaving it rather soft and loose.
As you can imagine with 200 race cars cutting corners and running wide there was a fair bit of loose stuff on the road and then add to that the fact that it was a little bit rough causing the car to jump and bounce around is an understatement.
We had finished the rally proper and all we had to do now was get ourselves and the car into Hobart for the official chequered flag. We made that and received our official finish medals from the director of the event.
So now it begins all over again. 2016 is the 25th anniversary of Targa Tasmania and is set to be the biggest event ever. We can't wait.
We would like to thank everyone that has sent us their good wishes and especially those that have given us support and help in setting the car up and getting it ready to compete this year.
A big thank you must go to the service crew (Gub, Troy, Mark and Rod) because without you blokes Rob and I could not live our dream and compete in this event.
- Peter Lane