Driv­ers steel for speed

South Aus­tralia has a leg in the tar­mac rally cham­pi­onship

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motor Sport - Stu­art Innes

AUS­TRALIA is to have a new na­tional mo­tor sport cham­pi­onship.

The CAMS Aus­tralian Targa Cham­pi­onship for tar­mac rally cars will kick off with the new Su­paloc Clas­sic Targa Ade­laide in Septem­ber.

The event re­places the for­mer Clas­sic Ade­laide Rally, which ran into fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties two years ago. It is be­ing run by pro­moter Oc­tagon, which has earned its rep­u­ta­tion with Targa Tas­ma­nia.

A port­fo­lio of Oc­tagon’s events has been linked and the se­ries has won CAMS en­dorse­ment to be­come an Aus­tralian cham­pi­onship.

The cham­pi­onship for clas­sic cars will in­clude the Ade­laide event in Septem­ber, Targa High Coun­try at Mt Buller, Vic­to­ria, in Novem­ber, Targa Wrest Point in Ho­bart in Jan­uary and Targa Tas­ma­nia in April.

A cham­pi­onship for mod­ern cars will be held on the lat­ter three. Oc­tagon’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Sean Ni­cholls says there is no plan to add a mod­ern competition cat­e­gory to the Ade­laide event.

The targa for­mat of ral­ly­ing has been go­ing from strength to strength over the past three years, grow­ing out of Targa Tas­ma­nia,’’ Ni­cholls says. More com­peti­tors will be at­tracted to it now that it has the back­ing of CAMS.’’

CAMS pres­i­dent Steve Pa­padopou­los says the Aus­tralian Targa Cham­pi­onship would be a sig­nif­i­cant ti­tle in Aus­tralian mo­tor sport. Tar­mac ral­ly­ing is a real growth area,’’ he says.

Ni­cholls says there are 100 en­tries so far for the Ade­laide event and 100 more are an­tic­i­pated. The Ade­laide pro­logue will be on Septem­ber 14, fol­lowed by three days of competition which could be ex­tended to four days next year.

The Ade­laide event has drawn nam­ing rights spon­sor­ship from steel build­ing sys­tem Su­paloc – a South Aus­tralian firm run by Kevin Weeks, a three-time win­ner of the for­mer Clas­sic Ade­laide Rally in his 1974 Porsche RS. He also won Targa High Coun­try last year in a mod­ern Lam­borgh­ini.

Off tar­mac: JamesOwe­nand Ja­son Wil­liams in their 1968 Tri­umph TR5 in this year’s Targa Tas­ma­nia

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