For the last 5 months I have been excitedly waiting for this day to arrive because today marks the start of the 25th Targa Tasmania.
My wife Nicole, and I in our Porsche 997 4s, join 55 other Porsche owners and driving enthusiasts on the Porsche Driving Experience that runs in conjunction with the drivers competing in the Targa Tasmania
Over the the next 6 days we get to enjoy some of Tasmania’s best roads as we tour over 1900 km with some 490km of closed road sections. Unlike the competitors who are not speed limited we have a maximum speed limit of 130km per hour but after experience some of the roads today I can tell you that that is more than enough.
Our morning starts early as we lead the competitors cars through the stages, so after breakfast and a morning briefing we head to the cars. Our lead drivers include Alex Davidson and Steven Johnson as well as other experienced and accomplished drivers.
During our briefing Alex asking us to drive within our limits be safe and to just enjoy ourselves. There will be no F1 contracts on offer at the end of the event he says with a smile on his face.
Having been sorted into groups based on the power of our car and driving experience, a bit of ego creeps in as we jostle for position within our group as we exit the car park.
Leaving the Launceston Country Club, it is a sight to see 56 Porsche in single file formation begin the 21km touring to the first stage. 4.90km flowing stage that runs through beautiful farming country called Legana.
As we drive through the beautiful country side the excitement begins to build. We take the turn off the main road and pass by the police road closure and begin to line up as we approach the beginning of the stage.
We gradually edge up as car by car speeds off. The sound of the sports exhaust in the GT3’s is a sound that you never grow tired of.
Ok, sports button on, seatbelts tight, windows up and we are ready to go.
The road twists and turns from the very start and opens out to some fast sweeping corners. The engine snarls as it approaches 7000 rpm and the feeling of excitement -or maybe adrenaline, begins to pump through my body and the car dips and dives through the corners.
With the road being closed you can run in the middle of the road and open up the corners without the worry of any on coming traffic.
There is nothing like the feeling of putting a Porsche into a fast sweeping corner and then hard on the brakes and then back on the pedal hard as you accelerate out of the next corner.
These cars are just made for these roads like this and the feeling is one I can best explain as love. Every twist and turn is complemented with the amazing sound of the rear mounted engine of the 911.
As we exit the end of the first stage I can see what it is that continues
to draw drivers back each year..
Last night, we had the opportunity to have Jim Richard and his co driver Barry Oliver, 8 times outright winners, join us for a VIP hosted dinner and they spoke about how much fun they had during this event and why this is their 25th event as a result.
One of the great things about doing this event with the Porsche Driving Experience, over being a competitor is the great hospitality that comes with being a guest.
The final stage today was the town stage in Georgetown. The locals were out on every corner having a great time seeing all the cars come through.
For this stage we had a 60km speed limit but let me tell you, you can still have a lot of fun with tight right angel corners in 1st and 2nd gear and not exceed 60km.
Following the Porsche drive we all headed to the VIP Marque, located on a great corner providing excellent viewing of all the action Wonderful food and drinks were provided and for the next 2 hours we got to see each of the competitors cars through.
Cheers erupted for anyone who managed to get the car sideways and even louder for the ones that continued to powerslide all the way through the corner.
The afternoon involved a leisurely drive back to Launceston before filling up with fuel to get ready for day 2. I can’t wait!
Story and Images by Reine Clemow