Wow Tasmania Wow. I was told that you had the best roads in Australia and today you showed some of them to us.
An early day after Porsche hospitality provided dining at one of
Launceston’s best restaurants, Cataract last night.
The alarm came too early this morning with breakfast at 5.45am start for a 6.30am departure, but as we slipped into the cars and started the engines there was an air of excitement around the group this morning.
The reason – stage one “The Sideling” It is regarded as one of the key
Targa stages and for the competitors it will be one that is highly sort
after for an outright win and place. It was the first of the five North
East stages using the Tassie Highway for the course.
The stage takes us through forestry plantations and there were plenty of sharp corners to test us on this early stage. The road was smooth and with some great corners to ‘clip’ and some tricky corners that came up quickly.
On this stage we were able to quickly catch the car in front so on the next touring stage we took the opportunity when they made a toilet stop to move up a spot.
Three more fantastic stages followed with some great twist and turns, simply made for a Porsche – or in fact any car that loves tight and twisty roads. The brakes never fail to amaze me, how quickly they pull the car up and are ready again on the next corner. It makes it so much fun.
Lunch was a quick stop today – a wrap, apple and muesli bar and we were off again. This time to another of Targa’s favorite stages – “Elephant Pass”
This time we saddled up for the 11.16km run, which is definitely one of the toughest of the event. Some switchback corners, steep drops from the side of the road and rock embankments. There were 3 double cautions (which must be given the respect they deserve) or it could be an early day with your car on the trailer or worse.
It has a challenging 7km uphill run before a nice, fast winding and
slightly downhill finish. You only had to see the smile on the face of the other drivers to know how much fun this one was.
Moving on to Rossarden, this stage was full of loose gravel at the start and we really had to watch the stone chips as rocks where flicked up from the fat 305.30.’s on the back of the Porsche GTS in front of me. Again, this stage puts a smile on your face with a fast sweeping start and then the unexpected bends just a few kilometers in. A steep decent to the finish put a test on the rubber and brakes and I found the ABS cutting in on a couple of heavy braking corners.
Three double cautions and a triple indicating a steep drop off the side of the road as the corner goes right and gets tight. Smiles all round once we pass through the finish and tour on to our fabulous afternoon tea at The Red Feather Inn for another fantastic hospitality stop with our friends from Porsche.
After a number of dinner and other functions we are starting to meet a lot of the group and finding that in addition to our interest in motor sport, many share other things in common that make this more than just a driving tour, but something that you fell you belong to.