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Archives for July 2010

Targa 2009 Prologue

The first day of Targa 2009 was off to a cold start with freezing temperatures and snow on the nearby mountains. The action was going to heat up on the roads though and the team were itching to get out and drive. After getting start times the guys headed to Georgetown and the prologue. The weather fined up and resulted in a perfect day.

The 270 cars started on the 4km course without incident and we waited with anticipation for the Redback Racing cars to start. All drivers completed the course and were happy with their times, knowing that there are 5 days of competition ahead and a lot can happen before the finish line in Hobart.

The 3 Mazdas are in the showroom category with Adam best placed in 12th position. The other two cars are less than 10 seconds behind and competition will be fierce for the rest of the event.

The Lotus is currently in 17th position in the modern completion 13 seconds off the pace and being a light nimble car will excel when the competition enters the windy stages ahead.

Get ready for day 1 as the event kicks off with its first full day.

Targa 2009 Day 1

The first full day started with plenty of enthusiasm from the drivers, the three MX5 teams all leaving the Silverdome at similar times with the Lotus an hour later on.

The first stages have long base times so are useful as a warm up before the tougher action progresses throughout the day.

All of the cars were running well throughout the morning stages, the temperature started to rise into double digits in the fresh Tasmanian sun and the cars began to progress throughout the field.

Lunch and servicing was held at Beaconsfield where we were then informed of the casualties of racing. Already two cars in the showroom class had already come off the tarmac and landed in a ditch with more to follow throughout the day.

After refuelling through lunch, news spread that two of the cars in Team Redback Racing had infringements during the morning stages.

Adam Spence had set a record… 127kph in a 40kph zone – a last minute change in the race commentary stating a bridge had became a little unsturdy and that all cars were to pass at no more than 40kph.

Chris Bowden also incurred the same penalty which became a massive blow to both of their category chances, a 10 minute time penalty thus relegating both to the bottom of the showroom class.

A lot of time to catch up but with majority of the race remaining. The remainder of the day passed with no issue for Team Redback Racing, Kelly Silverthorn (the Canadian contingent of the team) leading the way in the Modern class and Dean Evans driving the New Lotus Exige leading the pack finish and overall 27th.

Tomorrow brings a famous Targa Tasmania leg – ‘The Sidling’ where the race gets progressively more challenging.

Targa 2009 Day 2

Today the team all performed extremely well with Adam and Dave starting to claw back their 10 minute penalty from Chris Bowden and Duncan.

The team from Canada are really impressing everybody with their pace, skill and commitment.

Team lotus went well today with a top 10 finish in the Elephants Pass stage.

Tommorrow the highlight of the day will be the 16km Paloona stage.

Targa 2009 Day 3

Today all 4 cars all took part in their first full wet stages with the first stages declared wet and followed
by a number of intermediate stages which proved to be extremely challenging.

There was a number of accidents including Jim Richards having his first accident in his 15 Targas he has competed

Adam and Dave had a small scare when they ran their car a little too light in an effort in catching the class leader,
they made an addition 1.05 today to bridge the gap to just 5.05 from the 10 minutes they started with.

At the end of the day the team had all cars washed by the make a wish team and then onto TargaFest which is a
street fair in the main street of Launceston where 10,000 people turned out to inspect the cars.

All three Mazda’s did not skip a beat all day with roadside servicing and refueling occuring twice during the day.

Team lotus had a great day also with them jumping to 12th outright which is an amazing performance for the car.

Targa 2009 Day 4

Day four started off very wet, making the first 2 stages very tricky for some of the cars.

One of the team members did have an accident today, Adam and Dave unfortunately came off the road on the Gunns Plains stage after 2k’s. Thankfully the only damage was the radiator and some cosmetic damage to the rear of the car where it clipped a tree.

The service crews back tracked through the days stages to get back to the car to perform the repairs in Burnie. Adam and Dave were back up and running only missing two stages. Unfortunately this now prevents the guys from obtaining a Targa plate at the end of the event.

The other cars continued through the stages well but treading very carefully as the latter stages were hit with a downpour causing some other competitors to have accidents on the very last stage of the day.

Tomorrow is the final day heading to Hobart after repeating the Queenstown leg in reverse.

Targa 2009 Day 5

After the off on day 4 Adam and Dave in team RedBack Racing car 1 started back with a shaky start for the morning.

As the weather dried and the team got back into a ryhthm they drove faster and faster. They worked through the rain and as the stages dried they got back on song and on pace.

By this time it was to late to win the race with other cars in the class. But with the end in sight it was great to roll into Hobart for the finish.

Congratulations to the two mx5’s of Kelly and Glynn won the class followed by the third Mx5 of Chris and Duncan in second making it a 1st 2nd and 3rd for the team. Congratulations to all the winners who finished the race.

The team have learnt a great deal about the cars and will come back next year with even greater pace and determination.

What People Are Saying…

“I’ve hired Targa cars and crews in New Zealand, Newfoundland, and now Tasmania. Redback Racing offers an exceptionally professional operation.

The Miata (MX5) I drove at Tassie had less than 10,000 km. With its light weight, these cars handle well, and are easy on brakes and tires. It certainly has enough power to find trouble if you must, but the MX5s will not take you there uninvited.

Having identical spec cars made the participating Redback crews more interested in the intra-squad rivalry than the overall event competition. It was all good-natured fun, with the service guys featuring in the fun and entertainment, for anybody hoping to race in Targa Tasmania from overseas this service is a must and the event definitely one of the best motor sport experiences available globally”

Kelly Silverthorn, Canada. Targa 2009, Car 974



Well guys just a word of thanks for turning the dream into a reality ….. again.

What an insane few months.

When I first made contact with Redback Racing in late December 2009 – little did I imagine you would be well enough organised to have me successfully completing my first ever Targa event FOUR weeks later.

It was amazing that you were able to:
– organise all the paperwork, Targa entries etc
– find me a great Navigator
– organise a personalised seat fitting (and get to know barbeque)
– ship the car
– organise the accommodation
– personalised seat fitting for myself and my navigator
– keep the car running in perfect condition
– it just all happened and ran like clockwork

Now you have just done it again – for the race I have always dreamed about. You were right – the Targa Tasmania event was sooo much bigger than Targa Wrest Point (but I now recommend that anyone who wants to do Targa Tasmania should do Targa Wrest Point first).

So Targa Tasmania is so hard to describe or explain to people but I’ll have a go anyway. So just imagine this:
– before I have even left Sydney the support team has arrived in Tasmania and serviced and prepared the car
– I fly directly to Launceston to meet up with team (and the car) and do final seat fittings etc
– drive the car to scrutineering and pass straight through with no issues
– next day Redback have organised for myself and the other team car to participate in a track day at Symmonds Plains – basically doing hot lap rides for sponsors which was great fun and great preparation in getting used to the car again. To top it off we shared a garage with Jim Richards (who is a great down to earth guy)
– once the track session was complete the support crew attacked the car and fitted a complete new set of tyres and rims ready for Targa
– then it was full on into the big event where everything happens in rapid succession and there’s hardly time to take breather
– almost everything happened as planned with one exception ….. mother nature … who turned on some of the trickiest conditions I have experienced in the last ten years
– anyway all accommodation was organised, team get togethers each night, some driving coaching tips techniques and what amazed me was the preparation as to which suspension settings were going to be used on each day (and what could be adjusted during the day)
– this event criss crosses the island at race pace yet the support crews would always appear ready for us (in the middle of nowhere) for refuelling, food, drinks etc – never missed us once
– with the variable conditions it was incredibly mentally demanding – but what made it easier was not having to worry about any mechanical or logistical issues due to the great support team.
– I made lots of friends, met many icons
– at the end of the event I say goodbye to everyone (and the car) and fly back to Sydney
– how easy fun and painless was that!!!

In summary Targa is a very well organised event that has to be experienced to be believed. When you are able to participate in such a large event and have a reliable car, superb support crew and be associated with such great people and finish the event it is such a high!!!

All I can say to the people out there who watch motorsport, play the DVD’s and dream a lot  ………. just get out there and do it (and get Targa off your “Bucket List”). You don’t live forever you know .. do it and do it now in the best organised way possible – as a full Targa lease package!!!!

A full Targa lease package, takes away the worries of building a race car, finding a navigator , getting a support team organised, finding accommodation, organising spares, fuel etc etc., and was the only way to do it and really enjoy it …….. so much so I’m going to do it again next year!!

Thanks guys I still can’t get the grin off my face.


Geoff Kennedy