AUS: Targa Tasmania pre-event news 2008-03-04

Motoring writer, Peter Hall, from The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, is set to take on the challenges of Tasmanian roads when Targa Tasmania begins on April 15. The noted journalist, who is London-based, has always wanted to compete in...

Motoring writer, Peter Hall, from The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, is set to take on the challenges of Tasmanian roads when Targa Tasmania begins on April 15.

The noted journalist, who is London-based, has always wanted to compete in Australia and was determined to secure a spot in this country's ultimate tarmac rally.

"I jumped at the chance to take part in Targa Tasmania. We almost did it last year but ran out of time to prepare the car, so the anticipation has been building for a long time," Hall said.

"I haven't competed 'Down Under', unless you include a 30 second slalom test against other motoring journalists [whilst at a Holden car event]."

He will be competing with his work colleague, Franca Davenport, who also works at The Telegraph.

"It's our first competitive event together. But she has rally genes -- both her parents were successful co-drivers."

Franca's father, John Davenport, was the 1968 RAC Rally winner, became motorsport chief of Austin Rover and conceived the MG Metro 6R4 Group B rally car.

Hall's 1969 Triumph GT6 is being shipped to Australia for the start of Targa Tasmania in Launceston.

"I've owned it for 15 years and I'm very fond of it," he added.

Targa Tasmania has attracted its largest field in history, with more than 300 competitors from Australia, the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong keen to compete in the five day event.

"Targa Tasmania has a reputation," Hall said.

"Lord March, organiser of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Circuit Revival, was especially encouraging, describing Targa Tasmania as one of the world's last great amateur events."

The 17th running of Targa Tasmania is tipped to be the biggest and best in the rally's history, with a ceremonial start in Launceston on April 15 and a grand finish in Hobart on April 20.

-credit: targatasmania.com.au

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Series RALLY