BROCK REVEALS NEW-LOOK TARGA DAYTONA Ten-time Bathurst Enduro champion Peter Brock today made the big reveal on his newly sprayed 2000 model Daytona Coupe which he will drive in next week's Targa Tasmania. With the big announcement of Brock's...
BROCK REVEALS NEW-LOOK TARGA DAYTONA
Ten-time Bathurst Enduro champion Peter Brock today made the big reveal on his newly sprayed 2000 model Daytona Coupe which he will drive in next week's Targa Tasmania.
With the big announcement of Brock's comeback to the annual Tasmanian tarmac rally coming only a few weeks ago, the Melbourne-based Australian motor racing legend who was last seen at Targa Tasmania in 2004, will be driving a 2000 model Daytona Coupe with first-time Targa Tasmania navigator Mick Hone.
Over the past few weeks long hours have been spent on fine-tuning both the engine and paintwork of the Daytona, which weighs in at only 1150kgs. Powered by a 5.7-litre V8 Chevy engine the new-look 'Brockmobile' is now an incredible shade of silver.
Powered by the same engine type as Brock's usual Targa Tasmania car of choice, the Monaro, the Daytona is 450kg lighter and offers an incredible power-to-weight advantage that his sturdy 'signature' Monaro did not have.
"The Monaro is a more robust car than the Daytona and with it came more reliability and surety with testing etc," explains Brock. "But this is a very competitive piece of machinery. It will be a bit of an eye opener for me and I guarantee it will look good and it will sound good."
So far having only clicked over 15 competitive kilometres in his new Targa car, Brock is not deterred and says his three decade-long portfolio in motor sport will come to the rescue.
"I'm not going to have a lot of time in the car so this is going to give me a decent challenge. But I have always been pretty quick in learning new cars, so I am hoping I've still got that knack," says Brock. "We will take the first two or three days of the event in our stride so when it really starts getting tough, we will be on song."
The limited production Daytona sports car is the brainchild of Motec engine management system chief, Richard Bendell, who had the cars built based on a modern interpretation of the 1965 Shelby Daytona which dominated the World Sports Car Championship that same year.
"Richard [Bendell] asked me if I wanted to drive his car in Targa, so I took the car for a run at Calder," explains 61-year-old Brock. "I came away from that test with a distinct impression that driving the Daytona in Targa was going to be a lot of fun."
Brock's return to the event he considers "the best motor sport event to exist anywhere" is part of his gradual reappearance back to professional driving following his decision to retire from his long-time profession in late 2004.
"I have done a few other events over the last couple of years and I thought to myself, I should compete in Targa. This is all for the sheer enjoyment of driving a really magnificent piece of machinery on some really magnificent roads."
With his last Targa Tasmania navigator, Anne Gigney, already competing in this year's event with Victorian Max Warwick in a Porsche GT3, Brock says his long-time friend, Melbourne-based Hone, was the obvious choice for his Targa Tasmania comeback.
"Mick is a good car organiser and a good mechanic. Because the Daytona is so specialised you can't have just anyone around to look after it. We will need to be able to think on our feet a lot and Mick fits the bill here."
A Melbourne motorcycle dealer, Hone once filled in his spare time as Moto Competitor Relations Officer for the Octagon owned and promoted Australian Safari. 53-year-old Hone took the leap from rally side to competitive navigating last year, when he sat beside Ray Delaney in an early model Ferrari 365 GTB for the 2005 Classic Adelaide rally.
The Targa Tasmania first-timer, who was Team Manager for the Australian Suzuki Motorcycle team in 2000, couldn't be happier with who will be steering the car for his first run in the event.
"It's all a bit daunting really, the speed and harshness of the event, but Peter Brock is perhaps one of Australia's best natural drivers, so he is the best driver a first-time Targa navigator could ask for," said Hone.
The Brock/Hone entry is one of 250 plus Targa Tasmania competitors who will embark on five days of tough competition from the Official Start Line at Launceston's Country Club on Tuesday, 25th April.
Other high-profile entries include Network Ten's Daryl Beattie who is driving a current model Mitsubishi Evo IX, Tony Longhurst of V8 Supercar fame, reigning Targa Tasmania champion and local rally hero Jason White in a Lamborghini Gallardo and all-conquering Porsche driver Jim Richards who has won Targa Tasmania seven times before.