TARMAC: Targa Tasmania - Peter O'Keefe spotlight

O'Keefe holds Tasmanian hopes for Outright Classic title Thursday April 11, 2007 - This year's Targa Tasmania is sure to give Hobart's Peter O'Keefe a chance to conquer the Shannons Classic competition with his 1977 Holden Torana SLR 5000. The...

O'Keefe holds Tasmanian hopes for Outright Classic title

Thursday April 11, 2007 - This year's Targa Tasmania is sure to give Hobart's Peter O'Keefe a chance to conquer the Shannons Classic competition with his 1977 Holden Torana SLR 5000.

The Tasmanian motorsport identity is the strong local chance to take outright honours in the Shannon's Classic competition, but to do so he'll have to beat more than 120 other classic competitors from all over Australia and the world.

It is the first time that Classic cars will battle it out for outright honours, as the event has previously seen the overall winner determined by a handicap system.

O'Keefe, who will be joined by co-driver Julie Winton-Monet, believes the changes to this year's Targa Tasmania present him with an opportunity to take his car to the top.

"I hope to do all right this year," O'Keefe said. "Now we've got an outright Classic section I am sure we will see some quick times."

Cars produced prior to 1991 are defined as Classics for this year's event.

Compared to 2006, over 50 additional classic cars entries have joined the event, many of them powerful V8s, including the Ford Falcon GT Coupe of Hollywood star Eric Bana.

O'Keefe believes the competition will be tough with the likes of Bill Pye and Grant Geelan in a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera, and the five-time Classic Adelaide winner, Rex Broadbent, driving a Porsche 911 RSR.

The Melbourne-based entry of Len and Gayle Cattlin, in their Boss 302 Mustang, are also sure to be up there when the event ends on April 22 at Hobart's Wrest Point.

"If it rains we might struggle to keep up, but as long as we stay out of trouble it should be good," O'Keefe said.

"There are half a dozen quick Classic cars which will show their quick times this year as there is no handicap to get in the way."

Australia's ultimate tarmac rally has undergone a few changes this year, which will create a more exciting event for competitors and spectators.

There will even be a night stage, which will see the cars compete at the DEC in Glenorchy.

The black Torana which O'Keefe races is definitely a crowd pleaser and will start red hot favourite in the inaugural "Ford versus Holden King of the Night Stage".

"I've done a few local events and championships and people know my car."

Look out for the local-favourite O'Keefe as he and Winton-Monet in the black beast numbered 636 take on the challenge of Targa Tasmania.

The event prologue is at George Town on April 17, the official start takes place at the Country Club in Launceston on April 18 and the event finishes at Wrest Point on April 22.

-credit: www.targatasmania.com.au

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Series Other rally
Drivers Eric Bana