TARMAC: Targa Tasmania - Seaforth engineer spotlight

Seaforth engineer set for Targa Tasmania John Williamson isn't a superstitious man. In fact, when he arrives in Tasmania on Friday the 13th of April to prepare for the famous Targa Tasmania five day enduro, he's expecting nothing but good...

Seaforth engineer set for Targa Tasmania

John Williamson isn't a superstitious man. In fact, when he arrives in Tasmania on Friday the 13th of April to prepare for the famous Targa Tasmania five day enduro, he's expecting nothing but good fortune to be travelling with him.

Williamson is confident he has prepped his 1960 Austin Healey Sprite well in anticipation of another strong performance in the great race around Tasmania.

An engineer from Seaforth in New South Wales, he bought the car in 1982 in bits and pieces.

"I thought I would teach my boy how to build a motor car," said Williamson. "He had to finish his HSC for school, so I ended up finishing the car myself."

Williamson says his red car always attracts plenty of interest.

"It's the smallest in the competition, but being so small means the roads are a lot bigger."

Despite being small, the Healey still packs a fair punch for Williamson who has had many a spirited drive around the event's testing roads.

"Three years ago we hit the mountain at Hellyer Gorge. I got a ride in the ambulance, and it's the only time we haven't finished."

Fortunately for Williamson and his navigator, David Patterson, that was their only major mishap in eight outings at Targa.

"David is a great navigator and I reckon he's a better driver than me."

The two mates like to head out on their push bikes every morning at 5.30 to keep fit.

Williamson said he is looking forward to some of the changes Targa has this year for competitors, but conceded that this might be the last year he races the Healey without making serious changes to the car.

The rally kicks off at the Country Club in Launceston on April 17 and the chequered flag will end the race at Hobart's Wrest Point on April 22.

-credit: www.targatasmania.com.au

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers John Williams
Teams Williams