THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: Experienced Hobart motorsport official Ken Roddam is the new Clerk of Course for the annual Targa Tasmania tarmac rally. The 55-year-old, who has been an official in every Targa since the event's inception in 1992,...
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: Experienced Hobart motorsport official Ken Roddam is the new Clerk of Course for the annual Targa Tasmania tarmac rally.
The 55-year-old, who has been an official in every Targa since the event's inception in 1992, replaces Tom Snooks as Clerk of Course for the next year's rally, to be held from April 27-May 2.
Snooks was Clerk of the Course for 10 years until he relinquished the position after the 2003 event, won by Melbourne-based Jim Richards and Tasmania's Barry Oliver in a Porsche 911.
Roddam was Targa's Operations Manager and Deputy Clerk of Course for the past five years before his appointment as Snooks' successor for the rally, which is owned and produced by global sports and events marketing company Octagon.
"The main difference in being Clerk of Course, compared to my previous role, will be having more to do with the actual running of the event," said Roddam. "Before my focus was on preparation of the course."
"I've worked closely with Tom (Snooks) for many years so I've got a fair idea of what to expect, and how to assess the options and best possible responses to the various situations that arise during an event of this size."
Roddam said his aim was to continue Targa's growth in the four competitions - Shannons Historic (cars from 1900-46), Shannons Touring Classic (1947-65), Classic (1900-81), and Modern (1982-2004), plus the non-competition Shannons Tour, and to develop the new Thoroughbred Sport category.
"I'd like to see more of the classic types of cars on which Targa's reputation was built, and maintain the growth from manufacturers and the high-profile drivers and teams they bring to the event," he said.
"We're also tidying up some safety issues, such as implementing more Australian Rally Championship (ARC) standards in apparel and equipment. Safety is always an important consideration, especially with so many cars and competitors on the roads."
Entries for the 2004 Targa rally currently number 220 and the final starting field is expected to be close to 300.
Octagon Tasmania General Manager Rob McGuire said that Roddam's appointment as Clerk of Course followed an assessment of his capabilities by CAMS officials in the Command Centre at this year's rally.
"Ken came through the assessment with flying colours, which we expected given his experience and background with Targa," said McGuire.
"Tom (Snooks) made a wonderful contribution to Targa over the years, but Ken knows this event backwards, and we're confident he is the right man to help take the event forward into an exciting new era."
Roddam's past official positions in Targa have been -- 1992: Deputy Stage Commander, Grasstree Hill. 1993: Stage Commander, Hobart. 1994-96: Deputy Area Co-ordinator, Southern Region. 1997: Area Co-Ordinator, Southern Region. 1998: Operations Manager and Area Co-Ordinator, Southern Region. 1999-2003: Operations Manager and Deputy Clerk of Course.
Entries for 2004 include seven-times winners Richards and Oliver, and V8 Supercar driver and dual Bathurst 1000 champion Tony Longhurst, who will make his Targa debut in a Subaru WRX STi with fellow-Queenslander Michael DeVere.
Other confirmed starters are Victorian Red Broadbent, who third in 2003, and 2001 runner-up Tony Quinn of Queensland, both driving Porsche 911 cars.
The Tasmanian challenge will be led by Launceston's Greg Garwood, who was fourth in 2003, in a Porsche 911 GT3, and Jason White and John White, third in 2002, in a Nissan Skyline GTR.
Total distance of the 2004 Targa rally will be approximately 2000km, with about 450km in 44 competitive stages. There were also 44 competitive stages this year. The 2004 rally will begin with the traditional Temco Prologue in George Town.
NEW 'SPIRIT OF TASMANIA' SHIP TO BOOST NSW & QUEENSLAND ENTRIES
Octagon Tasmania General Manager Rob McGuire predicts a surge in NSW and Queensland entries in next year's Targa rally. This follows the Tasmanian Government's announcement that a new Spirit of Tasmania III will commence operations between Sydney and Devonport in January, 2004.
"The total journey from Sydney to Devonport will be about 20 hours," said McGuire. "This will save an enormous amount of time for NSW and Queensland competitors who previously had to take their cars to Melbourne for the traditional Melbourne-Devonport crossing."
Bookings for the Sydney-Devonport crossing can be made by contacting the Spirit of Tasmania offices on -- Tel: (03) 6421-7200.