GLENN RIDGE TO MAKE RUSH TRIP TO LOGIES DURING TARGA WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11: Television personality and part-time motor racer Glenn Ridge will interrupt his campaign in this month's Targa Tasmania tarmac rally and make a rush trip to Melbourne and...
GLENN RIDGE TO MAKE RUSH TRIP TO LOGIES DURING TARGA
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11: Television personality and part-time motor racer Glenn Ridge will interrupt his campaign in this month's Targa Tasmania tarmac rally and make a rush trip to Melbourne and back to attend the coveted Logie Awards.
Ridge, host of Channel Nine's high-rating 'Sale of the Century' television program, is contesting the 10th anniversary Targa rally from April 18-24 in a Mazda RX-7.
He will complete the final stage of Targa on the afternoon of (Sunday) April 22, then travel from Hobart to Melbourne to attend the Logies at Crown Casino that night, and return to Tasmania the following morning before the rally resumes at 9.10am.
"It's going to be bit of a rush, but the plan is to fly to Melbourne and then come back to Hobart without missing any stages," said Ridge.
"There won't be any late-night parties for me at the Logies this year because I'll have an early start the next morning getting back to 'Tassie' and switching into race-mode again."
The 45-year-old has competed in Targa eight times before with a best result of fourth outright in 1996 driving the same car he will race this year. His other motorsport accomplishments include finishing 10th outright in the four-wheel-drive vehicles division of the 2000 Australian Safari cross-country rally in a Nissan Patrol.
"My 'real job' is reading questions on television, but motor racing is a passion of mine and something I enjoy very much," he said.
"Events like Targa and the Safari are fabulous because they cater for the full-on professionals, but there's also a place for enthusiasts like me who can find a good level of competition and have some fun."
"You can go as quick as you want for as long as you can, and my aim is to be there at the finish, which I've managed to do most years."
Ridge will be partnered in the rally by South Australian Bob Edwards, his regular navigator in Targa and the Safari, but unlike the leading teams, they will not use pace-notes.
"We've never used pace notes before, so as always, we'll be braking over every crest and corner and driving according to what you can see," said Ridge.
Ridge's RX-7 is being prepared for Targa by Mazda Motorsport Manager Alan Horsley, who is also overseeing the Japanese manufacturer's works team of two MX-5 vehicles in this year's rally.
"Alan (Horsley) used to run the RX-7s in the Bathurst 12-hour enduros a few years ago so he knows these cars backwards," said Ridge.
"The RX-7 is a very user-friendly car, and the twin-turbo rotary engine has heaps enough power for me."
This year's Targa rally comprises a total distance of 2,110km, with 525km in 54 competitive stages. The event starts with the Temco Prologue in George Town, and finishes in Hobart.
Drivers entered include defending champion Jim Richards in a Porsche 911, five-times 500cc motorcycle world champion Michael Doohan, who will make his car racing debut in a Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG, nine-times Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock in a V8 Holden Ute, and former Australian Rally Champions Neal Bates in a Lexus IS200 and Murray Coote in a Mazda MX-5.
The Targa event, which has attracted more than 280 entries, is promoted by global sports marketing company Octagon Worldwide, the sports marketing and entertainment division of the Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing communications groups.