NEWS: Lotus at Targa High Country tarmac rally 2017

Lotus were at Targa High Country again in 2017 and claimed all the podium positions with a huge group of 30 cars at this years's event.

Targa High Country Tarmac Rally

Simply Sports Cars mechanics engineers at Targa High Country group photo with people
Play Video

"I'm really proud to see our group here on Mount Buller, we started with a couple of cars a few years ago and this year we had nearly 70 people in our group & close to 30 cars participating, they become more like family each time.

They have all been able to enjoy some of the most amazing roads, closed to the public, in various classes with cars new and old and as you can see in the photos all you see are lots of similing faces.

This is the type of lifestyle we like to foster - you buy a sports car from us to use it, to enjoy it and to be amongst other like minded people whether its for social fun, casual competition or motorsport"

Lee Knappett, Director of Simply Sports Cars

Simply Sports Cars took nearly thirty Lotus sports cars to Targa High Country in 2017, our biggest group ever. We had people in the exclusive Lotus Tour, TSD, GT Sports Trophy & GT2 classes with a mix of old and new cars from Lotus Elise S1’s to new Evora 400’s and even the only Lotus Exige Cup 380 in Australia competing in TSD.

Lotus sports cars claimed most of the podium positions with equal 1st in GT Sports Trophy & 2nd and 3rd in TSD.

Our crew provided road side support over the 3 days across the various stages, vehicle checks at the beginning and end of each day as well as general support.

The amazing result was delivered after hundreds of km’s of driving over 3 days & nothing could split the two Lotus Exige V6 drivers once they reached the finish line, even more surprising considering the 26s gap coming into the final stage. It couldn’t have been scripted any better with Martin, Richard, Mark & Scott sharing the top step of the podium.

GT Sports Trophy is limited to a top speed of 130km/h but so competitive were their times both Exige sports cars placed in the top 30 overall too. The pair also finished over 12 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals in the class, further demonstrating the performance of the Exige.

In TSD it was also super close right up until the final stages with Mike and Ric coming in 2nd place with the forever smiling father & daughter combo of Brian and Stevie-Lee placing 3rd. Justin used Targa High Country as his return to competitive motorsport in the open GT2 class and by the end of the 3 days scored a top 10 finish in 7th place.

What did participants say?

Play Video

"How would anyone have imagined two cars finishing with practically identical times. To see people get so much enjoyment from being able to experience events like this is what we strive for whether you drive an Elise, Exige or Evora.

To put it in perspective Mark simply removed the event stickers then drove home which is testament to the way Lotus builds and designs sports cars, they are made to be used.

We couldn't thank Targa Australia enough for their help and assistance in creating such a great driving experience"

Richard Gibbs, Director of Sales & Strategy for Simply Sports Cars

"Targa is all about the `Cavalcade of Motoring History’ where the great brands can showcase their own journey’s and where they are today.

Lotus have an incredible motor sport history, known around the world, so having this iconic manufacturer at Targa is a perfect fit of a world class sports car being driven, as it was intended, on our world class Targa roads"

Mark Perry, Event Director, Targa Australia Pty Ltd

Comments from the drivers

“Hi all. Just wanted to say what an awesome time I had over the weekend. Great to meet so many nice people and hear all your stories. The SSC team were simply amazing and made the whole experience even better knowing they are there to help with everything. The dinners and accommodation were perfect. And lastly to Justin. Mate I had a ball. Not once was I worried about your driving or speed and you did a amazing job. I have caught the bug and will be back whenever you want me. As I said, it is the most fun you can have with your pants on.” 
– Lucas


“What can I say that hasn’t already been said …. thanks to Richard, Lee and all the guys from SSC for the hard work.  The catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, awesome roads in great cars. A special shoutout to the flat mates in K2-05 and lastly to Graham and Margarita for their company and generosity in sharing the car with me. To living the Lotus Lifestyle.”
– Leigh


“Bit disappointed to find my windscreen still covered in (cheap) champagne this morning. For that reason I can only give the SSC team 11 out of 10 for the weekend. Brilliant, brilliant holiday. Thanks everyone for being part of it. See you next year!”
– Mike


“I would like to thank Richard and all the guys from SSC for a job well done….Again thanks and see you all in Tassie!”  
– Steve