If you just watched the video above you are probably wondering if doing a Targa is just racing on roads? Well if you are in one of the competition groups then a tarmac rally is a race, but each vehicle drives onto a stage at set intervals, just like you would see in WRC.
The other way you can participate in a Targa tarmac rally event in Australia is to join one of the tour groups & that is the fun the guys were having in the video above. You get to drive on the same closed road stages as the competition groups, at your own pace & with a tour leader.
The 2022 running of Targa High Country was held in February this year after being postponed from its usual date in November. So for the first time we headed to Mount Buller in the middle of summer to enjoy the famous mountain roads & Victorian hinterland around Mansfield.
We supported our largest ever group of vehicles attending High Country with three tour groups plus crews competing in both Outright and GT Sports Trophy classes. We had a great mix of people that included first timers and seasoned campaigners which created a very inclusive, welcoming atmosphere. Many also don’t realise we hosted one of the first few non-Lotus Tour Groups at this event. This group was made up of a mix of vehicles including a classic Torana, Aston Martin, Yaris GR and others.
Lotus Exige crews dominated GT Sports Trophy yet again, taking the top seven places in the group with the top three separated by less than two minutes after three days of competition. The rivalry between Gibbens/Jurd, Sher/Murphy & Bryden/Noble continued at this event and no doubt each crew will be planning their revenge at Targa Tasmania.
In the overall classifications it was an unbelievable tie for eight place for husband / wife team Tony & Sandra Seymour competing with the Cuthberts. After three days they were on equal times which also placed them equal 5th place in GT Outright with Fengels / Hewlett just missing out on an outright top ten finish, their best result at High Country to date.
What makes us really proud to see is that most of the crews are everyday people who enjoy driving rather than focussed professional or semi-professional racing drivers. It illustrates how inclusive doing a Targa tarmac rally can be with a level of access within reach of any driving enthusiast.
Below are the classifications & category results.
Is it easy to try a Targa rally?
Ever thought about trying competition?
Highlights from the three days of Targa
The Targa High Country tour groups we managed
As we had mentioned earlier, the 2022 Targa High Country event saw has supporting two Lotus Tour groups and a Simply Sports Cars Tour group. There was a mix of vehicles in the Lotus groups from an S1 Elise, Evora’s and the latest Exige V6’s. Each group is sorted based on experience, driving speed and comfort levels to ensure the groups travel safely along each stage.
Our Simply Sports Cars Tour group had a mix of vehicles and enables driving enthusiasts to enjoy the event while we make all the logistics, day to day running & organisation simple to manage.
The Tour groups get to drive on the exact same closed roads and stages as the competition cars do. Better yet, we travel around the unique landscapes around Mount Buller from scenic mountain passes, wide open farmland and the exhilarating town stage of Mansfield. So it becomes a great mix of driving, scenery, food, banter & then some more driving.
Perfect for any driving enthusiast who may be a little tired of just doing track days. Instead of attending an event on your own, you can join a group of like minded people and feel part of a small community enjoying the event together. We see it every year, friendships are formed, memories are created & many people become friends for a long time after the event.
What are some of the roads like?
There is no better way for us to explain what the driving is like compared to seeing some of it for yourself. High Country gives you a mix of tight and twisty mountain passes, long flowing valley roads & cross country switchbacks with the unique Mansfield stage where we drive through the town lined with locals cheering everyone on.
Can anyond do Targa High Country?
Absolutely, anyone can try their first Targa tarmac rally because we make it very easy & accessible for anyone to try.
You can start by joining a Lotus Tour to get a taste of it, then progress to TSD which is time and speed limited, then to GT Sports Trophy which is speed limited & if you are very keen GT Outright which is open competition.
A Lotus sports car is the ideal targa tarmac rally car which its blend of light weight and agile handling. Our crew are on hand during the entire rally in case there are any mechanical issues but to also help you through scrutineering, getting to stages, refueling and more.
Practically everything is included with meals, accomodation etc all taken care of.
What do you need to do a Targa tarmac rally?
Each entry is for 2 people consisting of Driver & Co-driver. Both must have a minimum of a Level 2 non-speed event CAMS licence, available online.
Not required for the Tour Class: Driving suits, helmets, special apparel, roll cages, and slick tyres.
Generally speaking, a road registered vehicle can participate.
All vehicles must have:
- First aid kit
- An oil spill kit -1kg of kitty litter will suffice
- 2 x Safety triangles
- Working OBD port to use the Rally Safe Unit
For competition classes there are different requirements depending on the level entered. We can help with the supply and installation of roll cages, communication equipment, brake upgrades and more.