What an amazing driving experience!
I must admit I have been lucky in my career to have driven some incredible cars on some incredible tracks and roads around the world, but nothing compares to Targa Tasmania in a Lotus.
The Closed Road special stages mean you can use both sides of the road as you blast along these spectacular mountain roads. This takes some getting used to on the first day to tell yourself you can use all the road especially after the apex of a corner on exit as you find yourself not using all the available tarmac.
The best news is you can use your Lotus with no special preparation like Roll Cages or even the need to wear a crash helmet. This is a Spirited drive on some of the best roads in the world that your Lotus was made for.
My Lotus of Choice was a brand new Elise Sport 220.
The mighty Elise Sport 200 performed faultlessly for the whole event. I knew it was good but was pleasantly surprised at just how good this car was against the gaggle of Exige’s both earlier 4 cylinder (some highly modified tack day specials) and later V6 3.5 litre Exige S and new Sport 350’s that were part of the group.
The Elise could easily keep with all these cars and only on the steep up hill climbs was where the V6 engine cars (including the Evora 400’s) would have an advantage with additional power and torque.
The Elise Sport 200 was superb in both wet and dry conditions and was punching well above it’s weight on some of the more tricky wet stages. Overall this car took me by surprise as to just how good it is against its big brothers in the range. My only unanswered question was how Good would the Elise CUP 250 have been? Next Year that question might get answered!
Let me tell you about the format. The Lotus Targa Tour is not a competition as you are not being timed. However, you get to drive the complete Targa event on the same closed roads as the competition cars are being timed, then navigate to the next special stage behind the Tour Leader guiding you at the front of the pack.