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Australia’s premier tarmac rally, Targa Tasmania, will be the cornerstone event of a new national series.

The newly-created Australian Tarmac Championship (ATC) will be a four round series, including Targa Wrest Point, the Mt Buller Sprint, the Lake Mountain Sprint and Targa Tasmania, and will be organised jointly by Octagon Australia and Mountain Motorsports.

The winners of the Championship will rightly be known as the best tarmac rallying teams in the country.

Targa Tasmania Event Director, Mark Perry, feels the time is right to finally link the iconic Targa Tasmania brand to a championship.

“Competitors have been telling us that they want a national tarmac rally championship, but that it had to include Targa Tasmania, which is seen as the Bathurst or our sport,” Perry said.

“The introduction of Targa Wrest Point, and the opportunity to make Targa Tasmania the final round, meant the time was right for us to make our events part of a national series.”

The ATC will provide a boost to the two Victorian based rounds as competitors chase the vital points needed for victory.

The Mt Buller Sprint from December 4 to 6 will kick-start the championship and Event Director, Peter Washington, is very excited to be hosting the first ever round.

“This new championship is a big step forward for the tarmac rallying community in Australia,” Washington said.

“Combining the four unique events will provide an exciting challenge for all crews, no matter what car they compete in.

“We have a great working relationship with Mark Perry and everyone at Octagon and we look forward to crowning our first Champions in late April at Targa Tasmania.”

While the first round will be held in late 2009, the inaugural winners will be crowned the 2010 champions.

The winners will enjoy prizes and trophies totaling over $30,000, with the Champions presented in conjunction with the `world's largest champagne shower’ at Targa Tasmania on May 2, 2010.

The series will see separate titles for classic and modern cars, and all entries at all events will be automatically entered into the ATC at no extra charge.

The classic title will be for vehicles built between 1946 and 1982, and will be based on the handicap system currently used at Targa Tasmania.

“The history of tarmac rallying around the world sees all the famous European events, from Targa Florio to the Mille Miglia, being run with a handicap system, and with such a wide range of years and technology covered, this is the best option to ensure success,” Perry said.

“Modern is a different kettle of fish, and this championship will take on a more familiar appearance with the winners simply being the fastest crew at each event."

Competitors will be able to drop their worst result if they compete in all four rounds, and Targa Tasmania will carry additional points due to its status in the sport and the difficulty in achieving a good result in the five-day classic.

2010 Australian Tarmac Championship

•    Round 1: Mt. Buller Sprint - December 4 to 6 , 2009
•    Round 2: Targa Wrest Point - January 30 & 31, 2010
•    Round 3: Lake Mountain Sprint - March 20 & 21, 2010 - To be confirmed
•    Round 4: Targa Tasmania - April 27 to May 2, 2010

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