Cairns driver Murray Young has beefed-up his weapon of choice for the TARGA Great Barrier Reef tarmac rally from September 4-6. Young has purchased BMW’s much regaled super coupe, a high powered 2012 M3, which is a far cry from the humble machine he campaigned at the event last year. In terms of speed and technology, the BMW is light years away from the 1973 Datsun 180B which Young handled at the north Queensland event in 2019 in the Classic section. The raucous 4-litre V8 machine is entered in the GT Production class, one of the leading categories of TARGA. “I’m keen on doing lots of Targa events around the country so with this M3 you can buy the parts off the shelf,” Young said. “That is opposed to a 1973 car which is too much bloody work. “This will be my first drive of what I call a really serious car so I’d imagine I’d be pretty conservative.” Young purchased the BMW sight unseen after spotting it on an online auction while he was overseas earlier this year. “There had been some big hail storms in the ACT so I was fishing around online and saw this badly damaged M3 that was being auctioned. “So I bought it sight unseen. I then had a rollcage put in the car and freighted it up to Cairns where I spent several weeks fixing up the badly dented bodywork.” Young fitted renowned rally specific Murray Coote MCA shock absorbers to the M3 as well as a new rear sway bar. “They are good cars stock standard but aren’t specifically designed for some tough TARGA roads, so I reckon we will be pretty well equipped for the event.” Ever the adventurer, Young ‘warmed-up’ for TARGA Great Barrier Reef doing a ride on dirt bikes over several thousand kilometres around outback Queensland with several mates where he is scheduled to arrive back in Cairns this week. Young has also been forced to find a new co-driver with regular, Paul McBean, stranded in his home state of Victoria. “It took a couple of goes to find someone but I have locked in Scott Griffin who is a Cairns local and who co-drove for Richard Huelin (1980 Ford Escort) in the Classic Handicap class at last year. GT Production is one of nine categories alongside the TARGA topping GT Outright section. The class structure underwent sweeping changes this year in-line with a complete brand overhaul of the TARGA organisation. While the GT Outright allows for cars to be modified, and features some of the world’s supercars, the GT Production class is for cars basically of showroom specification. For both, cars must have been built since 2010, or be in a model that was available from 2010. In other changes Early Modern is split into two standalone classes Early Modern 2 and Early Modern 4 for two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive machines. The Thoroughbred Trophy category, run under speed limited and handicap parameters, will embrace 2WD cars made from 1900 to 1989, changing from the previous manufacturing range of 1900 to 1985. For speed limited GT Sports Trophy competitors, the class is reserved for 2WD and 4WD cars made from 1900 up to the first day of competition. The speed, time and distance defined TSD Trophy class is for cars made from 1900 up to the first day of competition with vehicles commercially available in any number as a road registered machine when made or a vehicle that is approved by TARGA. Classic (2WD) and Classic GT (2WD/4WD) competition will now see vehicles eligible for machines made from 1900 to 1989. Previously Classic cars were defined by having been built between 1900 and 1985. Complete details on the Technical and Sporting Regulations are on the TARGA website under The Competition page. Details of all spectator and road closure information for TGBR is also available on the TARGA website. A new feature of TGBR will be the TARGA cavalcade which will see the field of nine categories travel through a dedicated 27km Cairns route on Saturday, September 5. This will replace the TARGAfest which had been held on The Esplanade in the Cairns CBD.
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