Adventurous Cairns entrant Murray Young and loyal co-driver Paul McBean are looking forward to a less hectic lead-up to the second edition of Targa Great Barrier Reef from August 30-September 1. Young and his team were charged with a mighty task in the week leading up to the inaugural Cairns Targa event last year. After competing in the gruelling seven-day Classic Outback Trial in the Red Centre, Young faced a 4000km-plus drive from Alice Springs back to Cairns less than a week before the signature event began. The tight schedule meant he had just one day to prepare his 1973 Datsun 180B for Targa’s first event in the tropics. “We finished 10th outright in the Outback Trial and after leaving Alice Springs on the Saturday night we arrived back home in Cairns on Monday night,” Young recounted. “We had to strip the car back and change the suspension on Tuesday in order to have the car ready for Targa scrutineering on Wednesday which we managed to pull off. “Given the timeframe it was a monstrous task but thankfully we won’t be under that much pressure in the lead-up to Targa this year. It will be more of a routine preparation.” Young, 68, operates a recreational go karting track in Cairns and has continued his lifelong involvement in motorsport. “I still play around with high performance offroad motorbikes but way back in Cairns I started off in speedway following my involvement with service stations and workshops. “In later years I got interested in the Australiasian Safari which I did for six or seven years and we got as high as a fifth outright in our production Pajero. “But I sold the Pajero and bought a classic rally car (1973 Datsun 180B SSS) last year with the idea of running it in Targa Great Barrier Reef.” Young acquired the Datsun, which is again entered in the Classic category, privately from Babinda, 60km south of Cairns. “The previous owner used to rally it. Admittedly I was quite naive in what is required to look after a classic car,” Young added. “In the first six months I owned the Datsun we did a mountain of work - literally hundreds and hundreds of hours. We completely stripped it down and turned it upside down. “We welded all the sill panels up and welded all the panels into the body and the floorpan. “Initially we didn’t touch the engine, gearbox or the differential but since Targa we’ve completely rebuilt the engine and diff and serviced the gearbox so we are primed for Targa.” The Classic section of Targa is one of nine categories in the event which caters for an eclectic range of makes and models. Organisers are thrilled at the response to the second running of Targa Great Barrier Reef which has attracted around 270 entries.
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