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Targa Tasmania competitors like Glyn Crimp are the event’s best advertisement, and the reason why the iconic tarmac rally, now in its 18th year, gets bigger and better ever year.

Crimp, a retired 62-year old “beach bum” had never competed in any form of motorsport until Targa Tasmania in 1995, as he explains.

“I was looking to do something with my 14-year old son in a 1985 Pontiac Trans Am. I’ve competed in every Targa Tasmania since and have become addicted to tarmac rallies, competing in nearly every event on the annual calendar.

“Since the Trans Am, I’ve prepared and competed in a Lotus Espirit Turbo, a 928 Porsche, and my current car is my all-time favourite, a replica of a 1981 Porsche 924 GTS Club Sport.”

In a nutshell, that typifies the majority of Targa competitors – motoring enthusiasts who love nothing better than driving a nice car on some of the world’s best tarmac roads.

Crimp’s Porsche 924 replica was built from a bare shell that was found in Porsche specialist Peter Fitzgerald’s factory in Melbourne. After a full rebuild, it is now a faithful replica of the GTS Club Sport, running a standard engine, torque tube, turbo, injection, induction and gearbox.

“The car finished third in the inaugural Targa West, and third at last year’s Mt Buller Sprint in the division for Classic Cars,” Crimp adds.

He comes into Targa Tasmania 2009 in very good driving form. He competed in circuit racing for five years until 2004, then made a comeback to the circuit for February’s 12 Hour race at Mt Panorama, Bathurst, where he finished a brilliant second outright. But it’s events like Targa that Crimp loves best.

“Targa Tasmania is the pinnacle of tarmac rallies in Australia and it’s the quality and challenge of the roads that keeps bringing me back.

“My first objective is to finish, followed by a top 20 finish, with the desire to try and creep into the top 10 if possible. The car is very well balanced and easy to drive. I’m hoping for extremely wet, cold conditions, as that’s where the Porsche is at its best.”

Fellow Western Australian, Paul van der Mey, will call the pacenotes for Crimp during Targa, and having competing together in many tarmac rallies in recent years, they have formed a formidable partnership.

Similarly, a core group of dedicated supporters have gathered around Crimp over the years to form his service crew.

“Mike Schumann has helped as a crew member ever since we met in about 1997, Chris Fullston has been to the last five Targas and Classic Adelaides, and Jamie Gard has been with the team since the beginning.”

With over a month still to go before the start, Crimp is counting down the days.

“Targa is such a challenge that I relish and can’t wait for every day to start. 2009 will be my 15th consecutive Targa, and I can’t wait for the first day to come around.”

Targa Tasmania 2009, the 18th running of the world-renowned event, begins with a prologue through the streets of Georgetown on Tuesday, April 28, with the action proper getting underway the next day.

While primarily based in Launceston, the event will have an overnight stop in Strahan on the west coast of the Apple Isle, before finishing in the capital, Hobart, on Sunday, May 3.
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