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The Team Mitsubishi Ralliart (TMR) 4WD Showroom competition could be one of the most hard-fought over the three days of Targa High Country, with 11 Lancer Evolutions lined-up at the start line in search of title honours.

The event is the first of three rounds of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship for TMR 4WD Showroom cars.

Picking a winner isn’t easy as the field includes a host of talented drivers capable of standing on top of the podium on Sunday night.

Motoring journalist, Dean Evans, who finished sixth outright in the overall competition of this year’s Targa Tasmania, is one many will be watching.

Evans has downgraded the level of modification of his Hankook Evo X to Showroom specification to battle in the Australian Targa Championship, a relatively easy job for TMR Performance, by refitting the standard exhaust system and standard shocks.

With TMR updates to the dual-clutch transmission software, Evans is primed to put on a strong showing.

Long-time Targa competitor, Ric Shaw, will make his debut in the TMR 4WD Showroom class behind the wheel of a 2008 Lancer Evolution X. With plenty of tarmac rally experience, Shaw could be a real darkhorse over the two days of Targa High Country.

Former Targa Tasmania 4WD Showroom champion, Scott Millar, has the experience to set the pace as well, but he’ll come under intense pressure from other Targa veterans, such as Greg Burrowes, Matthew Heskin and Kym Illman.

Burrowes was the best placed in last year’s Targa High Country, finishing fourth in Showroom, and will be keen to move into a podium position this year.

Illman, on the other hand, will be keen to put a crash in April’s Targa Tasmania behind him. The West Australian left the road at high speed late in the event, ending hundreds of metres off the road in a paddock.

There are only two non-Mitsubishis in the field of field of 13, with Tasmanian Ben Newman driving a 2010 Subaru WRX, and Dean Coutts in a 2011 Volkswagen Golf R.

All other drivers will be competing in Evo IIX, IX and X versions of the Japanese Lancer, and performance across the field will be similar, putting more emphasis on a driver’s ability to get to the end of the stages faster than his rivals.

Ahead of them all awaits 17 closed road stages where it appears likely that a Mitsubishi will top the leaderboard.

With over 170 entries, Targa High Country will begin with a stage around the streets of Mansfield in Victoria’s north east on Friday, November 4. The popular Targafest will follow in the town’s main street from 4pm, before two days of closed road tarmac stages.

Saturday's competition will feature eight Targa stages covering 94 competitive kilometres, while a further eight stages awaits crews on the final day.

The event finishes with a champagne finish on the top of Victoria's premier ski resort, Mt Buller. 
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