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As the reigning CAMS Australian Targa Championship classic competition titleholder, you’d think that there was extra pressure on Queenslander, Donn Todd, heading into the this month’s Supaloc Targa Adelaide.

But the 1971 Ford Capri Perana driver is as laid back as ever as he readies to compete in Adelaide for the second straight year.

“There’s not really any added pressure,” Todd says. “We just out there to have a bit of fun and we’ll see how we go.

“We went and tested the car the other day and made some suspension and shock absorber changes, and the car feels really good, so we’ll be faster this year than we were 12 months ago.”

Todd finished fourth in Adelaide in 2011, and the smart money is on him improving on that this time around.

The defending champion thinks that one of his biggest rivals this year will come from the Porsche of South Australian Roger Patterson.

“Especially being from Adelaide and on home ground, Roger will be really fast. Another local, Craig Haysman in a Triumph TR7 V8 will also be one to watch.

“But this event last year was the first time we ran the car, and now that we have a lot of the problems sorted I’m quietly confident heading in against the quick classic guys.”

“The stages in South Australia are generally very smooth with a good surface that’s pretty gentle on the tyres, and they’re very flowing stages,” Todd said.  “The whole format of the event is very good.”

“Adelaide is a fantastic spot to have the event. We’re based in one place and you’re not tripping around all over the place,” he explained.

“The night stage at the Wayville Showgrounds will be great, and the fact that it’s three kilometres long will make it really exciting for the spectators. They should get good numbers there too.

“The South Australian government are good backers of the event, and the local shires really embrace the event as well.”

Todd and co-driver, Dean Tighe, won the 2011/2012 championship after consistent run over the four rounds, and it’s a plan that they will again follow this year.

“We’ll do all four rounds again and hope to finish the best we can. Even though we finished all the events last season, the car should be more reliable, because we had a few fuel problems that we’re now on top of,” he explained.

Champion or not, Todd believes that his V8-engined Ford Capri Perana – a car native to South Africa – isn’t the best choice of vehicles in the classic field.

“I still think the best cars out there are the 911 Porsches, the RSs and the RS-Rs, like the cars that Rex Broadbent and Nick Ellis have.

“But there’s too many of them and, besides, I don’t think they don’t suit our style. And you can’t have everyone running the same type of car!

“The biggest problem we’ve got with the Capri is tyre restrictions. Basically, you’ve got a car that you can put a bag load of power in, but you’ve got to put that power to the ground. So to get the power delivery to the pavement there’s always a sacrifice in either mid-corner speed or your handling.

“We can go quicker, but we just don’t have enough tyre life to last the distance if we do. The tyre size is only 225, whereas standard, the Porsches run a 17 or an 18 inch wheel with a 275 tyre, so it makes a huge difference, particularly when the Porsche is already about 200 kilograms lighter. But they’re not as fun to drive.

“The Perana might be a handful to drive in the wet as well, but that’s part of the attraction of it.”

Supaloc Targa Adelaide runs from August 22 to 26, kicking off at the Wayville Showgrounds with the Intercontinental Adelaide Targa Night Stage on the Wednesday night. Cars then tackle 235 competitive kilometres across 29 closed road special stages across the next four days, finishing back at Gouger Street in the city on Sunday, August 26.

For an entry list and spectator details, visit the event website at www.targa.com.au
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