Girls think pink for Targa Tasmania
- 27th March 2008, 11:23am
If you are an all-female crew in a male dominated sport, there’s every chance that you’re going to attract attention. When you drive a bright pink Subaru Impreza WRX STI as well, you’re almost guaranteed to hit the headlines.
Queensland sisters, Melinda and Jasmine Both, are hoping that’s the case when they line up on the start line of Targa Tasmania in Launceston on April 15.
Melinda, the driver, will be contesting Targa for the fifth time, and the third as a driver. She won her class in 2006 and 2007, driving a Subaru Impreza and a Mazda 6 MPS, and returns in 2008 hoping for a repeat performance.
“Heading into the event my sole aim is to finish,” she says, “but in a tough event like Targa, that’s not easy to do.
“I finished 38th outright driving a Subaru in 2006, and if I could finish in the top 30 in 2008 I’d be absolutely delighted.”
The car the sisters will be using is a 1997 Impreza WRX STI, a car that contested Targa in 2004. Painted bright pink, it has more power and bigger brakes than the Impreza that Both drove in the 2006 event.
“Being in an all-wheel drive car, I really hope that it’s a wet event this year. I’ll be doing Indian rain dances leading up to the event because my experience in gravel rallying, and the 4WD, will be an advantage if it’s wet.”
Competing with her sister, and best friend, Jasmine, makes entering Targa Tasmania all the more fun, as does the fact that this year her fiancé, and soon-to-be husband, Paul Bergmann, is also competing, in a Ford Escort RS2000.
“We’re getting married at the end of May, so it’s going to be an interesting couple of months.”
The all-girl, sister-act combination will certainly guarantee that they get plenty of media coverage during Targa, but according to Melinda, it hasn’t made chasing sponsorship any easier.
“In the past it has made it a little easier to get sponsorship, but not this year. As a result, we’re sponsor-less in 2008, meaning that we’ll have to fund all the costs ourselves this year, which does make it a bit difficult,” she said.
“We’ve budgeted that it will cost us $17,000 to compete in Targa this year.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the cost of running a Subaru Impreza in Australia’s ultimate tarmac rally isn’t even close to being the biggest expense.
“I would have to say that accommodation and travel expenses far outweigh the cost of actually running the car in the event – particularly as we have to travel from Queensland - but I suppose that’s a small price to pay for the privilege of driving on the fantastic tarmac roads that Targa Tasmania offers.”
Targa Tasmania has gained an international reputation since its first running in 1992 and continues to attract competitors from around Australia, the USA, UK, UAE, Japan and Hong Kong.
The event kicks off from Launceston on April 15 and will take competitors along some of the best roads in the world as they make their way to the Hobart finish line on April 20.
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