The stars of international motor sport continue to be drawn to Targa Tasmania, Australia’s ultimate tarmac rally, with news that renowned British racing driver Nick Faure will drive a Skelta G Force in the 2008 event.

Sixty-three year old Faure has contested the Le Mans 24 Hour race 11 times, and among his many successes, has won the UK Porsche Production Championship and the Historic Sports Car Championship, and more recently, the 2006 Tour Espana.

Last year the Skelta G Force set Targa Tasmania alight when the car’s driver, and creator, Ray Vandersee, setting a string of fastest stage times in the event.

Vandersee returns to Targa this year, but with a second Skelta, in the hands of Faure.

The Brit has competed in everything from Minis, Triumphs, Jaguars and Mercedes, but this will be his first competitive drive in the awesome, Australian-built Skelta.

“I have no knowledge of the Targa Tasmania at all,” Faure said. “I specialise in tarmac rallies in Europe and I won the Tour Espana outright in 2006 in a Porsche RSR. I drove in the original Targa Florio in 1969 with a 45 mile lap of the Scicilian mountains, which I learnt completely in 20 laps of practice. This was a world championship sportscar race in those days and I was 10 minutes a lap quicker than my co-driver!

“I am very lucky to have a great photographic memory, so learning the Targa stages in reasonably short time should not pose a big problem. I learnt the entire original Nurburgring circuit in only six laps!

“I have only seen pictures of the Skelta and have the CD of the in-car shots on the Targa last year,” he added. “The car seems fantastically nimble and I hope that my large frame and experience can do the little car justice!

“I am always very relaxed about any competition and never push myself beyond my own level of experience, but hopefully this will be enough to put us in a very respectable position, with the only aim to finish!”

Featuring a chrome moly steel space frame, the Skelta G Force has a carbon fibre and Kevlar body with an enviable power to weight ratio.

Normally weighing just 650 kilograms, the Skelta is powered by a Honda 2-litre engine which produces 180kW at 8500rpm. That’s an amazing 3.61kg per kiloWatt.

With a 50/50 weight distribution, power is put to the ground via a six-speed gearbox, while huge brakes help slow the car from its top speed of 245km/h.

The Skelta G Force will do 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds, showing why Vandersee was so competitive in Targa Tasmania last year.

However, organisers have given the Skelta a 100kg weight penalty for 2008, meaning that Vandersee and Faure will have to get every last bit of speed from the car in order to match the front runners as they push for victory this year.

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 at Wrest Point on April 20.
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