Seasoned rally competitor, Gavin James, is out for redemption in next week’s inaugural Classic Tasmania, an event catering for classic cars up to 1990 and based on the North West coastal town of Burnie on February 25-27.

James and new co-driver, Tim Kulhanek, showed exceptional form at the 2010 running of Targa Tasmania in their 1989 Porsche 944 S2, including an outright win on the Queenstown stage.

This however, wasn’t enough to crown them the Early Modern winners. With three stages to go on the final day of the event and leading the Early Modern category by over 9 minutes, their Porsche blew a head gasket forcing the team to retire.To rub salt in the wound, at the recent inaugural Targa High Country the team was forced to retire again with brake problems.

The team made the tough decision to skip Targa Wrest Point and focus on a full rebuild on the Porsche.

“We have had everything from the brake calipers and suspension to the gearbox and roll cage replaced, and a new engine was sourced from the USA,” James said.

The Vodka O/Grand Hotel Ballarat sponsored team will be using Classic Tasmania as a shake down for the 20th Targa Tasmania held in April.

“Our focus for Classic Tasmania is at this stage just to finish, the roads on the North West Coast of Tasmania really suit our car and with a strong field of classic cars we hope to be up the pointy end come Sunday.”

Classic Tasmania is run in conjunction with Rally Tasmania, a separate event to cater for modern cars. 65 entrants will tackle 22 Stages over 200 competitive kilometres, spread over three days. The event will conclude on the Sunday with a Super Special Stage around the streets of Burnie.

More information is available at

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