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Launceston restaurateur Kerry Luck is all set for his eighth Targa Tasmania, presented by Pure Tasmania.

Once again, the man behind the famous steak house, Jailhouse Grill, will be behind the wheel of a 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS.

Luck has a passion for motorsport in general, but Targa Tasmania in particular. He can’t wait to get out on the roads around his home town when the event officially starts at the Country Club Resort in Launceston on the morning of April 18.

Luck knows that not only is Targa Tasmania an event that gives him great enjoyment, it gives Launceston a major boost every year.

“I love the event, it’s big and it’s great for Launceston. All of the restaurants are busy over the Targa season. The guest houses and hotels are busy. When Targa moves into town the staff get very excited as there are double shifts for everyone with lots of overtime.”

“It just pumps a whole lot of extra money into the community which has a flow-on effect. People go and get their cars fixed-up, they spend a bit of extra money, getting new clothes, and even getting their hair done.”

Launceston has been eagerly preparing for the annual event, just as Luck has begun training for the epic five day Rally.

For the last three weeks, Luck has been going out on day-long drives when possible, clocking up to 700 kilometres to prepare his body and mind for the gruelling event.

“Your backside aches, your legs ache and your arms ache. You’ve just got to do a lot of miles in a car to get your concentration up.”

By day one of Targa, Luck says he will have over 4,000kms under his belt, in preparation for the race.

Luck has come a long way from his first Targa rally in which he was navigator for Owen Parkinson. “We got to Bicheno and we nearly got into ‘fisticuffs’. I was trying to tell him where to go and he wanted to go where he wanted to go.”

Luck says he didn’t like sitting there as navigator, trying to push his foot through the floor to slow the car down. But after five days the pair were best of mates again. “Some people are happy to be navigators and some people are not happy to be navigators.”

Keith Johnstone has been Luck’s co-driver over the past few years and will again be assisting him in 2007.

The Cethana stage on day four is the number one stage for competitors, says Luck. “It’s got a bit of everything in it, parts of it can be wet and parts of it can be dry. It has some very fast sections along the top of the mountain ranges and the winding sections down through the hills.”

If you want to see Luck live, check out Seven’s Sunrise program on Wednesday April 4 at around 7:30am. He’ll be on the show with his co-driver Keith Johnstone and his 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS.

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