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This weekend’s Targa Wrest Point will have a touch of Mad Max about it, with a former actor in the iconic Australian movie of the 1980s competing in a car made up to look like the black Falcon Interceptor which featured in the film and helped launch the career of mega-star Mel Gibson.

The former actor is also Bertrand Cadart, the flamboyant mayor of the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Municipality on the East Coast, who will drive a 1991 Pontiac Trams-Am Firebird GTA in the event, with Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas as his navigator.

The Trans-Am is also similar to one used in the movie Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds, and the hit television series Knight Rider, starring David Hasslehoff.

Apart from reliving some of the Mad Max era, the mayoral pair will also be representing the Southern Tasmanian Councils Association and supporting the Common Ground Charity.

“We want to show Mayors are not people who live in ivory towers and are people who get involved in community events,” Bertrand explained.

“We also want to raise at least $10,000 for Common Ground, which is a wonderful charity which provides supportive housing services to homeless people and more affordable housing for those in significant need,” he said.

“The Lord Mayor and I are hoping to raise enough money to establish an onsite computer skills training lab - many Common Ground tenants have been homeless for years and consequently they have had limited exposure to technology.

“Now that they are living at Common Ground, we want to help them take the next step and provide them with the opportunity to achieve their personal and employment goals.”

Bertrand was involved in the motorcycle scene back in the 1980s and was contracted to design and modify motorcycles for the Mad Max film.

He struck up a friendship with producer George Miller, who offered him a role in the movie, as the crowbar-wielding bikie villain, Clunk.

To help raise funds for Common Ground, the “Mad Mayors” will host a charity screening of Mad Max at the State Theatre at North Hobart on January 31, a few days before the start of Targa Wrest Point.

The evening will be compered by Hobart radio personality Dave Noonan and will also feature an appearance by actor Nic Gazzanna, who played Starbuck in the movie.

As far as Targa Wrest Point is concerned, the two mayors aren’t aiming too high.

“We just want to have fun, show the community mayors are normal people and raise some funds for Common Ground,” Bertrand said.

“I used to race motorbikes in my younger days and I think I’m a pretty good driver, but apart from that we don’t have any motorsport experience,” he said.

The pair will compete in the regularity section, in which entries are restricted to an average speed for stages and have to nominate an expected time for the stage, losing points for each second over or under their nominated time.

“We have had a lot of generous assistance from local government and from private businesses to prepare the car and fit us out for the race,” Bertrand said.

“It would be fantastic if as many people as possible could come along and meet us during Targa, help us raise some money and re-live something of the phenomenon that was Mad Max.”

Targa Wrest Point, the third round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship, will be held on Saturday February 2 and Sunday February 3.
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