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Mazda Australia will make history by running a third car in next week’s Targa Tasmania rally -- the world’s only Mazda2 ‘extreme’ rally car. It will showcase local media personalities Nick Duigan and Andy Hart.

Nick and Andy, hosts of the popular Tasmanian fishing show Hook Line and Sinker, will drive the Mazda2 rally concept car around the five-day course as they fulfil their media duties as event ambassadors.

These two journalists cum fishermen and their Mazda2 rally car will be seen all around next week’s 2000km event as they film a number of Targa Tasmania television documentaries based on the 2007 competition.

The Mazda2 rally car is the latest addition to Mazda’s Targa team. This year’s event marks the endurance rally debut of the Mazda3 MPS driven by Rick Bates and for the first time a female driver has been selected to represent Mazda.

Melinda Both will pilot a Mazda6 MPS and along with her navigator, Samantha Stevens, makes their car the only all-female factory entered in the rally – and one of only two all-female crews competing this year.

First unveiled at the 2005 Sydney International Motor Show, the Mazda2 rally car was Mazda Australia ’s second ‘extreme car’, following the RX-8 Turbo revealed in 2004.

The Mazda2 rally car has also tasted competition success with a debut class win at last year’s Rally of Canberra. The ‘extreme’ rally concept car builds on the company’s impressive rally credentials, with a Mazda 323 Turbo AWD winning the Australian Rally Championship.

The Mazda2 rally car has a standard 1.5-litre 82 kilowatt engine and its rally ready look is created by a stripped out interior with a full race roll cage, bonnet mounted driving pod lights and 15-inch wheels with Dunlop R rally tyres.

What started as a state-based fishing program, this year it is expected Nick and Andy’s show will be syndicated across national regional and metro markets in South Australia , New South Wales and Queensland in the 6.30pm primetime slot.

Targa Tasmania starts next Tuesday, April 17 and finishes five days later on Sunday, April 22.

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