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Former Tasmanian Andrew Miedecke returns to his home state at the start of February hoping to add some Targa Wrest Point silverware to his mantelpiece.

While he is now running a new car dealership in Port Macquarie on the New South Wales central coast, Tasmania still has a special place in Miedecke’s life, having grown up in Launceston and with family still living on the Apple Isle.

Miedecke took part in the very early Targas, winning Targa Tasmania outright back in 1994, but then took a long break from the sport.

A former V8 Supercar driver, Miedecke came back to the sport in 2010, debuting a 1971 Ford Capri Perana in Targa High Country with immediate success, taking victory in the Late Classic competition.

Since then he has been involved in a number of Targas and is always one of the front-runners in the Classic Outright competition.

His last start in the state was Targa Tasmania in 2011, when he was leading after the opening two days before an off-road excursion ended his charge when victory was just starting to look likely.

In 2012, his son, George, famously put the Perana into the water off a cliff during Targa Wrest Point, and since then the Miedecke team have created a new car to campaign.

The V8 engine of the Perana develops 530 brake horsepower, and in a car weighing only 1100 kilograms, it’s a great power to weight ratio.

The car was built and finished by Launceston’s Les Walkden Rallying, and lives in the team’s Youngtown workshop.

It made its debut at Targa High Country in Victoria in November in spectacular fashion, winning Classic Outright on debut.

“As you’d expect with a newly built car we had a few teething problems on the opening morning, but by the second day we were right on the pace,” Miedecke said.

“The car went back to Les Walkden in Launceston where it was adjusted and fine-tuned and we are really looking forward to the rally.”

Others likely to challenge Miedecke for Classic honours include South Australians Roger Paterson in a 1974 Porsche 911 Carerra RS, and Craig Haysman in a very quick Triumph TR7 V8.

Paterson was leading Classic Outright at Targa Adelaide earlier this season before having an off, so he will be keen to make his mark, while Haysman has, in recent events, been a pacesetter and a winner.

Local hope, Greg Garwood, will be back in action after his disastrous time on Mt Buller for Targa High Country, behind the wheel of a 1977 Holden Torana A9X, with experienced co-driver, John Allen, calling the notes. Garwood won the Modern section at the inaugural Tara Wrest Point back in 2009.

Others to watch out for in Classic are Huon Valley favourite, Darryl Wilcox, in his 1970 Holden Monaro, and another Tasmanian, Terry Harper, giving a recently resorted Mustang it’s first tarmac rally experience.

The enduring Targa team of Jack Waldron and Vin Gregory are back in their 1955 Fiat Abarth 750. The pair has competed in every Targa event since 199,2 except for one in 1996 due to Jack needing a knee reconstruction.

The sixth running of Targa Wrest Point will be held on February 1 and 2, and includes 14 closed road special stages to the south west of Hobart.

Targa Wrest Point is round three of the four round Australian Targa Championship that also includes Targa Tasmania, Targa Adelaide and Targa High Country in Victoria.

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