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On the back of a new five-year agreement with the Tasmanian State Government through Events Tasmania, Targa Australia, the owners of Targa Tasmania, have expanded and renamed the former Targa Hellyer Gorge so it becomes a genuine multi-stage rally encompassing far more of the region.

The one-day event will be known as Targa North West and be held on February 18 next year. The rally will be based out of Burnie to provide more benefits to the coastal city that saw the return of an overnight stop for Targa Tasmania last month.

Event Director, Mark Perry, believes it is an exciting time for the sport following the successful running of Targa Tasmania in April, which boasted the biggest field in the event’s 25-year history.

 “Straight off the back of Targa Tasmania came the news of a new five-year agreement with the State Government that now also sees a long term commitment to a bigger lead-in event on the North West Coast.

“After two years as Targa Hellyer Gorge we sat down with the interested parties to map out a five-year plan for the event to ensure that it grows and delivers what competitors are looking for to prepare for Targa Tasmania each year.

“Targa North West is the result of those deliberations and it will be a fantastic event for those looking to improve their skills and prepare for the big one, Targa Tasmania.”

Burnie City Council will remain the events Principal Partner and has welcomed the expansion plans that will bring more people to the area with and direct economic benefit to the city.

Burnie City Council Mayor Anita Dow said: “We are very excited about the Targa North West event: Targa Hellyer Gorge was already a great lead –up event to Targa Tasmania, but Targa North West has the potential to bring even more competitors to the region, which is fantastic for the City.

“Targa North West will showcase even more of this beautiful part of the world, and we’re confident that once competitors get a taste of what we have to offer, they will want to come back for more.

“The successful return of the overnight stay in Burnie during Targa Tasmania has reconfirmed the popularity of the sport on the North West Coast, and I’m confident that Targa North West will help continue this momentum.”

The latest Targa event promises plenty of excitement for competitors and fans alike. Hellyer Gorge has been retained on the course and will now be run once in each direction. But it is the addition of what many would call `The greatest tarmac rally stage never used in a Targa event’, Savage River, that will encourage competitors to Burnie from all over the country in February 2017.

Savage River will be run in both directions. It’s a stage many will remember from years ago as the main stage of Rally Tasmania. The road has not been used in a rally since and it promises an amazing experience again with its 25 kilometres of twists and turns.

Along with Savage River and Hellyer Gorge, a new warm-up stage will be used on Calder Road to prepare competitors for four big stages. The Official Finish in the heart of Burnie will mark the end of 100 competitive kilometres that will test every competitor as only a Targa event can.

Targa North West is expecting a field of 100 cars for its first running in 2017 and with an agreement in place to conduct the event until at least 2022, is sure to become an annual fixture for hundreds of Targa competitors looking to fine tune their skills for Targa Tasmania.

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