Richards back for new look Tarmac Challenge
- 26th June 2008, 4:25pm
Richards is really the defending champion, having won the modern section of Rallye Burnie last year, but the event has undergone a range of changes, including its name, for 2008.
“I thoroughly enjoy these sorts of events, particularly in Tasmania, and I can’t wait to get down there in October to compete,” Richards said.
“The north coast stages in the Tasmanian events are terrific, and with a compact two-and-a-half day format, it means that you can come down on Thursday and fly back on Sunday night if you want to, which makes it easier for everyone.
“It’s such a great event. The roads are terrific, the people are nice and we always have a great time,” he added.
Richards is likely to enter his powerful rear-wheel drive Porsche GT2 in the event, despite giving consideration to entering his older 944 in the Late Classic section.
“The event is normally in July, but with the date change to October, it’s likely to be dry, so I’d say we’ll definitely be taking the GT2.”
A multiple Targa Tasmania winner, Richards will, as usual, be co-driven by Barry Oliver in the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge.
Event organiser, Scott Spedding, says that the rally has been re-designed to provide more opportunities for a greater range of cars.
“One of the biggest changes for us this year is the introduction of the Showroom class, for cars that are basically stock-standard production cars that retial for under $80,000 in their base form,” Spedding said.
The cars must be Australian delivered and registrable vehicles, and comply with the CAMS showroom regulations.
The Showroom class will have two titles on offer, one for two-wheel drive vehicles and the other for four-wheel drive cars.
“We are also really pleased to create a Late Classic section, for cars that were built between January 1, 1982 and December 30, 1990,” Spedding said.
“There are many cars from this era that we think will be attracted to our event now that we have created a podium option for them as well.
“The feedback from the owners of these cars is that they want their own competition, so we have responded to the demand out there.
“The feedback after the 2007 Rallye Burnie was that some people, while they loved the event and the roads that we use, wanted a more level playing field. So the new categories help address that, plus the removal of speed restrictions will hopefully lure people like John and Jason White back in their Lamborghini.”
Indications are that the changes are well liked, with early entries up significantly over 2007.
“With many early entries already in it gives us a good indication that we may achieve a full field of 60 vehicles for this year’s rally. There is no doubt that we have some of the best roads in the country for Tarmac Rallying and we’re looking forward to a great event,” Spedding said.
“What the event offers is around 190 competitive kilometres and a really compact course and service park set-up. So we think, bang-for-your-bucks, it really works.”
The event runs on October 4 and 5. Entries are open and the supplementary regulations have been published on the event’s website: www.tarmacchallenge.com.au
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