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In a major move by Targa Tasmania event organisers, twenty five per cent of the  2006 course will change for this year's 16th annual staging of the international  tarmac classic from April 17 - 22.   

Among subtle alterations which have tweaked some of the course's more regular  stages, the momentous change to the Targa Tasmania 2007 course includes eleven  major stage changes or additions.  

Starting in the northern city of Launceston and finishing in the state's capital  Hobart five days later, the 43 closed competition stages included in the 2000  kilometres of the Island State's grand touring roads will comprise the 445 kilometre  competitive element of this year's event.  

Targa Tasmania Event Director Mark Perry says a major course change was vital  in achieving Octagon's main objective, which from 2007 onwards is to each year  deliver a Targa Tasmania to remember to its competitors.  

“Not since Targa Tasmania's 10th anniversary in 2000 has the course changed this  dramatically,” explains Perry. “This course takes in some of the world's most  challenging tarmac rally roads as well as branching out to parts of our beautiful  island currently untouched by the event.”  

Two notable changes are a special evening stage to be held within the stunning  surrounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hobart and a visit to Beaconsfield,  Tasmania's famous mining town.  After having 500 metres deducted from the Targa Town Stage at George Town last  year to accommodate Anzac Day celebrations, in 2007, the Temco George Town Prologue  is back to its traditional length of 4.82km.   

Six of the stages on the event's first leg conducted in the state's north have  been changed.   The 8.44km Deloraine Targa Stage, last used as an introduction to Leg Two in  2000, replaces High Plains; this is followed by the 5.28km Reedy Marsh stage  - Quamby Brook in reverse to ease competitors into the event. The action hots  up on the 14.57km Paradise stage; a reverse of the original Sheffield stage.     

Following the event's lunch stop in Tasmania's 'Town of Murals', Sheffield, the  stages increase in difficulty with two of the four stages held after lunch being  new to the 2007 course. The 5.5km Harford stage is a reversed version of the  Moriarty stage and is followed by an extended and reversed version of the Holwell  stage. Leg One concludes with a 2.2km tour around the town of Beaconsfield.  

As the cars make their way from Launceston to Hobart on Leg Two, via the state's  scenic East Coast, there are three changes. The 7.7km Moorina stage is a lengthened  version of Winnaleah and the exciting new conclusion to this second day of competition  is the planned Botanical Gardens night stage starting at 6pm with the Grasstree  Hill stage being held over to Leg Three.  

The first two stages on Leg Three held in the state's south are Grasstree Hill  Reverse, a reversed version of the Targa regular which takes the field towards  the historic township of Richmond, and the 3.3km Tunnel Hill stage, which is  a short sprint past the foothills of Hobart's Mount Rumney.  

The people of Ross will have something to look forward to next year with the  2.78km stage on Leg Four reverting to its original direction, which will have  the competition cars launch themselves over the town's arterial train lines.    In an effort to draw the weekend crowd, the Targa Town Stage held in Tasmania's  historic motor sport town of Longford has been moved to Saturday morning April  21.

The only addition to Leg Four is the 4.40km Fern Glade stage as the concluding  stage.   The 47.24km Mt Arrowsmith stage on the final Leg, Burnie to Hobart, remains the  event's longest and most testing stage.   Ellendale and New Norfolk will not run next year, with the field finishing the  event in the old Hydro township of Tarraleah, before heading back to Wrest Point  for the Official Finish in Hobart.    

To date, 221 applications have been received for this year's event. Some names  in the Shannons Classic Competitions include Rob Sherrard in his stunning 1967  Bizzarrini GT America, two-time almost Classic winner, Porsche front-runner Bill  Pye in his 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3 and making his return to Targa Tasmania  2007 is 2003 Classic winning co-driver Jon Siddins in a 1971 Datsun H510.   

Entries in the drivetravel.com Modern Competition include eight-time Targa Tasmania  winner Jim Richards in a brand new Porsche Turbo, Tasmanian Lamborghini powerhouse  Jason White who took honours at the November 2006 Mount Buller Sprint and V8  Supercar stalwart Tony Longhurst.

To view 2007 crew profiles click here <http://www.targa.org.au/Targa/PrimaryMenu/Crew_Profiles/2007/Profiles.php>

2007 Course Outline

Leg 0 - Temco Prologue at George Town (4.82km)
Tuesday, April 17
TS0 Prologue (4.82km)

Leg 1 - Launceston - Sheffield - Launceston
Wednesday, April 18
TS1 ENTALLY (5.62km)
TS2 DELORAINE (8.44km)
TS3 REEDY MARSH (5.28km)
TS4 PARADISE (14.57km)
Lunch break - Sheffield
TS5 NOOKVILLE (5.33km)
TS6 DEVONPORT (16.04km)
TS7 HARFORD (5.50km)

Leg 2 - Launceston - St Mary's - Hobart
Thursday, April 19
TS10 THE SIDELING (13.97km)
TS11 LEGERWOOD (5.29km)
TS12 MOORINA (7.70km)
TS14 ST MARY'S PASS (5.45km)
Lunch break - St Mary's
TS15 ELEPHANT PASS (10.95km)
TS16 CRANBROOK (7.70km)
TS17 TRIABUNNA (3.30km)

Leg 3 - Hobart - Snug - Hobart
Friday, April 20
TS20 TUNNEL HILL (3.30km)
TS21 BONNET HILL (3.45km)
TS22 HOWDEN (7.20km)
Lunch break - Snug
TS23 OYSTER COVE (12.02km)
TS24 CYGNET SHORT (9.90km)
TS25 LONGLEY (11.90km)

Leg 4 - Hobart - Mole Creek - Burnie
Saturday, April 21
TS27 COLEBROOK (5.34km)
TS28 ROSS (2.78km)
TS29 LONGFORD (2.86km)
Lunch break - Mole Creek
TS31 CETHANA (37.40km)
TS32 GUNNS PLAINS (14.68km)
TS33 SOUTH RIANA (24.48km)
TS34 NATONE (9.77km)
TS35 FERN GLADE (4.40km)

Leg 5 - Burnie - Queenstown - Hobart
Sunday, April 22
TS36 HELLYER GORGE (15.42km)
TS37 MOUNT BLACK (8.62km)
TS38 ROSEBERY (17.42km)
TS39 STRAHAN (33.24km)
Lunch break - Queenstown
TS40 QUEENSTOWN (6.39km)
TS42 TARRALEAH (6.60km)

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