With just over two weeks remaining before Targa Tasmania 2011 kicks off, the Mazda Motorsport team is putting the finishing touches to its turbo-charged trio.

The Mazda team has been working around the clock to perfect all three race cars ahead of the gruelling five day event that is considered the toughest tarmac rally in the world.

The dual Mazda RX-8 SPs will both line up today at an intense testing session at Wakefield Park Raceway.

The session will be the final opportunity to evaluate both cars in action and identify any last minute adjustments that may be required. 

It will be new team member Jamie Vandenberg’s first run behind the wheel of the RX-8 SP. But with team mate Steve Glenney on hand to offer some tips, Vandenberg is hoping to set some good pace.

Steve Glenney is also feeling positive about the upcoming testing session. “It is a great opportunity to have both RX-8 SPs available to evaluate back to back. We’re in a unique position because we can compare recent changes side by side and see what works best,” said Glenney.

Mazda Motorsport boss, Allan Horsley is confident that there is little left to extract in terms of engine performance from the RX-8 SPs, but he is hopeful that recent handling refinements will deliver on road improvements.

“The RX-8 SP has come a long way since its early days. We’ve experienced a number of highs and lows, but what we finally have here is a polished package” said Horsley.

After achieving an impressive second placing behind Jason Whites’ Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera at Targa Wrest Point, Glenney is confident that ongoing work on his RX-8 SP will help him close the gap even further at Targa Tasmania.

While the RX-8 SP doesn’t have the same power as its rivals, it is well suited to the demanding roads of Tasmania.

To build on this advantage, the Mazda Motorsport team has focused on further refining handling and suspension and they are convinced that Glenney and Vandenberg will be able to find the pace to hunt down the leaders in the latter stages of the event.

While a lot of attention has been given to perfecting the teams RX-8 SPs, the Showroom class Mazda3 MPS is also fully prepared and ready to tackle Targa Tasmania.

Driver Brendan Reeves is currently in Portugal preparing for his first drive in the World Rally Championship where he is one of only 5 young drivers chosen from around the world to receive a fully funded position and a prepared car. The whole Mazda team is behind Brendan and will be closely watching his progress.
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