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A unique tracking system will be used on some of the leading cars in the 2009 Targa Tasmania, allowing rally fans to closely follow their favourite drivers through the six-day event.

The Aerotrac system will be fitted to Jim Richards’s Porsche 911 GT2, Jason White’s Lamborghini Gallardo Supperleggera, Rex Broadbent’s Porsche and Ray Vandersee’s Skelta G-Force.

The advanced tracking system will show all cars live during the event at www.aerotrac.com.au, with updates every 30 seconds showing each car’s position, speed, altitude and direction, either on Google Maps or Google Earth.

Aerotrac’s director, Geoff Bott, will also compete in Targa Tasmania, with the system fitted to his own 1985 Jaguar Sport XJS TWR replica.

A veteran of 40 years of motorsport competition, 59-year old Bott will be co-driven in the event by Brian Foster, having made their Targa debut together last year.

The Jaguar was built specifically for tarmac rallies during 2007.  It has competed in various circuit sprints in NSW prior to running in the 2008 Targa Tasmania.

It has been built to replicate the TWR specifications that were an option in 1985.  It sports a 6-litre engine, 16” x 8” wheels, roll cage, Sparco seats, Bilstein shocks, up-rated springs and sway bar.

Bott and Foster have received support from AEROTRAC, Blue Mountains Getaways, Log Cabin Hotel Penrith, and the general public supporting the Oncology Children’s foundation (see www.car703.com)

As a typical Targa competitor, Bott enjoys the event for the chance to run in the most exciting road event in Australia. While he and Foster have no grandiose plans to take class wins or outright placings, their aim of receiving a Targa Plate for finishing every stage within the prescribed time is what drives them.

They are confident of the big Jag’s reliability over the course of the six-day event, and will have no service crew following them. While this helps reduce the costs, it can make things tiring.

“Getting yourself up and going for six days in a row is not usually a problem, but it can be difficult if we’ve had to fix the car the night before,” Bott says.

The weather can also play a part in Targa, but despite running a big, heavy car, Bott is not concerned about what the god’s produce.

“Wet or dry, we will overcome!” he adds.

With a budget of around $6000 to compete in Targa Tasmania, Bott and Fraser are just one of over 250 competitors who will invest heavily in the event, for the joy of driving a magnificent car in Australia’s ultimate tarmac rally.

Targa Tasmania 2009, the 18th running of the world-renowned event, begins with a prologue through the streets of Georgetown on Tuesday, April 28, with the action proper getting underway the next day.

While primarily based in Launceston, the event will have an overnight stop in Strahan on the west coast of the Apple Isle, before finishing in the capital, Hobart, on Sunday, May 3.
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