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The all-female crew of Samantha Stevens and Claire Ryan will have more than one goal to fulfill when they tackle this weekend’s Targa Wrest Point in Tasmania’s south.

While intent on finishing as high up the leaderboard as possible in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, Stevens and Ryan will also be taking every opportunity to raise money for breast cancer nursing, with all donations being donated to the McGrath Foundation.


Sydney-based Stevens is a renowned motoring journalist who is a World Car of the Year and Automotive Design Award judge, but she sees her role in Targa Wrest Point as twofold.

“Claire and I are entered in the Australian Tarmac Championship, and our main aim is to enjoy ourselves, and to create funds and awareness for breast cancer – an illness that effects a surprising number of men – and earn our keep for our fabulous sponsors who have all donated time so we can pursue our dream and help a good cause,” Steven said.

“We raised almost $1000 for the McGrath Foundation at the Mt Buller Sprint in December, purely from the generosity of the officials, volunteers, fellow competitors and crews.

“We want our charity dollars to be five figures large by the end of 2010.”

But amongst the fun and fund raising, there’s also a rally to tackle.
 
“Just because we are having a ball does not mean we are not serious about results,” Stevens points out.

After driving a Nissan Pulsar GTi-R at Mt Buller, this will be the debut event in the Evo VI, which has only recently been finished after a lightening five-week build process.

“The Lancer Evo is a phenomenal tarmac weapon, and the VI is the lightest and one of the best of the 10 generations.

“With only one test under our belts and the car tuned for mechanical reliability rather than top speed and power, we cannot be as competitive as we would like. And I have only recently made the move from holding pacenotes to holding the rally wheel. But we will be up there by the time Targa Tasmania comes around.

Former Targa Tasmania winner Steve Glenney drove the car at a recent test day at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney, and was impressed with the set-up of the car.

Co-driver Claire Ryan is an experienced South Australian who guided Matt Selley to 15th outright and second Australian in last September’s local round of the World Rally Championship. The are a formidable combination.

 
“We remain in the same class as when we drove the Pulsar at Mt Buller, and hope to finish well in the Early Modern category and new Australian Tarmac Championship with the Evo.”
 
The girls’ assault on Targa Wrest Point is bing supported by V-Sport.com.au, Nevco Ezy Approach Trailers, Kumho Motorsport Tyres and FSport, JustJap, Tyrepower Rosebery, and iAutosport.
 
“We are bringing one of the officially-sponsored Targa trailers down with us from Nevco. In recognition of our charity, Nevco has generously agreed to support our 2010 campaign with a bright pink Ezy Approach motorsport trailer.
 
“Nevco, Kumho and VSport have worked tirelessly to get our car off the ground in barely five weeks of build time, and we can’t thank them enough.”

Starting and finishing at Wrest Point in Hobart, day one of Targa Wrest Point will see competitors tackle seven Targa stages with a competitive distance of 127 kilometres, while a further seven tests and 83 competitive kilometres will conclude the event on day two.

The second running of the event has attracted 163 entries from seven different countries. Targa Wrest Point is open to modern, showroom and classic cars. Last year’s event injected more than $3 million into the southern Tasmanian economy.

Further details about Targa Wrest Point can be found at www.targawrestpoint.com.au
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