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Targa Tasmania?s infectious bug

CarsGuide

2 Apr 2008 • 3 min read

That's the case for Queenslander Graham Copeland, who is lining up for his 10th crack at Australia's ultimate tarmac rally next month.

Copeland has won his Classic class at Targa once and has finished on the podium in the overall Classic category four times, driving a variety of vehicles.

He has driven Triumph TR4s and TR8s, and more recently moved to Datsuns, but this year sees a different challenge emerging.

“I was hoping to drive my 1938 Dodge Speedster but that will now have to wait until 2009,” he said.

“I'll be co-driving this year in a rare Bizzarini GT America.”

Copeland will be sitting beside successful circuit racing star, Wayne Park, who has won numerous Queensland and Australian championships, and has also driven at the Bathurst 1000 four times, with a fifth place his best result.

“I find Targa is quite addictive,” Copeland said.

“I'm really looking forward to teaming up with him Wayne this year. Targa is like no other event.

“The roads are unbelievable, the organisers do a terrific job and the public are really supportive of the event. Targa is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”

The 1967 Bizzarini is a valuable piece of machinery that is certain to create enormous spectator interest.

With upgraded shock absorbers and a bit of sorting and tuning by Park's Brisbane automotive business, the car is now a real contender in the Classic class.

“The Bizzarini GT America is a very rare car and it is even rarer to see one competing in full competition in events like Targa,” Copeland said.

“But the car's owner, Rob Sherrard, believes in using them as they were meant to be used, not wrapped in cloth in some museum.”

The 17th Targa Tasmania, featuring dozens of exotic cars, starts on April 15, taking the record-breaking field of 305 entries along some of the best rally roads in the country, before the grand finish at Wrest Point on April 20.