The course for the 2012 Targa Adelaide rally was released today and it looks like there’s going to be some fantastic stages. A lot of the old favourites are back again – Castambul, Coromandel and Montacute, and a few exciting stages from previous years make a comeback, most notably the incredibly tight and twisty Basket Range stage. There are a few new ones too, chief of which is called ‘Aldgate’. Starting a few kilometres out of the town, it runs down the fast, smooth, flowing and generally excellent stretch of road into Mylor, before turning right just inside the town speed limit and then running the complete distance of the Aldgate Valley Road into Aldgate. This has long been a favourite road of mine, but there are houses along its full length and the speed limit is 60 so you can never really have a proper crack. I’m definitely looking forward to competing on this slow, tight and technical stretch of road.
See the full breakdown of the stages here on the Targa Adelaide website.
The trainspotters amongst you may have noticed that the suffix ‘Classic’ is gone from the event title. Yes, ‘Classic Targa Adelaide’ is now just ‘Targa Adelaide’. Unfortunately it seems the beans just didn’t add up in terms of running a classic only event and entry has now been opened to modern cars. But on the plus side the event moves from a prologue plus three days of competition to a prologue plus four days of competition. Rumour going around is that the prologue will be run within the grounds of the Royal Adelaide Showground, too. Five full days of competition – what’s not to love about that?
The problem with most old Fiats is that they’re exactly that – old Fiat’s. They began their life as expensive statements of cutting edge Italian design, but in most cases the passage of time has not been kind to their expertly sculpted bodies. Victims of a communist regime, Fiat were forced to purchase and build their fine vehicles of junk Eastern European steel which often began rusting within months of manufacture. Combined with a frankly terrible dealer network and rapidly plunging resale values, the reputation of the Fiat marque never really stood much of a chance in a marketplace where consumers demanded more.
Well, after all the weeks of preparation Classic Targa Adelaide is done and I’m now sitting here writing this as a firm case of the post rally blues takes over from a slight seedyness, a direct result of the official presentation dinner last night. We had an absolutely fantastic event, and the little Fiat surprised a lot of people in the process. As Guy mentioned, the 124 is definitely a Fast And Reliable Tarmac Rally Car. We ended up with a class win, 6th outright in Late Classic handicap, 15th in Supaloc outright and were awarded a Targa Trophy for completing all stages within the trophy time.
Day one, and the first proper day of Classic Targa Adelaide is done and dusted. We had a really good run with no mechanical issues, and even got into the swing of things by the end of the day. We started off with a nice ease into the event courtesy of the Upper Hermitage stage, and then continued next with Anstey’s Hill. Chain of ponds is a fantastic piece of road, however I unfortunately fell off the notes for a few corners on that stage. Back on the notes with a quick blast through the Gumeracha stage, before tackling Kersbrook – another fast stage with big, long, sweeping bends. Heading up Checker Hill tested the little 1800cc Fiat, and we discovered it’s VMax of 180kmh across the finish line. After the lunch stop for a quick sanga on the Gumeracha oval, we tackled the famous Stafford Ridge stage, racing down through the Fox Creek area.
The absolute highlight of the day was the Castambul stage – 17km’s worth that started at the top of Gorge Road, ran all the way down before turning up Corkscrew road, and then turning right down Montacute road. We were pushing hard and everything just worked – the car, the notes, the driving. It felt brilliant. We overtook a big Healey around the inside of a 5 right on Gorge Road, and managed to stay away from the 911 RSR that started 30secs behind us.
We were running around 17 to 23rd outright in stage times throughout the day, and finished up Leg One running 6th outright in Late Classic out of 49 competitors. So now it’s all about forgetting the results and stage times, and keeping it on the black stuff tomorrow!
Day zero of Classic Targa Adelaide is done and dusted after the first two prologue stages. The first prologue was a flat out blast around the back streets of Tanunda. It was over before it began, and I was concentrating so hard on the notes that I don’t really remember a hell of a lot of it. I do remember looking up as we were flat in fourth going down a narrow suburban street and feeling a little weird, like we were doing something horribly illegal.
The second prologue stage was the cannonball run that is Menglers Hill. You reach the top of the hill in the first kilometre, and from there on it’s just a flat out run across the ridge through a series of 8 and 9 rated corners and a few crests. We were flat in 5th for most of it, probably cruising somewhere around 190ish km/h. We don’t have any official results yet, and although the prologue doesn’t count for anything we are fairly happy with how we did – around mid field according to tomorrows starting order.
My main task today was co-driving, not taking photos. However, I managed the odd cheeky shot here and there. Enjoy!
This Porsche 914/6 was parked at the showgrounds early yesterday morning awaiting scruitineering for Classic Targa Adelaide. I’ve been a huge fan of these cars ever since I read about Jeff Zwart’s rally 914/6 as a child, and think they’re the perfect combination of mid engined handling and Porsche flat 6 power. There’s nothing cooler than racecars on the road, and as a full prep tarmac rally car this example looked mean before the rally stickers were applied.
So we were out checking pacenotes for the upcoming Classic Targa Adelaide the other weekend in the Adelaide Hills. It was one of those autumn days that was just a little too good to be true, the sun was shining and the air had that crisp edge to it that makes every breath a pleasure. As we dropped down into the town of Macclesfield I couldn’t quite believe what was revealed to us around the bend – more than fifteen Ferrari’s lining both sides of the main street.