“Targa Tasmania 08 was particularly challenging, with more competition from Western Australian professional rally teams pushing entry levels over 300, and unusually dry conditions throughout, which meant nursing the tyres home over the 5 day event” said Dave Thomas who navigates for Dylan. “Our conservative tyre strategy paid off, as some significant high profile entrants like the new Nissan GTR had to withdraw, and several competitors crashed out due to lack of grip on the last stages”
Starting in the northern city of Launceston and finishing in Hobart, the five-day annual world premier tarmac rally event stretches over 1,800 kilometers, with 40 high speed special stages and over 800 kilometers of treacherous winding mountain roads. Entries are selected from hundreds of applications to compete. Since it began in 1992, the Targa Tasmania has attracted former world champions such as Mick Doohan and racing greats like Jim Richards and Peter Brock, as well as other well-known motor sport competitors from both Australia and overseas.
In 2007, with Dylan as principal driver and Dave as navigator, the father and son duo finished 18th outright and became one of only five teams to receive the prestigious Gold Targa Trophy, for having completed all the Targa stages for their vehicle class for three consecutive years. In an event where only 50% of the competitors complete the event, this was a major achievement.
Starting with Dave’s personal Audi TT at the Australia GP Rally in 2000, the duo became more and more involved in high speed tarmac rallies. Dylan bought a Nissan Pulsar GTiR which he prepared and they competed with until 2005 when they rolled it over in Targa New Zealand. They won several class awards with this car then imported a rally version of the legendry Mitsubishi Lancer Evo series.
“We were competing against the best of the best in rally racing from around the world and to achieve these result is truly fantastic”, said Dylan Thomas. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of the northern beaches business community”.
Local businesses including CXC Consultants Exchange, Col Crawford Mitsubishi, Cromer Exhaust Services, Warringah Auto Electrical, Henry’s Tyres and PR Technology were behind the vehicle preparation for the various Targa events. Col Crawford Mitsubishi provide the mechanical expertise for the current rally vehicle, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.
“We enjoy working with Dave and Dylan in their endevour to compete against the world’s best. They have achieved some impressive results with minimal resources, and their ‘never say die’ tenacity. Bringing home the Team Award for us this year was a major highlight,” said David Anderson, dealer principle for Col Crawford Mitsubishi. “We have asked them to provide us with a demonstration of the capabilities of the Lancer Evo vehicles at a track day, to where our staff and one lucky customer will get to drive the rally vehicle as well as the latest Lancer Evo X which has just arrived”
Dave and Dylan Thomas will next race in September at the Targa West rally in Perth, the event where Peter Brock lost his life in 2006, and look to beat their previous best placement of 12th outright to pick up podium position in their class if not outright.