The start of Targa Tasmania 2006, in Launceston
Targa Tasmania is a week-long motor sport road rally recalling the concept of the famous Targa Florio. Crews complete timed stages using some of Tasmania's most challenging public roads, competing for a Targa 'plate' rather than prize money. Targa has attracted national and international interest, and some of the world's greatest drivers and marques have participated.
The brainchild of Tasmanian John Large, the event was first held in 1992, and runs annually with financial support from the Tasmanian government and sponsors, and the assistance of thousands of volunteers. Targa tours the State, beginning in Launceston, visiting the north, east, west and south, and culminating in a ceremonial finish in Hobart. It has attempted to attract vehicles of all ages, inviting owners to use their cars in the manner for which they were designed. Separate categories allow each competitor a chance to gain a Targa plate regardless of the vehicle.
Targa Tasmania has proved very successful when measured by the number of entries, although it has encountered some opposition for encouraging irresponsible driving. Targa is also viewed by organisers as an opportunity to showcase Tasmania to interstate and international visitors. Regrettably, the event has also seen a fatality.
Further reading: Targa Tasmania, Targa Tasmania, Hobart, 1993; M Browning (ed), Targa Tasmania, Hobart, .