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2 July, 2021

WEEKEND GETAWAY: TARGA to power through Innisfail and Cairns

The proposed course for TARGA Great Barrier Reef has been released, awaiting approval in the coming weeks.

By Peter McCullagh

PHOTO: Angryman Photography

Two new super stages will be featured with the Cairns Showground on Thursday September 2 followed by a thrilling finish planned for Innisfail on Sunday September 5.

The traditional stages featuring mountain climbs on the Gillies and Kuranda Ranges will also return for this year’s event.

The Official Finish and TARGAfest will be combined to create a truly unique event at Fogerty Park on Sunday September 5.

These events will be free and open to the public, with the intention of bringing car lovers together for an incredible viewing experience, and as this  event also falls on Father's Day, it will provide an excellent opportunity for families to get out and about.

After the roaring success of the TARGA cavalcade in 2020, organisers are bringing it back in 2021 on the Friday. This year, the event will take on a new route to bring TARGA to different parts of Cairns. The course for this event is due to be released in the weeks ahead, once final preparations are completed.

TARGA CEO Mark Perry said “We managed to get the event up and running last year in spite of almost blanket lockdowns, and whilst we are not on the other side yet, we need to start the rebuild and provide new opportunities for the public of FNQ to continue to enjoy the event.

“The new Super Stages will provide excitement not seen at TGBR before and will bring TARGA competition right into Cairns for the first time along with giving Innisfail a signature international event right in the heart of town on Father’s Day.

“We have worked hard in recent months to ensure that TARGA fans get to see more action than ever before.”

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said TARGA Great Barrier Reef had become one of the premier events on the Cairns calendar and the new super stage component would deliver an exciting experience for spectators. “Part of the attraction of TARGA is that residents can get up close to high performance vehicles which they would normally only see on racetracks,”

“This year, the addition of the super stage car rally at the Cairns Showgrounds will give residents an opportunity to see the cars in a race car setting as the make their way around

a circuit within the grounds.” Mr. Manning said. “Event season is in full swing for Cairns and our Council is committed to supporting events like TARGA Great Barrier Reef which  continue to attract visitors to our city and showcase all our great region has to offer.”

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor Mark Nolan said the region welcomes the influx of visitor’s that TARGA will draw in, with the event accentuating the unique landscapes and historic townships of Innisfail and the surrounding areas.

“The opportunities and exposure events like TARGA bring to our region are invaluable, especially with this year’s event showing an extensive vision of Innisfail that will appear on TARGA’s television show.

“TARGA will be broadcasted to more than 180 countries and in contrast to former years, is hoping to highlight the individual town’s unique street scapes.”

“This year’s Super Stages will bring the action into the Far North and allow Innisfail and its historical buildings and art deco aesthetic to be more closely showcased in this signature event.

“More than 1,000 people will visit the region from around the country and our local economy will see a great boost with similar events in Australia having an estimate total value of  round $1.75 million between direct spending and national and international exposure.”

TARGA Great Barrier Reef will yet again become the opening round of the Motorsport Australia TARGA Championship this year, which will see all of the leading teams and cars in action after they were unable to attend last year due to border closures. This means that a larger-than-usual field of highly competitive teams will be in attendance, typically reserved for TARGA Tasmania.

TARGA Great Barrier Reef kicks off on September 2nd with a Super Stage at the Cairns Showgrounds; tickets will be on sale from 9th August. The event finishes with TARGAfest and the world’s largest champagne shower on September 5 at Fogerty Park.

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