PR Technology Replica 3.0 IROC RSR finishes 3rd @ Targa Tasmania
The Targa Tasmania is respected worldwide as one of the toughest and most spectacular road rallies, ensuring it attracts Porsches of all styles and vintage each year. In both modern and classic guise, the 911s in particular are ideally suited to the over-500 competitive kilometres along Tasmania’s challenging terrain.
One of the most noticeable entrants from the recent 2010 event was George Pethard in his quite awesome Mexico Blue replica 911 3.0 IROC RSR. This widebody racer was built up from an Australian-delivered 1976 2.7 Coupe by Sydney’s PR Technology nearly ten years ago, and today PR Technology still maintain and support George and the car on his motorsport pursuits. The 2010 Targa Tasmania proved a resounding success for all involved, with George taking a brilliant third place in the Classic section.
“The years before when I’d entered Targa I’d looked at the podium from the crowd and wondered what it would be like up there,” George said. “This year we found out for real. We knew a top ten was achievable, and went into the event treating it like a holiday rather than too seriously. The third place was a big surprise, and on a personal level I’m ecstatic.”
Planning for the Targa is no simple matter of course, and George had the experience of having competed in Tasmania a number of times before. This year his father would no longer be sitting alongside him, so his good friend Adrian Johnstone took the navigator’s seat with tremendous success. “Adrian was very studious,” George explained, “and we completed a full course recce, then used YouTube as a good source for in-car footage to complete the research.”
George had a new engine fitted for this year’s event, opting for a more rally-orientated 3.2-litre 911 motor with PMO carbs and new cams to make it more driveable at low revs and more civilised for rallying. Previously he was using his very expensive replica RSR engine with high butterfly throttle bodies and trumpets, that were better suited to track racing rather than dirty five-day rallies.
The car was given to PR Technology for its pre-event work and checks about a month prior, and employees and spanner-wizards Alistair and Matt provided support for both George and fellow racer, Richard Perini (in the Early Modern section with his 2000 911 GT3), throughout the rally. As is typical of such a gruelling event, the PR mechanics earned their money, with a couple of late nights involved replacing the GT3’s clutch and patching up the underside of George’s RSR after a minor excursion into the Tasmanian countryside.
Such things are to be expected from this toughest of road rallies, with the 2010 event made even more so with some shocking weather conditions. “It was so bad you wouldn’t have gone out to do the shopping in it, let alone compete in such a fast rally,” George said. “At times, the roads were diabolically slippery.”
The conditions ensured attrition rates were high, and with George’s company, Nevco Engineering, providing the Targa Tasmania’s official recovery trailers, plenty of competitors got to test out Nevco’s offerings.
Luckily George was not one of them, and at the rally’s end the Sydneysider was obviously delighted with his excellent podium place. The boys from PR Technology worked overtime to keep Richard Perini’s entry in the mix, but even though he reached the finish, the clutch issues meant he could only manage 31st place in Early Modern. Above all though, the Targa is an incredible event to be involved in, with the locals thoroughly embracing this famous rally; many helping out competitors in their hour of need to keep them on track.
Porsche enthusiasts will be pleased to hear the untouchable Victorian Rex Broadbent scored overall victory in the Classic section in his 1974 911 Carrera RS replica, adding to previous victories in Tasmania and his record wins on the Classic Adelaide rallies. With George just over a minute off second place this year in his striking IROC RSR replica though, he may well be the great Broadbent’s nearest challenger in years to come.