Renée Brinkerhoff and her wonderful Porsche 356 Coupe have completed the second event of their World Rally Tour: the 2018 Targa Tasmania. Supported by Tuthill Porsche, Renee was joined by our old friend, co-driver Calvin Cooledge, with Simon Redhead leading the technical crew. Over a tough six-day rally, the team took the car to second in class and a top twenty finish in the highly competitive classic category.
Targa Tasmania is one of the world’s most challenging rallies. Inspired by the historic Targa Florio, which started in Sicily in 1906, Targa Tasmania is a tarmac rally covering over 2,000 kms with up to forty competitive stages on closed roads. As many as three hundred cars are selected for each edition of the race, with 2018 serving as the 27th running of the event.
The competition also takes inspiration from other famous road races, including the Mille Miglia, Coupe des Alpes and the Tour de Corse, presenting a cross section of classic race cars as well as the latest in grand touring and sports machinery. The high speeds of the modern vehicles over the twisty and unforgiving Tasmanian landscape creates considerable danger for competitors, so the rookie 356 crew took it steady over the first couple of days.
“There was a certain amount of frustration through days one and two,” confessed Renée (above with Calvin) at the half-way point. “I love to be competitive: to be able to push hard and be out front, but we can’t do that and be safe here. We didn’t get to come down early, stay a few days and do the recce. The way this rally works is a whole new system, so we have to have realistic expectations and get the car settled. So we are playing the hand we’ve been dealt: that’s it.”
Renée was one of around 200 women involved in Targa Tasmania, including eighty female officials, sixty-two female drivers & co-drivers and more than thirty female service crew members, not to mention the many women involved in the event’s media and administration support. Completing a busy six days on the beautiful island just off the south coast of Australia by claiming a top twenty finish on such a competitive event dominated by local experts and bringing the car home in one piece is a great achievement.
Renée’s next event on the 356 World Rally Tour – a rally on every continent – is the Grand Prix of South America: a 30-day marathon starting in Buenos Aires on October 18th and travelling 5,700 miles through Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. We will be there in support and look forward to sharing more news from this epic adventure.