Being Anzac day, the only stage run was George Town, which is a quick 4.8km blast around town. It was a dry, beautiful day for showing the Shelby GT through the streets. Racing at 2.30pm, the crowd was pleased to see the Mustang, and we handed out posters to the locals and other fans.
What a pleasant surprise. We awake to find a winter wonderland outside our window at Mt Buller with 4 inches of snow blanketing the Shelby GT. An unseasonal snow storm increases the day three nerves and anticipation - a new challenge for crews to face. Thankfully as we transported down from the Mt Buller summit the snow gradually disappeared and turned into rain and fog.
Overnight in Launceston, the heavens opened and the first day of racing looks to be wet wet wet. Our first stage - Kayena - is a non competition shakedown stage. Stages like this are designed for us to settle into the event gently, especially for the newcomers. After Stage One is the dangerous Sideling, which is very slippery when wet - 14km of it! We were told by the locals that this rain is the first for four weeks, so this makes it even more slippery than usual.
The talk last night was minus 5 degrees and snow and, when we woke up this morning - yep, cold and snow! It's always a challenge to run down the mountain in minus 1 degrees C and, just as we were leaving snow came down again. Everyone is going to be anxious to get this one under their belt, on the slipperiest roads you will every have to drive fast on, or should I say try to drive fast on. The Shelby GT slipped and slid down the road and we managed a safe passage to the end - no fun at all.
The last three days Kate and I have travelled over 2500km to check out the beautiful Tasmanian scenery, and check out our rally notes for accuracy. The weather has been perfect and, as always, God puts on the splendor of creation - just magnificent! I have spent more time in Tassie than anywhere else exept home in Victoria, and it has been great to catch up with our Targa family and to meet some new faces. Albert and Aaron - our crew - brought the Shelby down on the Spirit on Saturday morning and scrutineering was all done yesterday. The Shelby was cleaned and is readied for the Expo, and for Monday's racing.
Setting up for Targa High Country has been real fun. With Kate in the navigation seat we managed to compile our own rally notes tailored to how we want them. Day one saw us head out from the mountain in anticipation to giving THC a good crack. All 'G' up Mirimbah stage, we went well with Kate in the moment. A car off the side of the road threw a curve ball, and we copped a 30 second penalty for going too fast on the shake down (so we gave every one a head start).