TARGA Great Barrier Reef cars zoom into Innisfail

Three of the TARGA Great Barrier Reef cars racing in the final Bamboo Creek stage along Lawrence Road, Mundoo.

EIGHTY touring and tarmac rally cars taking part in the TARGA Great Barrier Reef zoomed into Innisfail last Sunday for a lunch break on day three, as part of TARGA Town, which showcased the Cassowary Coast region.

For the first time in the Cassowary Coast region, on Father’s Day, cars participated in a cavalcade around the Innisfail township before heading to Cairns for the official finish and presentations. 

Motoring enthusiasts flocked to Lawrence Road to watch the cars race during the fast Bamboo Creek stage (5.46kms).

There were a variety of vehicles, from restored classic vehicles to the latest in grand touring sports vehicles, on display.

Anthony Genocchio, from Innisfail, competed in the Classic GT category in his 1983 Holden VH Commodore, with his co-driver Robert Horsfall from Townsville. 

Bad weather conditions on day two saw the pair drop from second to third place.

Their nearest rivals, Jon and Gina Siddins, encountered gearbox issues with their 1970 Datsun 240Z on the Gillies Range stage, which forced them out of the race. 

During the fast and final stage of Bamboo Creek (Lawrence Road), Genocchio rocketed past the finish line to win the Classic GT section and a place on the podium, whilst their car finished sixth outright.

Genocchio made his debut into the Targa world in 2011 at Targa Tasmania and has completed six, with this being his fourth Targa Great Barrier Reef event. 

In the 2019 TARGA Great Barrier Reef event, Genocchio and co-driver Scott Hamilton placed second in the Classic GT class, and 12th overall in their 1983 Holden HDT Commodore.

Based in Innisfail, Genocchio said he has always loved tarmac rally cars and his father, Jim, had a passion for motorsports and raced in speedway.

He was thrilled to be taking part in the event again and loves the freedom of being able to drive flat out on the awesome twisty roads, which you drive every day in the region.

Last year’s winner, Tony Quinn, and his co-driver Brian Foster, held a 24-second lead at the end of the opening leg in Cairns in their Nissan GT-R.

Quinn and Foster went into the third and final day of competition with a slender 11-second lead. 

However, during the Palmerston stage (27.98kms), Luke Anear and co-driver Andy Sarandis overtook Quinn in their 2010 Subaru WRX STi to hold a 10 second lead, which increased to 17 seconds by the end of the final day.

Anear and Sarandis claimed a thrilling overall TARGA victory, as well as taking out the GT Production category.

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