HSV heads Targa Tasmania

Published: 20 April 2005

Pictured: HSV.

It’s not a prediction, it’s a fact! An HSV will lead all competitors through every stage of the 2005 Targa Tasmania.

That’s over six days (including the prologue) and a total of 2100km, including 44 competitive stages covering 452km on some of the most challenging roads in the country. The HSV in question is designated as the Targa competition’s ‘0’ Car and it plays a key role in the smooth, safe running of the event.

Running three minutes ahead of the first competitor, it is the last of the official’s cars through each competitive stage. Its main functions are to travel at full competition speed as a final check of the course conditions and associated event systems and to do so with lights and sirens operating as a means of warning spectators that the next car following will be a competitor.

Entering his ninth year of driving the ‘0’ Car at Targa Tasmania, Peter Lewis-Williams knows precisely what vehicle characteristics are needed for this important role. After learning about the standout specifications of HSV’s latest Z Series model, Lewis-Williams knew that he’d found the ideal vehicle for Targa ’05 and approached HSV to help.

“What we need is a very nicely balanced high performance car that can operate in a variety of road conditions and the ClubSport R8 gives us that”, explains Lewis-Williams. “Performance is very important so HSV’s new 6.0litre LS2 engine (297kW @ 6000rpm and 530Nm @4400rpm) was certainly an attraction. The faster the car is, the easier and safer our job is because it means we can reduce cornering speed. The other vitally important ingredient is brakes – in particular the mountain stages are very hard on brakes – and this HSV braking system is extremely powerful.”

“Put all those factors together and you can see why we are so confident in this HSV package. I must say we’re really looking forward to driving the car during the event – it’s going to be terrific!”

No doubt the many Targa spectators will also enjoy seeing Australia’s own ‘0’ car leading the charge at this iconic event as much as they do watching the competitors that follow.

Specifications of HSV’s Targa ‘0’ car

Apart from appropriate lights, sirens and signage, the car that Peter Lewis-Williams will drive is essentially a standard Z Series ClubSport R8, six-speed manual except for:

HSV Adjustable Performance Suspension

Supplied by suspension technology specialist, Öhlins Suspension, the package features racecar-style adjustable remote-canister gas pressurised damping units, front and rear. In this instance, HSV chassis engineers have adjusted them to ensure the car maintains its exceptional stability throughout the varying Targa conditions.

HSV Linear steering rack

A unique HSV developed steering rack that delivers a quicker ratio ‘on-centre’ which sharpens steering response, as well as greater predictability as the steering is moved from ‘lock to lock’.

HSV Power Steering Cooler

A specialised HSV designed cooler that not only maintains the oil temperature within limits but also, importantly, provides the exact amount of backpressure needed to deliver precise steering feel and feedback.

HSV Six-Piston Brake System

One of the most powerful braking systems fitted to any production car in the world. This race-bred system was developed in conjunction with AP Racing in the UK and features six-piston callipers acting on huge 362mm grooved rotors at the front and four piston callipers and 343mm grooved rotors at the rear.

HSVDT OZ 18-inch, lightweight five-spoke alloy wheels (in place of the standard 19-inch wheels)

Finished in black, the 18-inch size gives plenty of scope for choosing appropriate road legal, pseudo competition tyres such as the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa fitted here.

HSV Sales and Marketing Director Chris Payne said “HSV is very pleased to be able to support the 2005 Targa Tasmania, and we intend to use this vehicle as a test bed for some new high performance features for future release”.

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