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Archive 2009

Porsche brings classic museum car to Targa TasmaniaPorsche 356 B Carrera GTL Abarth to race in Australia

Porsche will bring one of its prized exhibitions from the new Porsche Museum to race in this year’s Targa Tasmania starting on April 28.

The 356 B Carrera GTL Arbarth – the car that in the 1960s helped forge Porsche’s motorsport credentials in GT racing and road rallies such as the famous Targa Florio – arrives this week in preparation for Australia’s best known road rally.

The Director of Porsche’s “Rolling Museum”, Klaus Bischof, will race the $1 million museum exhibit in what will be the German’s 10th start in the Apple Isle’s version of the southern Italian classic road race.

The lightweight, aluminium bodied 356 B Carrera GTL Arbarth – of which just 21 were made – will compete in the Early Classic Competition class.

“Every time we come to Targa (Tasmania) we bring a special car to the event,” says Bischof. “This rally is the most difficult on the world historic motor sport calendar, so we need to make sure the car we bring is suited to the roads and the distance.” Power for the GTL Arbarth comes from a 1.6-litre boxer engine producing 99 kW.

Weighing in at just 800 kg, four decades ago this special rear-drive 356 model was famous for its impressive speed, agility and balance, especially on twisty mountain roads. On long, flat roads it could reach speeds in excess of 220 km/h.

“In many ways this car (the 356 GTL) is perfect for Targa Tasmania,” says Bischof. Porsche Cars Australia will provide technical support for the museum-entry.

Targa Tasmania commences of April 28 and winds its way through 2,000 kms of roads (500 kms of which are competitive) before finishing on Sunday May 03.

While interest in the Porsche Museum entry is sure to be high, many eyes will also be on the front of the field with over 40 Porsches lined up for Outright or Class honours. Heading the Porsche pack will be Jim Richards in the latest 911 GT2 aiming for an unprecedented ninth outright Targa win.