This week David Watson and Ian J. Cudmore are tearing it up in a Mk4 Golf R32 on the Australian island of Tasmania. No, they aren’t crazy kids who are street racing, they’re crazy adults who are road racing. The pair will be racing in the Targa Tasmania, a week long road rally that’s billed as the world’s largest, longest, and hardest tarmac rally.

Watson and Cudmore have raced the Targa before, but this year is special, because they’ve been sponsored by Sony. The company has supplied the pair with 4k Sony Action cameras, so they’re fully wired for audio and video. As a result you’ll be able to follow the best tarmac rally in the world from the cockpit of on of the best cars in the world.

Targa Tasmania, for the uninitiated, takes place over five days, in which time 300 cars travel more than 1200 miles over 40 competitive stages on closed roads. The event was inspired by the legendary Targa Florio, which started in Sicily in 1906, when Vicenzo Florio decided to host a race. The winner was presented with plate (targa) bearing the Florio family crest, hence the name. Safety concerns ended the Targa Florio in the ‘70s, but the area still hosts events for the Italian Rally Championship. The Targa Tasmania might be familiar to some of you, as it was the subject of a documentary made by actor Eric Bana (Troy, Star Trek, Hulk) called Love the Beast .

The event isn’t just for a bunch of mad Aussies. Some serious machinery shows up. Everything from super cars to prostock Australian muscle cars and more can be found ripping through the Tasmanian countryside. We, of course, will be following the VWs. Cudmore and Watson might be the team to follow, too, because of their experience.

Cudmore navigates, but both team members have experience racing. Watson has been racing for a long time and has experience on everything from gravel roads to Formula Vee and more. He’s been involved with the Targa Tasmania from the very beginning. 25 years ago, the Tasmanian was asked to join a team of paramedics as part of a safety team for the Targa’s inaugural running. He eventually became the Emergency Team Manager, then later joined the vehicle inspection team, and finally was a senior staff member. In the late 2000s, though, he decided that he finally wanted to race and got himself into a 2004 Golf R32.

Cudmore also learned to race in a Mk4, though his was a GTI. “I’ve owned pretty much nothing but Volkswagen/Audi all my life,” he tells VWVrotex in an email. “When it came to motorsport, it just made sense to stick with what I knew.” Cudmore raced his way through hill climbs, motorkhana, and eventually into tarmac rallies. In 2013 he raced his first Targa Tasmania, as a navigator, in a Renault Megane RS250, which he calls “the silly French car,” and which got him into 3 rd place in his class. The car’s owner came to his senses, though, and sold it later that year, leaving Cudmore without a seat.


That’s when Watson called. The two had met years earlier at the Targa, and Watson’s navigator couldn’t make to Targa Wrest Point, another Tasmanian tarmac rally. “I jumped at the chance,” says Cudmore, “keen to get back in a German car.” The event didn’t finish particularly well because of some mechanical gremlins, but what was clear to the both of them was “how well Dave and I clicked in that car.” Last year, the team finished the Targa Tasmania in Targa Trophy time, which earned them a gold plate. “Being able to successfully complete three events in a row in the time allowed is something that has eluded many people, so I count myself lucky to be able to have done this.”

This year, the pair will be racing in their Mk4 R32. The car’s 3.2L VR6 has been ported, polished, and balanced; they’ve installed forged pistons; Schrick cams; a Sach Motorsport clutch kit; shortened gears, and a whole lot more. According to Cudmore, the car makes 268 hp (200kw) to the wheels.

This is “one of the last real challenges for a driver left in the world,” says Watson. And we hope they rise to that challenge when racing begins on Monday, April 11. Tasmania is somewhat out of the way, so cell towers and coverage might not enable them to live stream the whole thing, but with any luck you’ll be able to watch them racing on their Facebook page. And you can watch the pair racing 2015’s event below.