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Matt Close will have to work hard to retain his Targa Tasmania GT2 title next week against a number of exotic machines.

Close will defend his title in a new Porsche GT3 RS, but hasn’t quite got used to his new mount yet.

“We were offered an incredible opportunity by Porsche Australia; we took delivery of the car on April 3rd,” Close said.

“I’ve done 250kms of highway driving in it. I’m on a very steep learning curve when we start next week.”

“Cameron (Reeves) hasn’t even seen the car. I’m sure he thinks it’s all just a joke and I’m bringing the red GT3.”

Close’s competition includes the Dodge Vipers of John and Jason White, and last year’s runner up Michael Pritchard and Gary Mourant. Australian GT category owner Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillet will also join the battle in a Porsche similar to Close’s, though Close thinks another variety of Porsche will challenge for victory.

“I’ve got my eye on a smoky if the event turns up a lot of wet roads – Pete Nunn and Keith Johnstone in a new Porsche Cayman GTS will be hard to match with the softer rubber they can run. It’s a very smart combination, and Pete is a gun driver and won’t hang around if he gets his conditions,” Close said.

Targa Tasmania gets underway on Monday April 24 in Launceston and finishes Saturday April 29 in Hobart after 35 stages and 500km of competitive running.