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Jim Richards' ready for his 25th Targa Tasmania - Photo: Supplied

Jim Richards’ ready for his 25th Targa Tasmania – Photo: Supplied

The 2017 edition of Targa Tasmania will be a special one for eight-time winners Jim Richards and Barry Oliver. It’ll be the legendary duo’s 25th Targa Tasmania together and, incredibly, their 75th tarmac rally as a team.

Richards (69) and Oliver (72) started their Targa legacy back in 1993 with a second place, driving a Porsche 968 Clubsport.

However it was in 1996 that their complete domination of the event began. Driving a Porsche 911 Turbo to earn their first victory in the event before claiming three in succession (1996 – 1998). The team later backed that up with an incredible four in succession, from 2000 to 2003. With their eighth and most recent Targa Tasmania victory in 2006, behind the wheel of a Porsche GT2.

Over their 74 tarmac rallies to date – all in Porsches – they have finished on the podium on 43 occasions, including 21 outright wins, four Showroom class wins, 12 second places, and 10 thirds. Only eight times has the Richards/Oliver combination failed to finish an event.

“To be honest, I haven’t given too much thought to it being our 25th Targa,” Richards said.

“It sort of creeps up on you. You just go from one event to the next and before you know it the numbers stack up.

“We’re pretty relaxed about it all really. Barry does his job and I do mine as good as I can. We’re pretty much best friends and enjoy each other’s company during events.

“It’s not just about the competition, but about having a nice meal at the end of each day and catching up with other friends along the way.

“We both have our wives with us on the event, and it’s a great week and a half away.”

While not seeking outright honours, Richards and Oliver will challenge the competition in a brand new 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The 2017 Targa Tasmania gets underway on Monday 24th of April and will feature 35 competitive stages across six days, finishing on the Hobart waterfront at PW1 at lunchtime on Saturday, April 29.