Targa Tasmania has often been considered one of the premier events in Australia and is often found on the bucket list of many rally competitors within the country.
For 28 years, the event has always proved to be a hit with drivers, spectators and locals alike and has seen the emergence of some of the biggest names in tarmac rallying.
One of those names is Greg Crick, a highly skilled driver who was the champion of the first two Targa Tasmanias and will forever be part of history.
But before Crick was a tarmac rally legend, he was a dominating the circuit at Symmons Plains, with one of his employees Geoff Pilgrim often at the track supporting him.
A move up to the mainland for Pilgrim saw him forced to relinquish his role with Crick, but when he came back to Tasmania years later, Crick had just won Targa Tasmania for the second time.
While Pilgrim didn’t know much about this new category his former boss had just won, it seemed fate had come knocking, as Pilgrim was staying at his sister’s house when her son received a letter from Targa Tasmania asking if he knew anyone who would be interested in volunteering at the event.
Pilgrim decided it could be fun to take part in this unknown event and has since re-written his own history.
Joining in 1993, he has attended every single Targa Tasmania since and has become one of the most experienced officials part of the iconic event.
From starting out as a line-up official to working all the way up in the Command Centre, a role he held for five years, Pilgrim has done many important roles at the event.
“The first year I started up as a line-up official, making sure wrist bands and helmets were on, seatbelts done and I just progressed from there,” Pilgrim said.
“The next year I was running the start line as a supervisor, then the next year I was a stage commander for two different stages, then for five years I was deputy area coordinator.
“I then took on the role of results manager for five years and then finally I had worked my way up into the Command Centre and was in charge of all the course crew controlling.
“I decided to take a break and get back on the side of the road rather than sitting in the office. I just enjoyed being outside and on the open road.”
While Pilgrim has spent a majority of his motor sport career working at Targa Tasmania, receiving a 25-year Service award this year, he has also attended other events, including three Classic Adelaide Rallies and eight Targa High Countries.
Despite signing up on a whim all those years ago, the motivation behind Pilgrim’s past 26 years of volunteering is due to the people he has met along the way and the release tarmac rallying gives him from his busy job as a Registered Nurse.
“I enjoy getting away to Targa because it’s something completely different to my day job and anything else I do,” Pilgrim added.
“I have never done anything medical for Targa. I have always done officiating because I enjoy the challenge of organising and putting an event together, making sure it’s safe and ready to run.
“I just enjoy helping out, being part of a bigger cog to make an event happen. The camaraderie and the friends you make throughout is just fantastic.
“I have no plans of slowing down. Got a good few years left in me. I would say another five to 10 years at least, so I will continue to do my bit and help keep this fantastic event going strong.”