Highly decorated former circuit racer Paul Stokell of Wellington Point has conquered Targa Tasmania.
Stokell, 50, accomplished his first outright victory and Dutton Garage GT2 class win at the event after negotiating six days of some of the fiercest tarmac rally competition in the world.
Stokell said the win was 20 years in the making and ranked among his proudest achievements to date.
The win also leaves Stokell as a favourite to win the 2019 Australian Targa championship which he took out in 2018.
"I've always called Targa Tasmania the hardest event I've ever done. It's the most challenging and the most individual thing because you are out there on your own. The conditions went from icy roads that were so slippery that you could hardly stay on them to high grip, high speed stuff and you've got to adapt pretty quickly," he said.
"Winning circuit racing championships in the past is something pretty special but Targa is a tough event and it means a lot to me."
Stokell competed with navigator Kate Catford who said she was also excited to win Targa Tasmania. Catford called the pace notes for Stokell for the second time.
"In the wet conditions it took a lot of focus to get through those conditions. Paul really drew on all his experience in the wet to get us through. Anything could and did happen so it's great to be in this position," she said.
The event, now in its 28th year, covered more 2000km across Tasmania from April 27 to May 2. Stokell drove a 2014 Lotus Exige S.