By STEVE SPINKS
GOLFER Stuart Appleby is a good driver with the golf club.
But Billinudgel farmer Peter Burrey is hoping that Appleby is equally adept at driving a Lamborghini Gallardo sports car at the upcoming Targa Tasmania Rally.
Burrey will be Appleby's co-driver at the Targa which covers 2000km of tarmac over five days and has more than 250 competing cars.
The 55-year-old was invited to join Team Lamborghini and Appleby only a couple of months ago.
Burrey and Appleby will be in charge of the No2 Lamborghini.
"It's funny how things happen," the palm tree farmer said.
"I was without a ride this year because I left my normal driver and the team I joined pulled out.
"But Paul Stokell (the driver of the No1 Lamborghini) put my name forward because of the experience I've had."
That experience includes 12 consecutive Targa Tasmania Rallies as a navigator, not to mention the London to Sydney Marathon in 2000, and numerous starts in the Classic Adelaide, East Coast Targa and Rally of Tasmania.
But Appleby is not quite as experienced.
"He had to get his International Rally Licence, but I haven't seen him drive," Burrey said.
"I'm told he's been doing a lot of driver training, but he's never raced a rally before.
"But he has a Gallardo at home, so he has some experience with the car."
It will be the world racing debut of the Gallardo; a car which can develop 500 horse power and reach a top speed of 300km/h.
Burrey believes Appleby will do fine behind the wheel and the pair are aiming for a top 20 finish.
"He'll be good," Burrey said. "Being a golfer he's used to reading the lie of the land and to judge distances by eye and that will be a big plus for him."
Burrey has been in contact with Appleby for a couple of months via email, but he stopped early last week to let the golfer concentrate on the US Masters at Augusta.
But fellow driver Stokell didn't. "Stuart was one of the leaders on the first day of the Masters," Burrey chuckled.
"And I didn't contact him, but Stokell was emailing him every day.
"He didn't finish off too well and Paul and I were talking and we thought he must have been thinking about rallying too much."
The one off race with Lamborghini is a thrill for Burrey whose best finish in the Targa is 14th last year.
The race starts on April 27 and Burrey will be in Tasmania the preceding week to prepare.
Along the way, the car and Appleby will be making an appearance on the AFL Footy Show on Channel Nine.
Stokell and former touring car champion Jim Richards are considered two of the favourites for the rally.
The flip-side to Appleby being the rookie in motor sport, is the fact that Burrey is a complete novice when it comes to golf.
"Put it this way," he laughed.
"I won't be asking for tips on my putting while we're going along."