Excited Korumburra Primary School students and other locals enjoyed a visit from participants in the Targa Florio Australia event, who arrived at the town’s showgrounds in an array of classic cars on Tuesday afternoon.

The fleet of over 60 vehicles was taking part in a four-day adventure, ending on Thursday at the Australian Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park.

Their arrival at the Grand Prix street circuit is timed to coincide with the first day of the Australian Grand Prix, with awards to be presented there to some of the Targa Florio participants in front of spectators.

Targa Florio has a proud history, having been established in Italy’s Sicily in 1906, and is one of the world’s leading events for classic car enthusiasts.

It has changed greatly over the years, once being a high-speed and dangerous open road endurance race in the mountains near Sicily’s capital Palermo.

Now it’s an opportunity for motoring enthusiasts to enjoy driving and viewing classic cars safely.

Upon arrival at the Korumburra Showgrounds, the vehicles took part in a time trial based on precision rather than high speed.

The time trial was held entirely within the showgrounds, with the course divided into sections.

Competitors drove over rubber strips, enabling them to be timed in each part of the course, with the aim to average particular speeds in each section.

Stopping is not permitted during the time trial, with time penalties in place for anyone doing so.

Such was the leisurely pace of the competition, a navigator was seen waving to the throngs of schoolchildren as they enjoyed the action and the variety of shiny cars from various eras.

Sydney’s Laura Rossari and Adam Troost were among the Targa Florio entrants, driving an appropriate vehicle for an Italian inspired event, a dazzling red 1967 Fiat Abarth, with Laura adding to the Italian flavour.

Adam commented on the “beautiful roads and stunning scenery,” saying the drive through Leongatha to Korumburra was a highlight.

Another Sydney pair, Brent and Jo Carr, arrived in their gleaming 1958 Chevrolet Corvette.

“I bought it in 1992 in Sydney as a wreck,” Brent said, estimating he did half of the restoration work himself.

Jo and Laura both assumed responsibility for navigating, helping dispel myths about women and maps.

It was a big day of driving, with entrants having left Flinders early on Tuesday morning.

The day concluded in Inverloch.

Not all the cars are straightforward to drive, with a green 1928 Bentley driven by Gary McMillan an example.

His navigator Wayne Fitzgerald, who also owns a vintage Bentley, explained that: “You have to drive every inch of the way.”

“The gears are really heavy compared to modern cars,” Wayne said, adding that they become increasingly challenging to manage as they heat up.

An aspect of the car that one needs to promptly adapt to is the placement of its pedals, with the accelerator in the middle rather than on the right.

Wayne said you only forget its placement once, with that time presumably frightening enough to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, Targa Florio participants again tested themselves with time trials at the Stony Creek Go Kart Track, then attended a community event at Mirboo North’s Baromi Park. Wednesday’s driving ended in Healesville.