Queenslander David Griffiths has taken a crushing victory the 2008 Targa Tasmania Rookie Rallye for Classic Cars, after the two day event concluded at Longford this afternoon.

Driving a 1989 Nissan Skyline GTS-t, Griffiths, with his brother Max calling the pacenotes, finished the event over three minutes clear of the 1974 Porsche 911 of Victorians Aaron Silluzio and Josh Franzi.

In third place were fellow Victorians, Shane Woodman and Kylie Kastelic, in their crowd-pleasing 1977 Holden Torana A9X.

In the Rookie Rallye for Modern Cars, Victorians Stephen Bradford and Richard Huggins drove their 1999 Subaru Impreza WRX STI to a 45 second victory over the thundering Holden Commodore ute of Launceston’s Michael Nicholls and Peter Locket

In a 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Paul Summers and Brendan Anesbury, both from Western Australia, took third place, ahead of local Tasmanian rally stars, David Waldon and David Catt in a 1999 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, less than a minute further back.

Understandably, Griffiths was overjoyed with his Classic victory, and is already planning his entry into the Competition section of Targa in 2009.

“It’s actually quite a relief to make it to the end in one piece, and the car’s gone really well, which is great,” Griffiths said.

After working for various teams as a mechanic at Targa for the past ten years, Griffiths was thrilled to get into a car and compete for himself. The Rookie Rallye, which was first run in 2007, was the catalyst for him entering this year’s event.

“We watched the Rookie Rallye closely last year, and then purchased the Skyline off another competitor and entered ourselves,” he added.

“We had a small drama on the first day when we couldn’t get fifth or reverse gear, but that wasn’t an issue on the competitive stages – provided we didn’t spin the car and need to use reverse gear. Apart from that, we had no moments at all, and the tyres still look like new.”

Griffiths said that competing in the event – and ultimately winning it – is even an bigger thrill than he expected. He now plans on using his prize drive in 2009 – after some sweet talking to his wife, of course!

In the Modern Competition, Bradford and Huggins led by just a solitary second after the first day’s stages, but quickly moved clear of the pack on the second day’s opening test. They immediately extended their lead to 27 seconds, and continued to increase on that as the day wore on.

“It’s a huge relief to get to the finish,” co-driver Richard Huggins said after a tough day. “We drove eleven tenths right from the very first corner today, and it wasn’t until about the third last stage of the day that we could back off and ensure the victory.”

Bradford and Huggins will be back to take up their prize drive next year, but admit to having a new respect to the competitors in the Competition section.

“We’ll have to up the ante next year because we’ll have another three days of pacenotes to write, and some much longer stages that come along later in the event. We’re looking forward to it though.”

Targa 2008 Rookie Rallye Final Modern Results - PROVISIONAL
1. 127 Stephen Bradford (VIC), Richard Huggins (VIC) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
2. 133 Michael Nicholls (TAS), Peter Locket (TAS), 2003 Holden Commodore Ute + 0:45
3. 144 David Waldren (TAS), / Catt (VIC), 1999 Subaru WRX STi RA +1:29
4. 129 Leigh Finlayson (TAS), Ross Ferguson (TAS), 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5 + 2:40
5. 132 David May (NSW), Andrew Bianco (NSW), 1999 Subaru Impreza WRX STi +3:56
Targa 2008 Rookie Rallye Final Classic Results - PROVISIONAL
1. 115 David Griffiths (QLD), Max Griffiths (TAS), 1989 Nissan Skyline GTS-t
2. 105 Aaron Silluzio (VIC), Josh Franzi (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 + 3:02
3. 109 Shane Woodman (VIC), Kylie Kastelic (VIC), 1977 Holden Torana A9X +3:14
4. 117 Horton Poulter (VIC), Colin Gow (VIC), 1967 Datsun Bluebird SSS +3:39
5. 102 Kerry Smith (NSW), David Kirkby (NSW), 1975 Toyota Celica 1600GT +4:30

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