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Local driver Peter Major has used the superior grip of all-wheel drive to take the lead in the 2013 Quit Targa West Competition-Modern category after the first three Special Stage tests in Perth.

Major, with co-driver Greg Flood, dominated the opening day yesterday on a rain-soaked 4.39 kilometre test at the RAC Driving Centre at Perth Airport.

The duo and their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution won all the stages to take a substantial 34 second lead into today's first full day of competition.

Quit Targa West started at lunchtime yesterday with a spectacular display of entrants in the City's Forrest Place.

It was a dry occasion and attracted big crowds of shoppers and workers, but conditions changed when the cars arrived at the RAC Driving Centre an hour later to start the competition.

The 82-car field comprises categories for Competition-Modern and Classic, and Challenge-Modern and Classic categories, all contesting the event's schedule of 31 Special Stages covering 203 kilometres.

Targa rally legend Jim Richards, the 2012 Quit Targa West winner, made a cautious start in his high-powered Porsche GT2 RS coupe, finishing fourth, third-equal and third on the stages to claim third overall, 39 sec down on leader Major and five sec behind second-placed Peter Rullo.

Rullo, driving a Nissan GT-R35, had a strong start in his quest to win the event after falling short in the past two events.

Power was abundant but wet-weather grip hard to find in the hotly contested Competition-Classic for older cars.

Paul Moltoni and Ian de Boer got their Porsche 911 to the overnight break in first place, but only four seconds ahead of the Ford Escort RS2000 of David Bartlett and Joanne McIlroy, who led third-placed Graham Romyn/Nigel Jones (Holden Torana A9X) by just one second.

In the Challenge categories, Razvan Vlad's giant-killing Ford Fiesta leads Modern by 10 sec and Paul Thompson is 12 sec ahead in Classic in a Porsche 911 RS.
Quit Targa West continues today with the Shire of Kalamunda Leg 2, comprising eight mostly short stages around Whiteman Park, the Zig Zag scenic drive and Kalamunda.
Tonight the cars park up in the Northbridge main street from 6pm for a static display that is one of the most popular features of the annual event.

The finish will be in Perth on Sunday afternoon.
 

RESULTS (Day One, after 3 stages total | Provisional)

Competition-Modern

1 MAJOR/FLOOD (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) Total time 9:14
2 RULLU/BECKWITH (Nissan GT-R35) 9:48
3 RICHARD/OLIVER (Porsche GT2 RS) 9:53

Competition-Classic
1   MOLTONI/de BOER (PORSCHE 911 RS) 10:37
2   BARTLETT/McILROY (Ford Escort RS2000) 10:41
3= ROMYN/JONES (Holden Torana A9X) 10:42
3=  DOBSON/BUTCHER (Triumph TR7)

Challenge-Modern

1 VLAD/VLAD (Ford Fiesta ST) 10:32
2 GUNSON/LUNSMANN (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7) 10:42
3 MATTHEWSON/PADLEY (BMW 1M) 11:09

Challenge-Classic

1  THOMPSON/THOMPSON (Porsche 911RS) 10:42
2 = LAKE/HALL (Datsun 240Z0 10:54
2=  BUYS/AKSAMIJA (Porsche 911)
4  EYER/EYJER (Triumph TR8 RS) 11:08

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