Broadbent makes it two Targa wins in a row
- 20th April 2008, 5:25pm
The Melbourne CSIRO laboratory manager and his Sydney navigator John Lilleyman came from behind to take a hard-fought win by one minute 25 seconds over the 1989 Porsche 944 S2 of Bendigo’s Gavin James and Neil McLeod.
Victorian Peter Eames and Tasmanian Will Logan were a scant four seconds away third in their similar 1974 Porsche after an epic battle with James and McLeod over the final six stages between Strahan and the Hobart finish.
Broadbent and Lilleyman, who had led the Classic competition from the opening day and had pulled out a substantial two minutes 30 sec lead, suffered a major setback late yesterday as they punctured a front tyre on their Porsche in the penultimate stage of the day’s run from Launceston to Tasmania’s West Coast.
As they were not carrying a spare tyre, they would have been out of the event but for the sporting gesture of Eames, who gave them another front tyre. This allowed them to continue, albeit with a two-minute time penalty for changing the tyre.
The penalty dropped them from the lead to second place, 24 seconds behind James and left them just six seconds ahead of arch-rival Eames as they headed into the final 104.6km of competitive tarmac this morning.
“Rex knew I was carrying the spare tyres because we had both discussed what rubber we were going to run before the event,” said Eames. “But I was happy to give him the tyre – I wanted to beat him on the track, not in the garage.”
Despite his borrowed tyre being slightly larger than his remaining front tyre, Broadbent drove like a man possessed in the opening 33.24km Strahan stage of the day, gaining 28 seconds on James to lead him by four seconds by the time they reached Queenstown.
James meanwhile, was having tyre problems of his own, with his front covers badly worn and the handling of his front-engined Porsche 944 suffering badly as a result.
“We’ve been driving at ten-tenths all Targa and it caught up with us,” the Victorian admitted. “We made a mistake in swapping our tyres around a day too early, because no-one expected a totally dry Targa.”
As a result they began losing considerable time to Eames and Logan, who were again within six seconds of them at the New Norfolk lunch-break, when James was able to change a front tyre that was down to the canvas.
With only just one competitive stage to run, it was ‘game on’ all over again for the two Porsche drivers, with James able to close the gap to just four seconds by the Hobart finish.
The contest for fourth place was just as enthralling, with Victorian Steve Coad and his wife Rachael in their 1971 Monaro GTS coming from behind to tie on an identical time with the Queensland crew of Jon Siddens and Darren Ferguson in their 1970 Datsun 240Z.
The Coad’s 600HP Holden was the highest-placed Australian V8 car in this year’s event’s Shannons Classic competition.
Sixth, 48 seconds behind, were Victorians Gary Tierney and David Carra in another 1974 Porsche 911 RS replica.
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