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The hopes of Melbourne’s Rex Broadbent for back-to-back victories in the Shannons Classic Outright competition of this year’s Targa Tasmania were severely deflated on Tasmania’s West Coast when he suffered tyre problems on the penultimate stage of Day 4.

One of the soft compound front tyres of his 1974 Porsche 911 RS replica began deflating in the Bastyan Dam penultimate stage of the day, but sealant applied to stem the leak during the following transport section caused major steering vibrations.

As a result, he and NSW co-driver John Lilleyman lost 54 seconds to his key rivals on the following Reece Dam final stage and he limped to the finish with the tyre still deflating.

Because the roll cage of his former circuit-racing Porsche does not allow space for a spare tyre to be carried, Broadbent was trying to borrow one from anther competitor overnight.

If successful, he will incur a two minute time penalty, which will drop him to second place – 24 seconds behind the Bendigo Victoria pair of Gavin James and Neil McLeod in their 1989 Porsche 944 S2 – as under the Classic rules you can change up to two tyres without penalty, but only if they are carried in the car.

A two minute penalty would also drop him into the clutches of the 1974 Porsche 911 RS of Victorian Peter Eames and Tasmanian Will Logan, who would then be just five seconds behind him third, in a nearly identical car.

However Broadbent was last night hoping to persuade Eames to lend him the spare front tyre he is carrying.

In fourth place now and coming home with a wet sail is the 600HP 1971 Monaro GTS of Melbourne’s Steve Coad, which leapfrogged the 1970 Datsun 240Zof Queensland’s Jon Siddins and Wayne Ferguson in the day’s penultimate stage.

Coad, whose Targa Gold Plate winning wife Rachael and 21 year-old Targa novice daughter Kaila are sharing co-driving duties, is now just six seconds ahead of Siddins, but can be expected to increase his advantage in the predicted dry conditions over the final 104.6km of competitive stages on tomorrow’s run to the Hobart finish.

Sixth place and 16 seconds behind the Coads is now held by the NSW crew of David Morton and  Malcolm McDonald in their Porsche 944 Turbo Cup coupe, which is the same car Andrew Miedecke drove to victory in Targa Tasmania 14 years ago in 1994.
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