After the running of Round 2 of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship at Targa Tasmania, a number of competitors have claimed a strong position in the various competitions that make up the championship.
Now officially the country’s largest national motorsport championship in terms of competitors, with a total of 157 different vehicles competing so far this year, the Outright competitions for Modern and Classic cars has seen both round one leaders maintain their places at the top.
Steve Glenney and Andy Sarandis in their 2015 Subaru WRX STi finish 2nd overall at Targa Tasmania along with winning the RDA Brakes GT4 competition.
Whilst just hanging in there all week, slightly off the pace of the Whites Viper and Close/Reeves GT3RS, they drove a smart race and made sure that they were there at the end to make the most of any opportunity that would present itself.
Day 6 saw Close crash out and Glenney grab a well-earned 2nd place along with a handy lead in GT4. Ensuring that they stay in the hunt, Paul Stokell and Erin Kelly had a great run in their 2014 Lotus Exige S to claim 2nd in Wrest Point GT2, as did John Ireland and Janet Binns in their new Dodge Viper ACR to now be 3rd in the Modern Outright Championship.
Incredibly, the stricter GT rules now in place for the modern cars continues to deliver a far broader range of vehicles at the front, with the top five championship places currently held by five different manufacturers from four countries, leaving this championship wide open at the half way mark.
Michael and Daniel Bray were never headed in Classic Outright with their Holden Torana being the clear leader from Day 3 onwards after the shock departure of defending Targa Tasmania champions, John and Gina Siddons after they crashed heavily on the Weldborough Pass stage whilst battling Bray for the lead.
Bray’s lead is now just 26 points ahead of Peter Gluskie and Samantha Winter in their 1985 BMW 325i, surprising many as they maintained consistent times throughout in winning their Gold Targa Tasmania Plates.
Third are Targa stalwarts, Ted Banks and Bruce Douglas in their rare 1971 Porsche 916.
Mick Bray won Classic GT in his Torana. Photo: Angryman Photography
Classic saw the incredible run of the `Jimmy’ continue, in spite of a 20% tougher handicap for round two and the much longer Targa Tasmania course. Graham Copeland and Josh Herbert in their 1941 GMC Jimmy Special, defied the odds to win at Targa Tasmania, with their car finishing in bits and running on just four cylinders.
The near perfect weather dished up all week saw them take full advantage as their competition waited for the car to ultimately stop at some point, but it wasn’t to be, as Copeland and Herbert limped over the line to claim an historic win and a well-earned rest after 2,000 kilometres in a car that most wouldn’t race for a lap at the local race track, let alone race over some of the toughest roads in the world.
In Early Modern, round one leaders Tony Quinn and Kate Catford exited early with various technical issues in their Porsche 996 Turbo, paving the way for Joshua Sutcliffe and Jon Mitchell to win Targa Tasmania in their 2006 Subaru S204 and take the championship lead from the consistent Peter Roberts and Suzanne Atkins in their 1992 Nissan Skyline GTS-t.
GT Sports Trophy saw the return of Martin Duursma and Richard Woodhams in their 2013 Lotus Exige S to claim a comfortable win and now sit second in the championship behind Richard Woodman and Marcus Towle in their 2004 Subaru WRX STi.
Targa Tasmania Hall of Famers, Jack Waldron and Vin Gregory showed that a Mitsubishi Sigma can go fast with a win in Thoroughbred Trophy that now sees them in second behind Geoff Storr and Steve Caplice after they had another great run in their 1978 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV.
TSD Trophy continues to be hotly contested amongst the front runners and Targa Tasmania again saw a lot of controversy play out each day with regular front-runners, Darryl and Peter Marshall in their 2002 Ford Falcon Pursuit 250 Ute claiming the win and moving into second place overall behind Jeffrey Wilson and Ian Samson in their 2010 Subaru WRX Sti.
Round three sees the inaugural running of Targa Great Barrier Reef from 31st August to 2nd September and it promises to be an incredible event held in some very unique landscapes.
With more than 180 entries already committed and a 200 car maximum field, all of the current front runners will be there to ensure that they remain in the hunt to win a prestigious CAMS Australian Targa Championship title at Targa High Country in November.
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