Day 4 produces drama at Targa Tasmania
- 19th April 2008, 6:45pm
South Australia Steve Glenney has further increased his lead in the Modern Competition on day four of Targa Tasmania, and will start day five in Strahan on Sunday morning carrying the hopes of Mitsubishi’s first victory in the tarmac classic.
Glenney holds a 57 second advantage over Jim Richards after blitzing the day’s seven stages across 130 competitive kilometres. Even Richards, the only man in a position to mount any sort of challenge, knows that Glenney, barring an error, is probably out of reach.
Rex Broadbent arrived in Strahan on Saturday evening in his Porsche 911 RS still leading the Outright Classic competition, but he may well drop off the top of the leader board if he decides to change a tyre and take a two-minute penalty.
He currently leads Gavin James’ Porsche 944 S2 by only one minute 36 seconds after dropping 54 seconds on the final stage when a re-inflated tyre threw his car out of balance and made it difficult to drive.
His problem is that he does not have a spare tyre and will have to borrow one from another competitor if he is to continue. The alternative of staying on the damage tyre for the remainder of the journey to Hobart seems implausible.
Leading drivers in the 2WD Showroom competition have maintained their places over the course of the day. Mazda3 MPS driver Rick Bates still holds a comfortable 50-second advantage over his Scottish team-mate, Alister McRae.
The distance between the two was 57 seconds at the start of the fourth day, and although McRae was faster on five of the day’s seven stages, he was only able to reduce that gap by seven seconds.
The 4WD Showroom class title looks likely to go to Tony Warren in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. He has a five minute 54 second break over Queenslander Scott Millar, but given the dramas of day four, no one is yet preparing their victory speech.
The problems for competitors on the penultimate day started early. Kevin Weeks, second overnight in Modern, immediately took more seconds off Glenney on the opening stage. But on the very next stage his charge faltered after hitting a rough edge on the road that burst the side of his tyre. He lost five and a half minutes and any hope of victory as his Lamborghini Gallardo limped from the stage.
Week’s demise left the Lamborghini of Jason White in third place. But on the final stage of the day White had a high speed moment, leaving the road briefly and hitting some rocks. The result was a damaged gearbox, bent suspension and a campaign that looked likely to finish a day early.
If he fails to make it to the start line for the run to the state’s capital, West Australian Dean Herridge will be third in his Subaru Impreza WRX, two minutes behind Glenney.
Naturally White was extremely disappointed.
“On the last stage of the day we were on the ragged edge and went into a corner too fast,” White said.
“We had no chance of wiping off speed and the car bounced around off some boulders on the edge of the road, and we were lucky it didn’t go right over the edge.
“We holed the gearbox, bent the suspension and wheels and all sorts of stuff. There’s a fair bit of damage and we’re not sure how long it will take to fix.”
While some struggled, Glenney seemed untouchable. The Cethana stage was a clear demonstration of his brilliance when he was the only driver to clean the stage and he beat Richards by a massive 14 seconds.
“I’m very happy, it’s gone really well today,” Glenney said. “We upped the pace this morning and tried to pull out a bit more of a gap on the tighter, longer stages that suited us, and we managed to do that.
“That meant that this afternoon I was able to concentrate on conserving the tyres for tomorrow. We’ve still got about 3mm of tread depth left, and that should be ample to get us to the finish.
“Tomorrow’s two long stages all look like they’ll be cleanable by the leading crews, so the only stages we expect to lose time on are the three shorter ones. We’re confident of being able to maintain our lead and bring home our first Targa Tasmania victory.”
Sadly for Broadbent in the Classics, he was highly aware how his grasp on back-to-back titles had slipped away late in the day.
“We’ve got a shot tyre and it’s shaking the car to bits,” Broadbent said. “We’re going to have to change it overnight, and we lost a fair bit of time in the last stage of the day, so it’s the lead will be gone away, unfortunately.
“We don’t have another tyre, so we hope to borrow one from somewhere, so we’re in a fair bit of strife.”
Bates has no such issues as he rests before the final day in his 2WD Showroom class.
“We’ve got a pretty good lead, and although Alister (McRae) has taken some time off us today, but it doesn’t really matter, so I’m happy,” Bates said.
“The car is running beautifully, apart form some brake issues on the Cethana stage, but we thought that would be the case because it’s a standard production car.”
Warren got though the penultimate day in his showroom Lancer and hopes his good run can last another day.
“The car’s gone really well today and the navigator has done a great job too,” Warren said.
“It was a bit tricky on the final stage of the day with the sun streaming through the windscreen, but apart from that it’s all good.”
Cars leave Strahan at 8.30am on Sunday facing 104.6 competitive kilometres on the final day of Targa Tasmania. The end will come with a short sprint around the Domain in the city of Hobart, starting at 2.30pm.
Targa 2008 Modern Results Day 4
1. 975 Steve Glenney (SA) , Bernie Webb, (ACT) , 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 6:06
2. 991 Jim Richards (VIC), Barry Oliver, (TAS), 2008 Porsche 911 GT2, 7:03 (+0:57)
3. 934 Jason White (TAS), John White (TAS), 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, 7:45 (1:39)
4. 993 Dean Herridge (WA), Glenn Macneall (WA), 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, 8:06 (+2:00)
5. 947 Jamie Vandenberg ( TAS), Simon Vandenberg (TAS), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, 8:40 (+2:34)
6. 972 Ray Vandersee (QLD), Jahmeil Taylor (SA), 2004 Skelta G-Force, 8:41 (+2:35)
7. 945 Greg Garwood (TAS), John Allen (QLD), 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 8:50 (+2:44)
8. 913 Matt Close (VIC), Casey Close (VIC), 2000 Porsche 911 Turbo, 9:18 (+3:12)
9. 992 Klark Quinn (QLD), Natasha Deniese (VIC), 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, 9:47 (+3:41)
10. 996 Tony Quinn (QLD), Keith Wenn (TAS), 2006 Porsche 911 Turbo, 10:23 (4:17)
Targa 2008 Classic Results Day 4
1. 577 Rex Broadbent (VIC), John Lillyman (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 12:57
2. 736 Gavin James (VIC), Neil McLeod, (VIC), 1989 Porsche 944 S2 , 14:33 (+1:36)
3. 573 Peter Eames (VIC), Will Logan (TAS), 1974 Porsche Carrera RS, 15:03 (+2:06)
4. 413 Steve Coad (VIC), Rachael Coad (VIC), 1971 Holden Monaro GTS, 17:15 (+4:18)
5. 465 Jon Siddins (QLD), Darren Ferguson (QLD), 1970 Datsun 1600, 17:21 (+4.24)
6. 718 David Morton (NSW), Malcolm McDonald (NSW), 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo, 17:37 (+4:40)
7. Gary Tierney (VIC), David Carra (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 17:49 (+4:52)
8. 643 John Ireland (NSW), Michael Ribot (NSW), 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera, 19:01 (+6:04)
9. 686 Rob Sherrard (QLD), / Roberts (TAS), 1981 Porsche 930, 19:02 (+6:05)
10. 555 Geoff Taylor (VIC), Leigh Harper (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 19:27 (+6:30)
Targa 2008 Showroom 2WD Results Day 4
1. 988 Rick Bates (NSW), Rhianon Smyth, (VIC), 2007 Mazda3 MPS, 15:08
2. 989 Alister McRae (SCO), Iain Stewart (QLD), 2007 Mazda3 MPS, 15:58 (+0:58)
3. 929 Simon Evans (VIC), Greg Rust (NSW), 2007 Toyota TRD Aurion, 24:03 (+8:53)
Targa 2008 Showroom 4WD Results Day 4
1. 961 Tony Warren (TAS), Rhonda Burrowes,(NSW), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, 15:07
2. 904 Scott Millar (QLD), Christopher Dean (QLD), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, 20:53 (+5:46)
3. 907 Malcolm Klopp (SA), Damien Pearce (SA), 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, 25:01 (+9:54)
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