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Launceston driver Greg Garwood has held on to take a nail-biting win in the inaugural Targa Wrest Point, which finished in Hobart today.

Driving a 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Garwood and his Queensland co-driver, John Allen, fought a day-long battle with the 2008 Nissan GTR of Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett, eventually winning by just three seconds.

Another Tasmanian driver, Jason White, also put in a determined drive over the event’s final five stages. He finished just 12 seconds from victory in his 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.

South Australia’s Steve Glenney was easily the quickest of the Classic cars. He and co-driver, Bernie Webb, took their 1981 Holden Commodore to a commanding three minute victory over Peter Eames and Will Logan in a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.

Day two of Targa Wrest Point was run under partly cloudy skies, and took in five stages totalling 52 competitive kilometres.

Garwood and Allen held an overnight lead of 14 seconds, but from the very first stage Quinn started reducing the gap in the big Nissan GTR.

The Queenslander continued his attack and with just one stage remaining, had reduced the gap to two seconds. However, Garwood held his nerve, increasing his winning margin to three seconds by the finish at Wrest Point.

“Naturally we’re delighted with the win,” Garwood said.

“We had to push hard today on every stage, with Tony (Quinn) breathing down our necks and the Whites making a charge.

“I couldn’t have done this without John (Allen), who has been faultless with the notes all weekend. I just listened to the notes, the car went well, and we’ve held it together. But I can’t give enough credit to John.

“I’m really looking forward to Targa. We’ve been up there in the past on the podium, but working with John means I’ll be on the notes right from the start and you just can’t give time to these guys and expect to make it up.”

Quinn was rapt with his performance in his new car.

“The car has gone brilliantly all weekend – we’re really pleased. Look out if it’s wet in Targa in April, we’ll be hard to beat.”

Local favourites, Jason and John White, experienced persistent clutch problems in their exotic Lamborghini, however they still managed to set impressive times on their way to a podium finish. They now go into April’s longer Targa Tasmania with renewed confidence.

“It was a good day, we had too much to make up but we gave it a good charge,” White said.

“The car still had a few niggles this weekend, but we’re sorting it out and I felt good driving, so we’ll go to Targa with a fair bit of confidence of being able to do well.

“We should be really staring down the barrel of some good results, hopefully."

Victorian Matt Close was fourth in his 2000 Porsche 911 Turbo, just two seconds in front of the fast finishing West Australian, Dean Herridge. Debuting a new Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Herridge got to grips with the car on the second day, and snatched fifth place from Jim Richards on the final stage.

Richards and co-driver, Barry Oliver, lost around 40 seconds on the first day when a turbo hose blew off on their 2008 Porsche 911 GT2, but recovered well. Sunday’s stages suited the four-wheel drive Subaru more, however, and Herridge moved ahead.

Only four seconds separated positions four to seven, with Andrew Miedecke and Tasmanian co-driver, Daniel Wilson, seventh in their 2007 Daytona Coupe.

The Late Classic class was clearly the domain of Steve Glenney and Bernie Webb. The 2008 Targa Tasmania winners were totally dominant in their borrowed Holden Commodore, winning by over three minutes.

Their closest rival, Bill Pye, crashed his Porsche on day one, leaving them to win as they pleased. Second was the Porsche of Peter Eames, while locals Kim Barwick and Kylie Benson took third place in their crowd-pleasing Honda Torana A9X.

Tasmanians claimed the next two places as well, with David Cooper / Brad Sherriff (Torana A9X) fourth and Adrian Morrisby / David French (Holden Gemini) who tied with Queenslanders Donn Todd and Dean Tighe in 1977 Torana A9X for fifth.

Another Queensland pairing, Scott Millar and Christopher Dean, won the Showroom category with a two and a half minute margin over Peter Brown and Nicole Locker in a 2007 Mazda 3 Diesel. The NSW pairing put in a brilliant drive, finishing 13 seconds ahead of the Lancer Evo IX of Greg and Rhonda Burrowes, with David Watson and Stuart Lister fourth in a 2004 VW Golf R32.

One of the most popular cars in the event, the 1971 Holden Monaro GTS of Steve and Kaila Coad, took a big win in the Early Classic class. They were nearly four minutes clear of Tassie’s Scott and Wayne Kent in a 1965 Ford Mustang.

Third place went to Drew Kent and Paul Krawczyk in a Ford Falcon GT, but George Nittis and Stuart Boyce missed their chance of a podium place when a two minute penalty dropped them to fourth.

It was a Nissan Skyline GTR one-two in the Early Modern section, with Tasmanian driver, David Ayers, and NSW co-driver, Robbie Bolton, taking a 34 second victory.

South Australians Adam Poole and Clayton Lang were next, followed by Leigh Finlayson and Mike Stoneham (Tasmania) in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.

After the success of the first ever Targa Wrest Point, the attention will now be focussed on the week-long Targa Tasmania, which starts in Launceston on April 28.

Targa Wrest Point - final results

Modern (2003-2009)
1. Greg Garwood / John Allen, 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 59min 28sec
2. Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett, 2008 Nissan GTR, +3sec
3. Jason White / John White, 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, +12sec
4. Matt Close / Cameron Reeves, 2000 Porsche 911 Turbo, +1m05sec
5. Dean Herridge / Chris Murphy, 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +1m07s
6. Jim Richards / Barry Oliver, 2008 Porsche 911 GT2, +1m08s

Late Classic (1972-1990)
1. Steve Glenney / Bernie Webb, 1981 Holden Commodore, 1h 06m 24sec
2. Peter Eames / Will Logan, 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, +3m.00
3. Kim Barwick / Kylie Benson, 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +5m40sec
4. David Cooper / Brad Sherriff, 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +5m51sec
=5. Adrian Morrisby / David French, 1975 Holden Gemini, +6m45sec
=5. Donn Todd / Dean Tighe, 1977 Holden Torana, +6m45sec

Showroom (2003-2009)
1. Scott Millar / Christopher Dean, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, 1h12m49sec
2. Peter Brown / Nicole Locker, 2007 Mazda 3 Diesel, +2m30sec
3. Greg Burrowes / Rhonda Burrowes, 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +2m43sec

Early Modern (1991-2002)
1 David Ayres / Robbie Bolton, 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R, 1h10m15sec
2 Adam Poole / Clayton Lang, 2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R, +34sec
3 Leigh Finlayson / Mike Stoneman, 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, +56sec

Early Classic (1900-1971)
1 Steve Coad / Kaila Coad, 1971 Holden Monaro GTS, 1h10m08sec
2 Scott Kent / Wayne Kent, 1965 Ford Mustang, +3m50sec
3 Drew Kent / Paul Krawczyk, 1971 Ford Falcon GT, +4m04sec

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