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There may still be four days to run but 2008 winner Steve Glenney has given notice that he is the man to beat in this year’s modern section at Targa Tasmania with an impressive opening day drive in his Nissan GT-R.

Glenney opened up a 27-second buffer over the remainder of the field, with Victorian Matt Close second in his Audi TT RS and defending champion Jason White third, a further three seconds back.

The first eight competitive stages north and west of Launceston were conducted in near perfect driving conditions.

In the Classic car competition former Tasmanian touring car driver Andrew Miedecke was in a class of his own, taking his 1971 Ford Perana to a one minute 24 second lead over South Australia Craig Haysman in a Triumph TR7 V8.

Jim Richards was supreme in his newly adopted class, Showroom Sports, steering his Porsche Cayman S to a two minute 33 second lead over Michael Minshall’s Audi.

In a tight tussle, Clinton Arentz in a Mitsubishi Evo X leads Showroom 4WD by just three seconds over local hope, Ben Newman, in a Subaru WRX STI.

Glenney showed his class on the day’s third stage, Sheffield, crossing the 15- kilometre tarmac test 16 seconds quicker than his rivals.

“I loved the Sheffield stage today,” Glenney said. “It’s a stage I’ve liked a lot over the years.”

“There’s spots where there’s time to be made, a lot of corners and crests and tricky bits, so we pressed on and it was nice to gain some time through there.”

“The car’s going alright, it complains a little bit when we thrash it, but most cars have every right to do that.”

Defending champion Jason White is still in the mix, but he knows the Lancer Evo 9 that he’s driving is not quite the Lamborghini that took him to victory in each of the past two years.

“We’re really starting to warm-up to this car gradually and getting used to the very different aspects of this compared to the Lambo,” White said.

“The higher roll centre is taking some getting used to in the fast stuff, but it’s still quite good, so I think it’s fast enough to keep us around where we are in the field at the moment.”

“We’re more than happy with our stage times and position in the field – it’s better than we thought it would be.”

Meidecke is a perfectionist and is committed to getting the most out of his Les Walkden Rallying- prepared Ford V8.

“It’s going well, apart from our wheel spin issues,” Miedecke said.

“We made a few changes to the rear suspension after lunch, which made a bit of improvement and we’ll make a few more tonight, which should make it better for tomorrow.”
 
“We need to conserve the rear tyres and get the power onto the ground.”

Miedecke also leads Early Classic Handicap ahead of Peter Ullrich’s 1963 Jensen CV8. Canberra’s Barry Faux leads Late Classic in his 1981 Mazda RX-7.

The highly competitive Early Modern class is lead by Tasmanian Ben Manion in a 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-t and Craig Dean heads Modern Muscle Cars in his 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

Early Showroom leader Adam Spence had an off just before lunch, handing the lead to fellow Renault driver, Andrew Bollom.

The Vintage Rallye sees the Flag Car, the 1934 Ford Indy Car Special of Graham Copeland, 42 seconds clear of the 1938 Dodge Speedster Special of Wayne Clark.

Devonport’s Dave Thompson is looking to hold on to his lead in the Rookie Rallye that concludes tomorrow.

Day two of Targa Tasmania takes the 180-strong field from Launceston out to St Helens on the east coast and back, finishing with a street stage in historic Longford.

LEG 1 - TARGA TASMANIA 2014 CLASS RESULTS

RDA Brakes Modern
1. Steve Glenney/Bernie Webb, 2009 Nissan GT-R Spec-V
2. Matt Close/Gary Mourant, 2010 Audi TT RS, +27s
3. Jason White/John White, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +30s
4. Tony Quinn/Kate Catford, 2011 Nissan GT-R Spec-V, +55s
5. Jamie Vandenberg/Dennis Sims, 2009 Nissan GT-R, +1min 37s

RDA Brakes Early Modern
1. Ben Manion/Julie Winton-Monet, 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-t
2. Peter Nunn/Keith Johnstone, 1990 Porsche 944 S2, +29s
3. Stephen Thatcher/Kelly Handley, Nissan ATTKD Select R SP, +1min 55s
4. Richard Perini/Chris Perini, 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, +2min
5. Liam Howarth/Larry Howarth, 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec, +2min 37s

RDA Brakes Modern Muscle
1. Craig Dean/Jenny Cole, 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
2. Daniel Ford/Nathalie Ford, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, +25s
3. Neill Ford /Colin Maher, 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, +1min, 41s
4. Barry Cuneo/Charles Martin, 2011 Holden Commodore SS Ute, +3min 34s
5. Andrew Clingeleffer/David Rust, 2013 Daytona Coupe, +15min 15s

RDA Brakes Showroom
1. Andrew Bollom/Lee Challoner-Miles, 2011 Renault Megane RS 250
2. Andrew Robinson/Thomas Browell, 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, +3min 50s
3. Adam Spence/Erin Kelly, 2013 Renault Megane RS 265, +54min 34s

RDA Brakes 4WD Showroom
1. Clinton Arentz/Dale Moscatt, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2. Ben Newman/Crichton Lewis, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +3s
3. Ralph Norton/Malcolm Norton, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi,  +1min 13s
4. Barrie Smith/Jan Smith, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +2min 12s
5. David Mathias/Kajeera Jenkins, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +3min 36s

RDA Brakes Showroom Sports
1. Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, 2014 Porsche Cayman S
2. Michael Minshall/Kirrilee Gentleman, 2011 Audi TTRS, +2min 33s
3. Glyn Crimp/Paul van der Mey, 2012 Audi TTRS, +3min 55s

Shannons Classic Outright
1. Andrew Miedecke/Daniel Willson, 1970 Ford Perana
2. Craig Haysman/Neil Branum, 1981 Triumph TR7 V8, +1min 24s
3. John Ireland/Michael Ribot, 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera, +2min 31s
4. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +2min 35s
5.  Steve McClintock/Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +2min 44s

Shannons Late Classic Handicap
1. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7
2. Leigh Achterberg/Greg Fitzgerald, 1982 Porsche 944, +27s
3. Robert Gambino/Mary Hughes, 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB, +45s
4. John Ireland/Michael Ribot, 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera, +1min 04s
5. Steve McClintock/Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +1min 05s

Shannons Classic Florio handicap
1. Drew Kent/Ella Kent, 1971 Ford Falcon GT
2. Glenn Rees/Richard Bullard, 1985 Porsche 944, +5min 8s
3. Wayne Gerlach/Dianne Gerlach, 1974 Porsche 911, +5min 53s
4. Mac Russell/Marjorie Russell, 1976 Morgan Plus 8, +6min 36s

Regularity
1. Jeff Beable/Nerida Beable, Nissan R35, 11pt
2. Darryl Marshall/Andrew Marshall, Ford Falcon Ute Pursuit 250, 14pt
3. Philip Frith/David Frith, Porsche Boxter S, 17pt
4. Martin Duursma/Marc Sobbel, Lotus Exige X, 30 pt
5. Chris Hope/Warwick Hope, Porsche 944 Turbo, 50 pts

Rookie Rallye
1. Dave Thompson/Christopher Dean, 1990 Nissan R32 GTR
2. Sam Livesley/James Goodchap, 1972 Holden Torana, +3min 39s

Shannons Vintage Rallye
1. Graham Copeland/Josh Herbert, 1934 Ford Indy Car Special
2. Wayne Clark/Trevor Berriman, 1938 Dodge Speedster Special, 42s

Shannons Early Classic handicap

1. Andrew Miedecke/Daniel Willson, 1970 Ford Perana
2. Peter Ullrich/Sari Ullrich, 1963 Jensen CV8, +29s
3. Paul Freestone/Christine Freestone, 1948 Holden 215, +1min 39s
4. Joe Caudo/Ivan Limb, 1971 Mercedes 280ce, +2min 22s
5. Andrew White/Ashley Yelds, 1961 Volvo 122S, +2min 29s

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