Heartache for Longhurst at Targa West
- 7th September 2008, 9:17pm
Former Bathurst winner, Tony Longhurst, has had a dramatic end to the three-day QUIT Targa West tarmac rally, retiring from the event on the very last stage.
Driving his Les Walkden Rallying-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Longhurst was involved in an enthralling last day battle with Troy Wilson (Lancer Evo 7) and Tony Quinn (Porsche 911 GT3).
With just one stage remaining, Longhurst had moved into fourth place, by just a single second, from Wilson. However, his luck then ran out.
On the final 6.88km stage, and while pushing hard to maintain his fourth place, Longhurst misjudged a corner, left the road and damaged his Subaru’s suspension, ending his event.
Team boss, Les Walkden, echoed the disappointment of Longhurst and the LWR team.
“It’s desperately disappointing to come all this way and have the event end like this on the very last stage,” Walkden said.
“Tony was pushing hard and just got caught out on cold tyres. It was an error of judgement, but he’s paid a big price for it,” he added.
In what was one of the fastest tarmac events the Les Walkden team have been involved in, victory went to the Nissan Skyline GTR of Steven Jones, with motorsport legend, Jim Richards, second in a Porsche 911 GT2.
Longhurst’s next event will be the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge on October 4 and 5. Formerly known as Rallye Burnie, the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge has already attracted a high-class list of competitors. For the first time, the event will also qualify as a round of the Australian Rally Championship.
QUIT Targa West – Final Results
1. Steven Jones, Nissan Skyline GTR, 1h41m13.0s
2. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 GT2, +15s
3. Kevin Weeks, Lamborghini Superleggera, +21s
4. Troy Wilson, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7, +3m06s
5. Tony Quinn, Porsche 911 GT3, +3m39s
6. Dylan Thomas, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, +5m36s
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