Inkster rolls as Quinn retakes Targa NZ lead
- 26th October 2012, 6:35pm
Inkster and Winn had spent the first three days of the five-day Auckland-to-Havelock North event trading places with four-time and defending event winner Tony Quinn and his co-driver Naomi Tillett (Nissan GT-R35). But it all came to nought on today's 43.85km Pohangina stage between Raumai and Apiti north-east of the event's overnight base at Palmerston North.
"We were heading towards the end of it and had just passed a car," explained Inkster. "We were heading down a hill, a corner tightened more than I expected, I locked up the inside front wheel, we went wide, clipped a bank then rolled down the road and ended up upside down in a ditch."
The duo in the car they had just passed, Metalman Classic class leaders Stuart Rose and Gary Renall, stopped and helped Inkster and co-driver Spencer Winn get out of the car, but because of where it ended up the Mitsubishi pair had to wait for a recovery vehicle to pull their car out of the ditch and get it back on its wheels again.
Because both back wheels and their associated brake rotors and various suspension components were broken the Inkster/Winn car could not be towed out either so the pair called their service crew who collected and trailered it to Taihape where it was repaired and Inkster and Winn rejoined the event after the lunch break.
Though they missed three stages while the car was being repaired Inkster was immediately back on the pace, finishing fourth in the first Gentle Annie stage and third in the second, meaning he and Winn only slipped back three placings in the overall event ranking.
Inkster, however, was still ruing the roll at day's end.
"We'll learn from it," he said, "but, you know, the only thing I'm feeling right now is disappointment because we were going pretty good up until then..."
In his and Winn's absence Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett claimed back the overall lead and Aucklanders Jason Gill and Malcolm Read took over second place in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. Neither pair had it exactly easy, however, as Harry Dodson and Glen Cupit had finally ironed out all the bugs in their Nissan GT-R35, splitting the Quinn/Tillet GT-R and the Gill/Read Evo in the first, third and fourth stages before beating both in the fifth then stopping the clocks just two seconds behind stage winners Quinn and Tillett in the sixth.
With Inkster and Winn now out of the frame and just over 10 minutes on Gill and Read, Quinn and Tillett are the overwhelming favourites to take consecutive victory number four tomorrow - though Quinn stressed this evening that there was still a long way to go.
"There's something like 180 or 190kms yet to run and probably 1,800 corners you can still make a mistake on, so no it's definitely not over until tomorrow. It's not going to be a downhill run by any means either so we'll just have to keep the pace up and hopefully the car will hang in there as well."
Quinn was one of the first to commiserate with Inkster over the latter's accident. But he also had some sage advice for him.
"Obviously it's a disaster for young Glenn, but you know, he's got to stop apologising for it. Right now he is being a bit hard on himself because accidents like that are all part of his apprenticeship, all part of the game we play."
Inkster and Winn were by no means the only pairing to strike problems on the fourth of five days either, a day notorious amongst event regulars for throwing curve ballls into even the best prepared competitors' game plans.
Though they were assessed a time, meaning that they were not penalized for stopping and helping Inkster and Winn, long-time Metalman Classic class leaders Stuart Rose and Gary Renall were finally relieved of the number one spot in the penultimate stage by Auckland father-and-son pair Barry and Steven Kirk-Burnnand.
It was not all plain sailing for the Kirk-Burnnand clan , however, with Wellington-based pair Mark and his father Chris back in the event after missing the third day repairing their car's front cross-member only to have the bottom right rear shock absorber mounting bolt shear in the second stage this morning.
That meant that they had to three-wheel out of the stage and miss the next two, eventually re-joining the event after fitting a pair of old shock absorbers their cousin Carl (also contesting this year's event in his BMW) had discarded before the event.
"At first we thought it was a puncture," said Mark, "but when the car squatted down at the right rear and pretty much lifted the front left wheel in the air we knew it was something else."
Like Inkster and Winn the Kirk-Burnnands phoned their service crew who trailered the car to Taihape where both rear shock absorbers were replaced. There was obviously some life left in the spares too because Mark and his father won their class in both Gentle Annie stages, with second in the first enough for Barry and Steven to wrest the overall class lead off Rose and Renall.
Newly-weds Gavin and Amy Riches retained their lead in the Modern 2WD class with another dominant performance in their Porsche GT3 but only after a hiccup of their own in the opening stage when the front bonnet blew up hitting the windscreen.
That slowed them down, allowing perennial class runners-up Mark Whyte and Tracey Lance to claim a second class stage win over the pair with BMW MINI -mounted Aucklanders Barry Hare and Tyson Jemmett second and the giant-killing BMW 3-series compact of Mike Lea and Phillip Sutton third.
Normal service was resumed in the second and subsequent stages, however, with the Riches setting the pace and Whyte & Lance, Hare & Jemmett and Lea & Sutton fighting over second and third.
Today's was the fourth of five event days and the first of the two-day Targa Hawke's Bay event run concurrently. Leading that is Richard Krogh and Glenn Sharratt from New Plymouth in a Porsche 911 from fellow Targa event regulars Peter Cullen and Craig Strachan from Wanganui in a De Tomaso Pantera.
On the final day tomorrow the field heads south from Havelock North for eight stages in the Hawke's Bay hinterland before a return for the finish in Havelock North town centre at 5.15pm
The 2012 Targa New Zealand tarmac rally is brought to you with the support of sponsors APN, Britz, NZ Classic Car magazine, Federal motorsport tyres, Instra Corporation, Meguiars, Metalman, Mobil1, TeamTalk, TrackIt, VTNZ, and the Hastings District Council.
2012 Targa NZ
Day 4 Results
1. Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett (Nissan R35 GT-R)01:21:39 04:59:33
2. Jason Gill/Malcolm Read (Mitsubishi Evo9GT) 01:24:09 05:10:08
3. Brent Early/Andrew Oakley (Nissan Skyline) 01:24:59 05:18:49
4. Glenn Inkster/Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo6) 01:43:35 00:06:00 05:27:14
5. Graeme Wong/George Paterson (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) 01:31:13 05:41:36
6. David Rogers/Aiden Kelly (Mitsubishi Evo X RS) 01:31:20 05:42:11
7. Alan Raynor/Tanja Luckow (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 RS) 01:34:45 05:53:43
8. John Birch/Chris Birch (Ford Escort Cosworth) 01:40:24 06:07:58
9. Leigh Hopper/Simon Kirkpatrick (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) 02:00:35 00:10:00 06:09:42
10. Chris Lane/Paul Sexton (Audi RS4) 01:31:17 06:11:54
1. Barry Kirk-Burnnand/Steven Kirk-Burnnand (BMW M3) 01:30:09 05:36:43
2. Stuart Rose/Gary Renall (Toyota Hilux) 01:32:36 05:37:51
3. Bevan Claridge/Jason Easton (Holdon Commodore) 01:32:41 05:46:47
4. Carl Kirk-Burnnand/Sam Gordon (BMW 325i) 01:31:56 05:50:53
5. Bernie Hiestand/Jilly Hutson (Ford Capri 2.8i) 01:34:08 05:51:11
6. Andrew Smith/Richard Haakma (BMW 320i) 01:36:20 05:54:40
7. Craig Pilet/Lincoln Jones (Holden Torana SS) 01:36:51 06:02:13
8. Gerry Hodges/Grant Harrington (BMW 633 CSi) 01:36:19 06:02:42
9. Mark McCaughan/Brett Perry (Fiat 125) 01:38:56 06:05:08
10. Ross Macdonald/Alan Cameron (Fiat 131R) 01:39:19 06:05:44
1. Gavin Riches/Amy Riches (Porsche GT3) 01:27:48 05:15:42
2. Mark Whyte/Tracey Lance (Toyota Altezza) 01:26:34 05:20:51
3. Barry Hare/Tyson Jemmett (BMW Mini Cooper) 01:28:35 05:31:35
4. Bob Boniface/Simon Butler (BMW 135i) 01:29:58 05:41:05
5. Mike Sexton/Ricky Cooper (BMW M3 E36) 01:31:17 05:44:55
6. Mike Lea/Philip Sutton (BMW E30) 01:30:58 05:47:34
7. Michael Welch/John Welch (BMW E36) 01:34:11 05:51:42
8. Masao Take/Takako Akaba (Nissan 380Z) 01:34:58 05:56:11
9. Allan Lewis/Colin Cole (Datsun 240Z) 01:38:09 00:02:00 05:57:55
10. Antony Rountree/Mathew Foster (Ford Mustang) 01:39:54 00:02:00 06:01:15
Two-Day Targa Hawke's Bay
1. Richard Krogh/Glenn Sharratt (Porsche 911) 09:26:53
2. Peter Cullen/Craig Strachan (De Tomaso Pantera) 09:30:04
3. Richard Skilton/Nigel Edgar (Subaru Impreza STI) 09:30:25
4. Angus Howden/Euan Howden (BMW E302.7) 09:31:17
5. Richard Taylor/Kai Taylor (Subaru Legacy RS-R) 09:34:07
6. Paul Lampp/Graham Pedler (Ford Escort) 09:35:06
7. Stuart McChesney/Tanya Jackson (Ford Anglia 105e) 09:35:15
8. John Ludlow/Shane Kerrisk Subaru Impreza WRX 09:37:28
9. Peter Clarke/Ray Hartley (Porsche 924s) 09:38:53
10. Raymond Dufton/Scott Dufton (BMW M5) 09:39:55
SUBSCRIBE BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires. If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period. You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.