Jones claims third QUIT Targa West title
- 29th August 2011, 8:34am
The 2008 and 2009 winner was the dominant force across the weekend in his Nissan GTR 35, with co-driver Ben Searcy alongside. Taking the lead from the opening stage the pair were never headed crossing the finish line on the Perth foreshore 1 minute 24 seconds ahead of second place getters Matthew and Dennis Sims (Nissan GTR 35).
“It’s a very good win, Ben and I have done a lot of rallies together and most of the time we keep getting second, it’s taken a while to get and it’s much sweeter to be first,” Jones said.
“The boys (Matthew Sims, Jim Richards and Peter Rullo) definitely kept me on my toes at the start, so we decided early that we had to put our foot down and put pressure on them. Once we broke them we knew we could relax a little more after that,” he continued.
The Sims’, who made the trip over from South Australia to contest the event for the first time, finished in second holding off a charging Jim Richards and Barry Oliver (Porsche GT2 RS) over the final stages of the rally.
“I really enjoyed it, I found it challenging as well as exciting… first time over here to finish second I’m ecstatic, really excited,” Matthew Sims said.
Good news is they are planning to be back again next year, with a bit more experience on the stages and another step on the podium to take.
In the Competition Classic battle, Tolley Challis and Greg Flood made it two straight titles, once again showing mastery of the course in their Porsche 911 RS. Challis/Flood finished 3 minutes 04 seconds ahead of David and Vicki Moir (Datsun 240Z) with Mark Dobson and Greg Butcher 3 minutes 24 seconds further back in their Triumph TR7.
“It feels great, the car ran perfectly. The team put a fantastic effort in to get the car in great shape for the event and Greg (Flood) did a fabulous job, we’re really pleased to be here on top,” Challis said.
“I’m tempted to see if we can pass the hat around and see if I can get myself one of these (points to Steve Jones’ Nissan GTR 35) and see if I can win one of each (Competition Modern and Competition Class title)," he joked at the finish.
Contesting the event for the first time, Brett Morse and Rodney Ng (BMW M3) topped the time sheets in the Challenge Modern class after a tough battle with the crews of Daryl Sosa/Stirling Hamersley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) and Sharon Payne/Helen Lunsmann (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7) across the weekend.
It was an amazing result for Morse/Ng who suffered a 5 minutes penalty after a miscalculation saw them travel to fast through a restricted speed zone on day two.
“What a weekend, absolutely fantastic! We had to push on after getting an early penalty so it was great to get this result in the end,” Morse said.
In what ended up being the closest battle of the event Bruce and Max Lake (Datsun 240Z) took Challenge Classic honours, by a mere 2 seconds over Paul and Mitchell Thompson (Porsche 911 RS). Martin Eyer and Alan Blackmore (Triumph TR8 RS) finished in third 1 minute 49 seconds behind Lake/Lake.
“We’ve had a great time, it’s been a fantastic battle with the guys over the weekend and it would seem we’ve won so it’s been a fantastic couple of days,” Bruce Lake said.
QUIT Targa West 2011 Competition Modern Results (Provisional)
1. Steve Jones/Ben Searcy, Nissan GTR 35
2. Matthew Sims/Dennis Sims, Nissan GTR 35
3. Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, Porsche GT2 35
4. Ross Hamilton/Rauri Soutar-Dawson, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8
5. Dean Evans/Toni Feaver, Mitsubishi TMR Evo 10 Club Spec MR
QUIT Targa West Competition Classic Results (Provisional)
1. Tolley Challis/Greg Flood, Porsche 911 RS
2. David Moir/Vicki Moir, Datsun 240Z
3. Mark Dobson/Greg Butcher, Triumph TR7
4. Peter Major/Kim Screaigh, Mazda RX7
5. Simon Lingford/Susannah Lingford, Datsun 240Z
QUIT Targa West Challenge Modern Results (Provisional)
1. Brett Morse/Rodney Ng, BMW M3
2. Daryl Sosa/Stirling Hamersley, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9
3. Sharon Payne/Helen Lunsmann, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7
4. Vince Stacey/Kath Stacey, Porsche 911 Carrera
5. Garry Rundell/Matt Waters, Holden Monaro CV8
QUIT Targa West Challenge Classic Results (Provisional)
1. Bruce Lake/Max Lake, Datsun 240Z
2. Paul Thompson/Mitchell Thompson, Porsche 911 RS
3. Martin Eyer/Alan Blackmore, Triumph TR8
4. David Blainey/Matthew Teape, Porsche 911 RS
5. Anthony Clarke/Neville Wilkinson, Holden Torana GTR XU1
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