Jones outpaces Richards to win Targa West
- 8th September 2008, 11:35am
Behind the wheel of a Nissan Skyline GTR, 24-year-old Jones took the lead from Weeks on Saturday and held off the far more experienced tarmac drivers over the 10 stages run today to win by 15 seconds.
“To be amongst guys like that (Jim Richards and Kevin Weeks), they just push you all the way and you can’t be caught out at any time, I was flat out no my toes the whole rally,” Jones said. “We just had to be the best we could be and that’s the only way we could get here.”
“It was a learning curve for us, the car is so new and I didn’t know what to do it is so electrical. (Over the weekend) I learnt the car, every hour I spent in the car I learnt how to drive it and we just became stronger and stronger, it was so good!”
Jones dedicated the win to his late father Warren Jones.
“Thank my dad for everything he did for me, my old man is the reason I wanted this for so long. He passed away when I was 17 and I’ve done this for him, I’ve given him what he wanted!”
Proving just how tough the QUIT Targa West competition is, Jones is the third winner of the Modern Competition class in events four year history and the young driver received praise from one of the biggest names in Australian motor sport, Jim Richards.
“Young Steve’s done a fantastic job, he’s definitely got a bright future and we’re really rapt that he’s won. We would have liked to have won but we didn’t so very, very happy for him.”
Former World Rally Championship driver, Alister McRae dominated the Competition Classic Class from the opening stage of the rally. After 31 stages, McRae crossed the final stop control with a total lead of 7minutes 27seconds, ahead of David Moir (Datsun 240Z) in second and Michael Miller (Holden VH SS Commodore) in third.
Talking about the first time driving a classic car McRae said, “It was interesting for me, the first time driving classic car, obviously I wanted to win the classic event, but also to see how’d we’d go against modern cars and it’s gone very well!”
Kym Illman (Porsche 997 Turbo) took honours in the Challenge Modern Class, only six seconds quicker than second placed Simon Gunson (Ford F6 Typhoon). Paul Davies (Holden HDT VC Retro) finished in third.
Andy Van Kann (Toyota Levin), who was joined by two Camp Quality nominated co-drivers, Brook Martinsen and James Marquet, won the Challenge Classic Class, finishing an impressive 3minutes 47seconds ahead of Nick Rahimatulla (Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 105 Series) in second. Martin Eyer (Triumph TR8) was third.
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