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With the five-day tarmac classic rally, Targa Tasmania, nearing completion, the two Les Walkden Rallying Subaru Impreza WRX STIs are both eyeing off top ten finishes.

Queenslanders Klark Quinn and Tony Longhurst both had uneventful days, finishing in ninth and eleventh places respectively.

Day four of the event took competitors from Launceston to Strahan on the longest day of the rally, with the 37.5km Cethana stage the highlight for many.

At the front of the field, Steve Glenney continued to pull clear of eight-time winner, Jim Richards, but the LWR drivers both made impressive gains during the day.

Quinn and co-driver, Natasha Deneise, moved up one place during the day and now lie in ninth place, less than 30 seconds behind the car in front of them. They finished the day in style as well, setting the fastest time on the penultimate stage and extending their lead over the tenth placed driver.

That driver just happens to be Klark’s father, Tony Quinn. As well as having family pride at stake, Klark is eager to ensure that his own Subaru out paces his dad’s Mitsubishi over the final day of the rally.

“I feel I’m getting quicker as the event wears on, and that’s showing in the times,” Quinn said. “I’m finally getting my mojo back!”

His tyres are in good condition, and he’s looking forward to getting the car to the finish in Hobart.

Starting the day in fifteenth place, Tony Longhurst and Jahmeil Taylor set off with the goal of getting into the top ten. After a small off-road excursion that cost them three and a half minutes on day two, any chance of victory was lost, but that hasn’t slowed their pace.

Longhurst, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, made up four places during the day and finished in eleventh place. He lies less than a minute behind Tony Quinn, and with another six stages and over 100km of competitive driving left on the final day, he’s still in with a big chance of achieving his goal.

“I’m chasing down Klark now,” the Queenslander joked. “I’ve been driving hard and pretending I’m still in the fight at the front, and getting some good practice in for next year.

“This year’s been a massive learning curve and I’ve discovered that I really need to put a lot more effort into the pre-event reconnaissance. I’m now needing much more information in my pacenotes, so I wish I’d been driving around Tasmania for the last month,” he added.

Drama at the front of the field may move the two LWR Subarus even further up the leader board before tomorrow’s final day stages even get under way. Third placed Jason White, driving a Lamborghini, crashed his exotic sports car on the final stage of day four, and while he finished the stage, it seems doubtful that he will continue in the event.

The final stage of Targa Tasmania 2008 sees the remaining competitors head from Strahan to the finish in Hobart. The final stage takes place around the picturesque Hobart Domain, before the champagne finish at Wrest Point.

2008 Targa Tasmania Modern Competition – after Day 4

1. Steve Glenney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
2. Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT2), +57 secs
3. Jason White (Lamborghini Gallardo), +1:39
4. Dean Herridge (Subaru Impreza WRX STI), +2:00
5. Jamie Vandenberg (Mitsbishi Lancer Evo IX) +2:34

9. Klark Quinn (Subaru Impreza WRX STI), +3:41
11. Tony Longhurst (Subaru Impreza WRX STI), +5:06
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