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Jim Richards has continued his love-affair with Tasmania, winning Rallye Burnie and building on his impressive record in the Apple Isle.

It is Richards’ third Rallye Burnie title in the event’s four year history, and the veteran motorsport identity has also won Targa Tasmania eight times and Rally Tasmania three times.

Richards and co-driver Barry Oliver continued where they left-off yesterday, taking time from their rivals on the early stages before bringing their Porsche GT3 home to take the Heat Two victory by just four seconds from young Victorian Brendan Reeves and his co-driver, sister Rhianon Smyth.

The seven-time Bathurst winner walked away from the weekend with 80 points, the maximum available under the two-heat system.

“Rallye Burnie is a fantastic event and Tasmania has been very kind to us,” Richards said.”

“We were going as fast as we could this afternoon for the amount of grip that we had. We would have liked to have changed tyres but we didn’t have any spares, so we were just pleased to hold on for the win.”

Nineteen-year-old Reeves, driving the Les Walkden Rallying-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI complete with P plates, finished second in Rallye Burnie on 64 points.

Tony Quinn and Burnie driver, Jamie Vandenberg, finished tied for third. After Heat One Vandenberg had a four point advantage, but Quinn pipped the local for third today leaving them tied on 52 points.

Richards’ closest rival yesterday and again this morning, Grant Denyer, crashed out of the event on Hellyer Gorge, when his car failed to slow in time to make one of the many challenging bends on the famous rally stage.

Reeves charged home on the penultimate stage, clawing back 15 seconds from Richards. His third yesterday and his second placing today earned him plenty of respect from veteran rally watchers.

“This was my first tarmac rally and I really loved it,” Reeves said. “It was great fun and I’d like to do more.”

“I was more confident today. The more kilometres I did the more confident I got.”

The leading Classic car across the weekend was Peter Eames who took his Porsche 911 Carerra to top points in both heats to score a total of 80. Cameron Weaving was second in Classics in his Ford Capri Perana on 68 points with Robin Lowe, driving a Datsun 240Z third in his class.

Denyer’s dream of winning the event and beating his hero, Jim Richards, ended in bitter disappointment.

“Hellyer Gorge was a stage where Jim was taking a lot of time out of us so I was determined not to let that happen as we had high hopes of making up time across the afternoon stages like we did yesterday,” Denyer said.

“Unfortunately I asked a bit too much of the car, we had a minor break failure and the rest is history – I left the road.”

“I just couldn’t get the car to pull up and in the end we went over the edge.”

“It was enormously disappointing as we believed we could have toppled the master (Richards) across the afternoon. For me, who idolises the man, that would have been a really proud moment.”

“I’m even more fired up for the next event now. I’ve got a lot to prove in this sport. I believe that we can do it, but we’re going to have to wait for another day.”

Rallye Burnie Results - Outright

1 J Richards/B Oliver, Porsche GT3, 80 points
2 B Reeves/R Smyth, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 64 points
=3 J Vandenberg/S Vandenberg, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 52 points
=3 T Quinn/K Wenn, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8.5RS, 52 points

Rallye Burnie – Classic

1 P Eames/W Logan, Porsche 911 Carrera, 80 points
2 C Wearing/R Cochrane, Ford Capri Perana, 68 points
3 R Lowe/P Lowe, Datsun 240Z, 60 points

Results Heat Two – Rallye Burnie (Sunday September 23)

1 J Richards/B Oliver, Porsche GT3, 40 minutes 32 seconds
2 B Reeves/R Smyth, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 40:36
3 T Quinn/K Wenn, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8.5RS, 41:27
4 J Vandenberg/S Vandenberg, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 41:40
5 P Eames/W Logan, Porsche 911 Carrera, 43:05 (1st Classic)
6 C Wearing/R Cochrane, Ford Capri Perana, 44:02
7 M Nicholls/P Lockett, Holden VYS Ute, 44:21
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