Quit Targa West victory goes to Major
- 19th August 2013, 9:52am
Perth driver Peter Major has clinched his second win in the Quit Targa West rally, crossing the finish line in Perth with a mere eight-second margin this afternoon.
Although Major, 28, led throughout the four-day event, he described his victory in the Competition-Modern category as his toughest-fought as he nursed a sick engine through the final stages.
The final gap to second-placed Ben Searcy/James Marquet would have been three seconds, but the fellow Perth driver clipped a marker bollard with his Nissan GT-R on the final pass through the Complete Portables Malaga stage this morning and earned a five-second penalty.
Jon-Paul Van Loenhout, with co-driver Lisa White, was third, 34 sec. behind in another Nissan.
"We had engine issues today that we couldn't fix last night. We prayed for rain but it stayed dry and so we had to really fight," said Major, who was co-driven by Greg Flood.
"Ben came close, but he bowled over a bollard, unluckily for him.
"Compared to my win in 2010, this was the total opposite. We had to push from the first day and went as fast as we could in every stage.
"It was the hardest thing I've had to do in four days, but it was really to good to win again, especially against those Nissans, which are really fast."
Today's final stages comprised three 12.16 km runs through the Malaga industrial estate – packed with spectators – and three on the re-designed Killarnee City of Perth course over 2.65 km each time.
Mark Dobson/greg Butcher and their 1975 Triumph TR7 picked up 10 sec today to win the Competition-Classic competition by 70 sec over Simon and Susannah Lingford (Datsun 240Z). Graham Romyn/Nigel Jones was third in a Holden Torana A9X.
In the 130 kmh-restricted Challege-Modern, Sharon Gunsman and Helen Lunsann produced a superb effort to turn the tables on Ford Fiesta crew Razvan Iona Vlad, who had led from Thursday and started today 26 seconds in front of the Mitsubishi pair.
Gunson won every stage to lead home Vlad by 16 seconds. Alan Matthewson and Darren Padley were third n a BMW M1.
The Challenge-Classic section went to Bruce Lake and Peter Hall, in a Datsun 240Z. Lake took over the lead yesterday, ahead of Porsche pairings Robert Buys (Sanja Aksamija) and Paul and Mitch Thompson.
But it was Thompson's turn to shine today. He won every stage to reduce his deficit to first by 16 sec, although he fell a frustrating one second short of taking second spot from Buys.
Photo by Brian White
RESULTS (Day Three | Provisional)
1 MAJOR/FLOOD (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) Total time 1:42.11
2 SEARCY/MARQUET (Nissan GT-R35) 1:42.19
3 VAN LOENHOUT/WHITE (Nissan GT-R35) 1:42.53
1 DOBSON/BUTCHER (Triumph TR7) 1:53.52
2 LINGFORD/LINGFORD (Datsun 240Z) 1:55.02
3 ROMYN/JONES (Holden Torana A9X) 1:56.01
2 GUNSON/LUNSMANN (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7) 1:55.31
1 VLAD/VLAD (Ford Fiesta ST) 1:55.47
3 MATTHEWSON/PADLEY (BMW 1M) 2:02.19
1 LAKE/HALL (Datsun 240Z) 1:59.28
2 BUYS/AKSAMIJA (Porsche 911) 2:01.00
3 THOMPSON/THOMPSON (Porsche 911RS) 2:01.05
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