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Tarmac master Jim Richards has left everyone in his wake on day one of QUIT Targa West, Western Australia’s premier tarmac rally held in the hills around Perth.

Richards, driving a 2007 Porsche GT3 RS leads his nearest rival in the Modern Competition class, Ross Dunkerton (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) by 44.1 seconds.  Dunkerton is followed close behind by Graham Furness (Subaru Impreza WRX) and Tony Longhurst (Skelta G-Force).

Defending champion Ross Dunkerton is facing his toughest challenge to date in his battle with Richards and said the tough conditions faced throughout the day played a part on the overall results.

“The rain is definitely creating some difficult driving conditions out there, we’re just taking it one stage at a time, trying to put in some positive times,” said Dunkerton.

The heavy rain meant competitors were greeted with wet and slippery conditions on the third stage of the morning, which was run along the locally renowned road in Kalamunda -

Zig Zag Scenic Drive

The tight and tricky summers legal Zig Zag stage caught out a few of the drivers, most notably Paul Summers who experienced a very near miss when his Porsche GT3 RS slid off the road coming to a resting place between two trees. 

By the completion of the stage most of the field looked like they had been competing in a gravel rally with the once shiny paint jobs considerably mud-affected.

The battle in the Classic Competition class was dominated by a trio of Porsche 911 RS’ driven by Hans De Corti, Kevin Weeks and Shane Attwell.

John Donohoe (Holden HSV) leads the Modern Challenge class, followed by and Robert Darrington (BMW M3) and Peter Best (Lotus Elise).  The Classic Challenge class is being fought out between Josh Hogan (Ford Escort Mk 11) and Anthony Clarke (Holden Torana GTR) with only 7 seconds separating the pair at the end of the day.

Day two will see QUIT Targa West return again to the Chittering and Toodyay Shires.

On top of the great action out on the roads the service parks based in Bindoon and Toodyay will give spectators the chance to see the teams working on the cars as they come back into service.

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