West Australian Tolley Challis has upset the local hopes on the opening day of Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide, setting the fastest time in the classic outright competition at the official prologue at Tanunda in the Barossa Valley.

Driving a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, Challis finished the 4.44 kilometre prologue stage one second ahead South Australian Matt Selley in another 1974 Porsche.

Pre-event favourite for the Outright Classic title, Kevin Weeks (1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS) tied with Craig Haysman (1981 Triumph TR7 V8) tied for third. The two South Australians were just three seconds off the pace.

The real action in round one of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship gets underway tomorrow, with eight stages across 67 competitive kilometers. Challis came to Adelaide with high hopes and was happy with his opening effort.

“The pacenotes worked really well and the car felt good over the prologue stages,” Challis said.

“I’m a bit underdone because we probably didn’t spend long enough on the reconnaissance, but the plan for tomorrow is to go flat out and try to stay at the top of the leaderboard.”

Despite being third today, Weeks remains confident of victory by Saturday.

“We didn’t push too hard because you can’t win the event on the prologue,” Weeks said.

“We were conservative and played it safe. I’m comfortable with the car, although we had a little bit of understeer, so we’ve softened the front suspension a little bit in preparation for tomorrow’s stages.”

In fine conditions, the first Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide got under way at Adelaide’s Intercontinental Hotel this morning with 85 competitors heading north west of the capital into the Barossa Valley.

After a warm-up stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd of spectators through the streets of Tanunda, competitors tackled the closed road Menglers Hill stage, with the results to determine the starting order for the event proper, which gets under way on Thursday morning.

Fifth place is held by Queenslanders Donn Todd and Dean Tighe in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana, while a tie for sixth place sees Victorian Rob Devenish (1971 Datsun 240) and South Australian Nick Streckeisen (1985 Porsche 944 Turbo) locked together, just six seconds off the pace.

Tomorrow sees the field tackling eight stages north east of Adelaide, stopping for lunch at Gumeracha before finishing back at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

The rally concludes on Saturday.

2011 Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide
Shannons Classic Outright Prologue results

1. Tolley Challis (WA) / Greg Flood (WA), 1974 Porsche 911 RS
2. Matt Selley (SA) / Claire Ryan (SA), 1974 Porsche 911 RS
=3. Kevin Weeks (SA) / Toni Feaver (WA), 1974 Porsche 911 RS
=3. Craig Haysman (SA) / Neil Branum (SA), 1981 Triumph TR7 V8
5. Donn Todd (QLD) / Dean Tighe (QLD), 1971 Ford Capri Perana

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