Despite it being only their first ever tarmac rally event, Garry Holt and the Century 21 Real Estate / Eastern Creek International Karting raceway team have taken a memorable class victory in the 2004 East Coast Targa held recently in New South ...
Despite it being only their first ever tarmac rally event, Garry Holt and the Century 21 Real Estate / Eastern Creek International Karting raceway team have taken a memorable class victory in the 2004 East Coast Targa held recently in New South Wales.
Driving their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7, Holt and co-driver Mark Thompson impressed many rally regulars with their drive, overcoming some technical difficulties to set impressive stage times in their Production- Spec Lancer whilst still learning the rally and it's demanding roads.
The opening day of competition was the first chance for Holt and Thompson to get a feel for the car on the Targa roads. The Driver was the first to admit that he wasn't on the pace due to the event being his first ever rally but despite that, the pair placed 12th outright and 2nd in class at the end of the opening leg.
With a stage around the team's home circuit of Eastern Creek Raceway set to be the highlight of Day two action, the Century 21 team were expected to improve with a full day's competition behind them.
Unfortunately, the charge didn't happen - a failed Idler Bearing on the water pump during the warm up lap at Eastern Creek meant that the team lost near on 57 minutes in late penalties whilst trying to repair the car, despite a brilliant effort by the crew in service.
The team went on the attack on day three, anxious to make up lost time and put on a good show for their sponsors. Despite running the wrong shock absorbers, which continued to bottom out on bumpy roads, the crew took an early outright stage win on Friday to begin the charge up the order.
That charge continued on Saturday, as the team took more outright stage podiums to inch further up the outright order, further proving their pace.
The reward at the end of the rally was a victory in the Production Rally Class, a just reward for the team after a tough few days of competition.
Holt was quick to thank his experienced co-driver after his first successful foray into tarmac rallying.
"Tommo did a fantastic job right throughout the rally," commented Holt. "There is no way that we could have gone as well as we did without him sitting in the co-drivers seat." He said.
Holt also indicated that this wouldn't be the last targa-style rally for the team.
"Before this event the car was for sale, but after this great performance it isn't anymore!" he said. "We will keep it now, and prepare it properly for an attack on Targa Tasmania in 2005."
The team would like to thank Century 21 Real Estate, Eastern Creek International Karting raceway, Radio 2UE, Elf Fuel, Galfer, Mitsubishi, Jack Hillerman smash and Croyden Racing Developments for their continued support.