Leg 2: Launceston-Bicheno-Launceston, 9 stages (72.76km competitive) Dry fuel tanks delays Brock A fuel shortage has almost certainly ended touring car legend Peter Brock's hopes of winning the Targa Tasmania tarmac rally for the ...
Leg 2: Launceston-Bicheno-Launceston, 9 stages (72.76km competitive)
Dry fuel tanks delays Brock
A fuel shortage has almost certainly ended touring car legend Peter Brock's hopes of winning the Targa Tasmania tarmac rally for the first time.
Brock was left stranded in the rural township of Perth, south of Launceston, with the fuel tank dry in his Motorola V8 Holden Motorsport Monaro, and he dropped from second to 27th after the rally's second leg, held in wet conditions.
His team-mate, V8 Supercar star Steven Richards, suffered the same problem on the ninth and final stage of leg two and slipped back to 75th in the field of 257 contesting the six-day event, which continues until Sunday.
Veteran Jim Richards goes into tomorrow's third leg leading with a total penalty time of 8-mins 28-secs in his Porsche 911 turbo, and has an advantage of 55-secs over Queensland's Tony Quinn in an identical machine. Victorian Rex Broadbent is third in another Porsche 911, with NSW's Tony Sullens fourth in a Subaru Impreza WRX, and South Australian Steve Glennie completing the top five in a Nissan Skyline GTR.
Brock went into the Perth stage in second position, 40-secs behind Richards, and said at that stage he had high expectations.
"We simply ran out of petrol," said Brock. "The gauges were showing we still had fuel so there may be a problem with the onboard computers that we need to look at. The car stopped, then we got some fuel and finished the stage. It's very disappointing because after losing so much time we would probably need a miracle to win from here."
Jim Richards described the conditions as among the most difficult he had encountered since he first competed in Targa, especially in the opening stage, The Sideline, over 13.97km.
"Our Porsche was faultless, but the weather was atrocious and there wasn't a dry stage," said Richards. "Based on results this morning, and the way Peter (Brock) was going I thought if we could hold our position in these conditions we'd be doing well."
Ford Racing Australia's Steve Hoinville improved from 16th to eighth in a Falcon XR6 turbo after a steady drive in the challenging weather.
"There were cars going off everywhere in the first stage (The Sideling), so we concentrated on keeping it smooth and clean," said Hoinville. "I was surprised more people weren't driving to the conditions. We're moving forward with good teamwork inside and out of the car, and eighth is ahead of where we expected to be at this stage."
There were five cars retire from the event after crashes during The Sideline stage, and two of those vehicles rolled onto their roof. Queensland driver John Grounds was taken to Launceston General Hospital with minor neck injuries after his Subaru Impreza flipped. Another car to roll onto its roof was the Nissan Skyline GTR raced by John Atherton of Queensland. He was not injured.
Tasmanians Jason and John White, who finished third in the 2002 rally, finished today's leg outside the top 80 after receiving hefty time penalties for missing control points in their Nissan Skyline GTR. Jason White said an appeal would be made for a derived time on stages where the penalties arose from. At present their penalty time stands at 7-hrs 45-mins 43-secs.
Tomorrow's third leg comprises eight stages, starting in Launceston and finishing in Hobart with a total competitive distance of 66.50km. <pre> RESULTS (Provisional)
MODERN COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. J. Richards (Vic)-B. Oliver (Tas) Porsche 911 8:28(min/secs) 2. T. Quinn (Qld)-K. Wenn (Tas) Porsche 911 9:23 3. R. Broadbent-M. Goedheer (Vic) Porsche 911 9:25 4. T. Sullens-J. Rabbett (NSW) Subaru Impreza WRX 9:31 5. S. Glennie-C. Lang (SA) Nissan Skyline GTR 9:39 6. G. Garwood-M. Perry (Tas) Porsche 911 9:59 7. L. Rattray-T. Jackson (Tas) Subaru Impreza WRX 10:51 8. P. Bradbury-A. Bullard (NSW) Porsche 911 11:06 9. S. Hoinville-R. Williams (Vic) BA Ford Falcon XR6 11:21 10. K. Burke-N. Botha (NSW) Porsche 911 11:45 OTHERS: 15. M. Taylor-B. Humphrey (NSW) BA Ford Falcon XR6 12:48 27. P. Brock-A. Gigney (Vic) Motorola Holden Monaro 14:43 45. C. Bond (NSW)-M. Walker GB) Toyota Camry Sportivo 17:33 64. C. McConville-G. Warwick (Vic) Motorola Holden Astra SRi 21:39 76. S. Richards-G. Bashford (Vic) Motorola Holden Monaro 29:35 83. Jason White-John White (Tas) Nissan Skyline GTR 7:45:43