QUEENSLAND'S BEST SHOOTING FOR TARGA PODIUM Queensland's best performed vehicle at the 2006 Targa Tasmania rally, Toowoomba's Skelta G-Force, will have one day of competition in which to hang on and secure a deserved podium during the car's ...
QUEENSLAND'S BEST SHOOTING FOR TARGA PODIUM
Queensland's best performed vehicle at the 2006 Targa Tasmania rally, Toowoomba's Skelta G-Force, will have one day of competition in which to hang on and secure a deserved podium during the car's maiden assault, after driver Ray Vandersee toiled hard today to elevate himself into third position .
If that was to occur it would be a major victory for Queensland ingenuity as the driver, designer and Skelta Sports Cars Managing Director fulfills a dream hatched some five years ago.
Vandersee, a former Queensland Rally Champion previously had a best finish ninth placing in Targa Tasmania 2004 driving a Westfield Clubman.
He's now made all the right moves this campaign to put himself and the Skelta G-Force in contention for some deserved recognition.
As expected the longer Cethana stage during today's fourth leg allowed Vandersee to showcase the true capabilities of his machine, particularly the revolutionary aerodynamics and second to none handling capabilities.
"Apparently we made up about 30 seconds over 37 km on that one stage on Warwick Rooklyn which is absolutely amazing," said an ecstatic Vandersee.
"That being said it would have been great to take the stage and I'm a little disappointed that Jim (Richards) beat us by just two seconds.
"The Skelta has been just so accommodating and responsive to what we require in this event and I can't see any reason why we can't go on with it tomorrow.
"I'm confident we can keep the pressure on the 4WD cars that we extended a bit of a gap on today and leave them with no chance of coming back on us.
Even better news for Vandersee and the Skelta G-Force is that the remaining nine competitive stages, totaling just over 145 kilometres to complete the event, is littered with two longer assignments.
Strahan (33.24km) and Mt Arrowsmith (47.24km) could prove pivotal, however keeping the car out of trouble and maintaining the consistency that has him so well placed is foremost in Vandersee's mind.
"The Kumho Tyres are performing really well. We still have half our tread depth left and just the one day to go while there are other guys who are really starting to struggle in that department.
"This is a tough event and it's not hard to make mistakes particularly at the pace we're running at.
"We'll be proceeding with a deal of care but still keeping the pressure on and you never know we may be able to pull a bit back on Jim.
"Once again we beat him (Richards) on a couple of stages today and if we can continue to toil hard there may be a real possibility we could take second place.
"It was the longer stages today where we gained an advantage and there's no doubt Strahan and Mt Arrowsmith could sway things in our favour.
"We're not about to get ahead of ourselves, there's still a race to finish and after that we can talk about our achievements, but it would be very satisfying to finish Targa strongly."
In sadder news for the event, a number of people were taken to hospital after an incident during one of the earlier Hobart stages today and the thoughts of the entire Skelta team are with those people who have been affected.
Leading into tomorrow's stages, seven time Targa winner Jim Richards holds a reasonable buffer on Steve Glenney with Vandersee pushing hard in third.