RICHARDS CONTINUES TARGA DOMINATION - AS THE BIG NAMES FALL FROM CONTENTION Two popular Australian motor sport personalities, Network Ten commentator Daryl Beattie and Subaru factory driver Dean Herridge, have today suffered at the mercy of the...
RICHARDS CONTINUES TARGA DOMINATION - AS THE BIG NAMES FALL FROM CONTENTION
Two popular Australian motor sport personalities, Network Ten commentator Daryl Beattie and Subaru factory driver Dean Herridge, have today suffered at the mercy of the unrelenting challenge of the Targa Tasmania rally that veteran Porsche driver Jim Richards currently leads.
On today's third leg of the rally in the southern region of Tasmania, Daryl Beattie crashed on an afternoon competition stage, meanwhile Subaru factory driver Dean Herridge waits in anticipation on a verdict regarding a possible five-minute time penalty, after he reportedly struck a chicane barrier on the third last stage of the day, Cygnet.
Beattie, a former 500cc motorcycle World Championship frontrunner and his navigator Scott Young, landed Beattie's brand-new Mitsubishi Evolution IX over the wrong side of a bank after losing control on a corner, 9.44km into the Cygnet stage.
Following in the footsteps of good friend Mick Doohan who, in a brand-new Mercedes Benz, crashed out of Targa Tasmania in 2001, Beattie and Young both escaped injury as the Evo came to a halt after impacting with a tree. The accident caused a grass fire which was extinguished by attending FIV crews. Damage to Beattie's car was diagnosed by the driver as minimal and the pair is confident of a restart tomorrow.
"We over-cooked the turn. It felt like we were okay, but then it tightened and I just got a little too hot and pushed it," explained Beattie. "It slid along the grass and we skidded down the embankment. It didn't feel like the impact was hard at all, so hopefully we'll be able to repair it and carry on."
Jim Richards, who as long as the good weather holds, will continue to move from strength-to-strength in his Porsche GT2 in the drivetravel.com Modern Competition, extended his lead over sharp-shooter Steve Glenney finishing Day Three with a 22-second advantage.
"We'd like to be as far ahead as we can, but that's as good as we can do. I am looking forward to Cethana [stage] tomorrow, it's one of my favourite stages, but not if it's wet," said Richards.
The committed Glenney steadily took his Subaru WRX to the ragged edge and back today. A seizing shock absorber meant for poor handling in his four-wheel-drive rally car which eventually led to a minor off on the Cygnet stage, costing him precious seconds.
"We ran into some suspension troubles so the car is handling like a go-cart, and it's gone all stiff. We've lost a bit of time because of it," said Glenney.
The Mitsubishi factory team of Warwick Rooklyn and Linda Long is firm on the tail of the Wistow-based driver, trailing him and his navigator Bernie Webb by 16-seconds.
"We haven't lost any time today and we think we've made up some time on Jim [Richards]. It's been a great day, and we're really happy," said Rooklyn.
Tomorrow's fourth and penultimate leg starts in Hobart, taking the competition field up the State's midlands and finishing in Burnie over 110.09 competitive kilometres.
<pre> TARGA TASMANIA LEG THREE PROGRESSIVE SCORES (END OF DAY THREE, OF FIVE) (Top ten and other competitions to follow upon availability)
Pos No. Crew Vehicle Margin from leader 1. 919 Jim Richards VIC - Barry Oliver TAS 2003 Porsche 911 GT2 CS 2. 988 Steve Glenney SA - Bernie Webb ACT 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 00.22 3. 998 Warwick Rooklyn NSW - Linda Long NSW 2005 Mitsubishi Evo Lancer IX 00:38