Vandenberg takes first title
Burnie driver Jamie Vandenberg has held on across a dramatic final day to win his first Targa Tasmania modern title.
Vandenberg, with co-driver Dennis Sims, nursed their Nissan GT-R home to victory; a chronically sick engine constantly threatening to end their run to the finish line and their dream of winning the event.
For most of the final day Matt Close was second in his Audi TT RS and ready to pounce should Vandenberg’s engine fail. But the Victorian crashed out on Ellendale, the event’s penultimate stage, allowing the Nissan GT-R to limp to the finish line with a plume of smoke following his failing car.
Targa veteran and past winner, Tony Quinn (above, in a previous event), finished modern in second place, four minutes 44 seconds behind with Brendon Winterbourn third in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10.
Canberra’s Barry Faux was victorious in Classic Outright and Late Classic Handicap in his 1985 Mazda RX-7 with a brilliant drive on the final day. Craig Haysman lost his overnight outright lead when mechanical troubles slowed his 1981Triumph TR7. However, things went from bad to worse for the South Australian when he crashed the car on the Ellendale stage.
Peter Ullrich was also top three Classics overnight, and leading Early Classic handicap, but he had an off on the giant Arrowsmith stage. Roger Paterson moved to second in Outright in his 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS with Steve McClintock coming through for third in his 1985 Mazda RX-7. Andrew White took over the Early Classic Handicap in his 1961 Volvo 1225.
Clinton Arentz produced one of the drives of the event to take Showroom 4WD honours in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 finishing two minutes 23 seconds clear of Launceston’s Ben Newman in a Subaru WRX STI.
After a draining day, Vandenberg was delighted to get to the finish line.
“It’s the biggest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on,’” Vandenberg said. “We thought our race was over at lunch time.”
“We’ve never heard so many rattles in the car before and we considered pulling the pin and just cruising to the finish.”
“The pressure was off a bit once Closey (Matt Close) crashed, but our engine was making some awful noises and we used 15 litres of oil today. We had no idea if we were going to get there.”
“It’s been an emotional and stressful day.”
Barry Faux’s major emotion at the finish was also relief. “We feel absolutely fantastic, but we would have been more relaxed if the event finished at lunch time,” Faux said.
“It’s been a nervous last few stages for us.”
“This is the hardest Targa we’ve ever done. We’ve done one which has been wetter, but this is the hardest due to the variable conditions.”
The 1934 Ford Indy Special of Graham Copeland won the Vintage Rallye and Glenn Rees took the Classic Florio prize in his 1985 Porsche 944.
Showroom was won easily by Andrew Bollom in his Renault Megane and Michael Minshall won the Showroom Sports in an Audi TT RS.
TARGA TASMANIA 2014 RESULTS (PROVISIONAL)
RDA Brakes Modern 1. Jamie Vandenberg/Dennis Sims, 2009 Nissan GT-R 2. Tony Quinn/Kate Catford, 2011 Nissan GT-R Spec-V, +4min 44s 3. Brendon Winterbourn/Anthony Chudleigh, 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +13min 48s 4. Frank Purdey/Cameron Reeves, 2012 Nissan GTR, +18min 12s 5. Jason White/John White, 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 24min 59s
RDA Brakes Early Modern 1. Liam Howarth/Larry Howarth, 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec 2. Stephen Thatcher/Kelly Handley, 1994 Nissan ATTKD Select R SP, +3min 27s 3. Richard Perini/Chris Perini, 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, +3min 36s 4. Melinda Bergmann/Matthew Van Tuinen, 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI TME, +3min 37 5. Paul Henry/Kathy Henry, 1993 Porsche 968 CS, +4min 7s
RDA Brakes Modern Muscle 1. Craig Dean/Jenny Cole, 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2. Neill Ford /Colin Maher, 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, +9min 14s 3. Daniel Ford/Nathalie Ford, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, +41min 27s 4. Andrew Clingeleffer/David Rust, 2013 Daytona Coupe, +1h 37m 13s 5. Barry Cuneo/Charles Martin, 2011 Holden Commodore SS Ute, +2h 4min
RDA Brakes Showroom 1. Andrew Bollom/Lee Challoner-Miles, 2011 Renault Megane RS 250 2. Andrew Robinson/Thomas Browell, 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, +16min 58s 3. Adam Spence/Erin Kelly, 2013 Renault Megane RS 265, +42min 28s
RDA Brakes 4WD Showroom 1. Clinton Arentz/Dale Moscatt, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 2. Ben Newman/Crichton Lewis, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +2min 23s 3. Ralph Norton/Malcolm Norton, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +12min 38s 4. Barrie Smith/Jan Smith, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, +14min 36s 5. Gregory Burrowes/Rhonda Burrowes, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +23min 42s
RDA Brakes Showroom Sports 1. Michael Minshall/Kirrilee Gentleman, 2011 Audi TTRS 2. Glyn Crimp/Paul van der Mey, 2012 Audi TTRS, +4min 46s
Shannons Classic Outright 1. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7 2. Roger Paterson/Richard Geue, 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, +4min 4s 3. Steve McClintock/Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +4min 31s 4. Richard Woodward/Neil Gibson, 1969 Holden Monaro GTS, +12min 32s 5. Mark Hammond/Gordon Lennox, 1980 Jaguar XJS, 12min 48s
Shannons Late Classic Handicap 1. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7 2. Steve McClintock/Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +6min 2s 3. Mark Hammond/Gordon Lennox, 1980 Jaguar XJS, +12min 30s 4. Stewart McAuley/Philippe Etienne, 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera, +16min 21 5. David Gilliver/Nigel Shellshear, 1979 Ferrari 308GTB, +16min 42s
Shannons Early Classics handicap 1. Andrew White/Ashley Yelds, 1961 Volvo 122S 2. Paul Freestone/Christine Freestone, 1948 Holden 215, +5min 8s 3. Ross Steuart/Jill Steuart, 1962 Ford Anglia 105e, +5min 17s 4. Richard Woodward/Neil Gibson, 1969 Holden Monaro GTS, +8min 38s 5. Ted Banks/Bruce Douglas, 1971 Porsche 916, +17min 23s
Shannons Classic Florio handicap 1. Glenn Rees/Richard Bullard, 1985 Porsche 944 2. Wayne Gerlach/Dianne Gerlach, 1974 Porsche 911, +11min 28s 3. Mac Russell/Marjorie Russell, 1976 Morgan Plus 8, +13min 29s 4. Drew Kent/Ella Kent, 1971 Ford Falcon GT, +14min 56s 5. Philip Blake/John Blake, 1964 Fiat-Abarth OT 1600, +1hr 24min 23s
Shannons Vintage Rallye 1. Graham Copeland/Josh Herbert, 1934 Ford Indy Car Special 2. Wayne Clark/Trevor Berriman, 1938 Dodge Speedster Special, +2min 56s
Regularity 1. Philip Frith/David Frith, Porsche Boxter S, 92pts 2. Jeff Beable/Nerida Beable, Nissan R35, 156pts 3. Allan Gluyas/Heather Gluyas, Toyota 86 GTS, 174pts 4. Martin Duursma/Marc Sobbel, Lotus Exige S, 197pts 5. Lloyd Berger/Phil Musgrove, Audi TT RS Plus, 440pts