Glenney to race upgraded Nissan Skyline in next month's Targa Tasmania Rally. TUESDAY, APRIL 8: Steve Glenney, who made a stunning Targa Tasmania debut in 2002, will contest next month's tarmac rally in an upgraded Nissan Skyline GTR in a bid to...
Glenney to race upgraded Nissan Skyline in next month's Targa Tasmania Rally.
TUESDAY, APRIL 8: Steve Glenney, who made a stunning Targa Tasmania debut in 2002, will contest next month's tarmac rally in an upgraded Nissan Skyline GTR in a bid to mount a winning challenge.
The 26-year-old South Australian held second position behind the Porsche 911 of eventual winner Jim Richards for the opening three days of the 2002 rally until crashing his production-trim Nissan Skyline on the Cethana stage and dropping out of contention.
Glenney has purchased a high-performance Nissan Skyline GTR V-Spec N1 model for the 2003 event, to be held from May 13-18 and promoted by global sports and events marketing company Octagon.
He said the engine in the Skyline he will race in this year's 44-stage rally generated about 450-horsepower, and the car had significant performance advantages over his previous Nissan.
"My Skyline has about 50-horsepower more, the differential is better, and generally speaking it's a stronger package everywhere," said Glenney.
"This year my aim is to try and knock Jim (Richards) off, which isn't going to be easy because he's won it six times and this will be only my second Targa."
"I don't have much experience or background in any type of motorsport, and the main thing I've learned in the short time I've been rallying is you have to know when to push hard and when to back off."
Glenney, whose family operates the Glen Brae Stud breeding and training race horses on a 200-acre property in the Adelaide Hills, will be partnered in Targa for the second successive year by Clayton Lang.
Their preparation for the 2003 event included competing in Rally Tasmania in February, and they held third place when forced out by a turbocharger failure near the end of the second day.
"We gave the car a good 'shakedown' under race conditions and apart from the blown turbo everything went well," said Glenney.
Glenney said he had been surprised with being so competitive in his Targa debut in 2002, especially considering his inexperience.
"Running second for so long last year was a bit of a shock, because I didn't do did karting, or any of the traditional ways you get into motorsport," he said.
"I probably developed a 'feel' for cars by driving the ute around the farm from an early age. You learn what you can and can't do. I grew up driving on country roads and you get to understand the levels of grip and adapting to the conditions, which is what you're dealing with in Targa every day."
"Last year we were a little unlucky when we crashed -- a front tyre went flat and we slid off the road into some trees which broke the suspension."
Glenney's car is being prepared by Tilbrook Auto & Dyno in Adelaide, and his 2002 performance in Targa has resulted in several sponsorships from South Australian for this year's event.
"Ideally I'd like to be able to spend more time in the car competing because that's how you improve," he said. "However, we're always busy with the horses on the property, so I've got to accept my situation as a part-time motorsport competitor and do the best I can."
Entries in Targa have increased to 267, headed by six-times champion Richards, and Tasmanian navigator Barry Oliver in a Porsche, and multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock and V8 Supercar driver Steven Richards in works-supported V8 Holden Monaros.
This year's rally will be the 12th annual Targa event in Tasmania since 1992, and will be contested over a total distance of 2,299km, with 464km competitive, plus the Temco Prologue.
The four competitions in Targa are Historic (for cars from 1900-46), Touring Classic (1947-65), Classic (1900-81), and Modern (1982-2003). There is also a new non-competition touring class for rare and exotic historic and classic cars.
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