Ray Lintott Targa Tasmania preview

Lintott chases fourth Targa podium finish Wednesday, March 27: Veteran Sydney driver Ray Lintott aims to overcome a year-long break from racing and secure a fourth podium finish in Targa Tasmania when he competes in the 2002 annual tarmac rally...

Lintott chases fourth Targa podium finish

Wednesday, March 27: Veteran Sydney driver Ray Lintott aims to overcome a year-long break from racing and secure a fourth podium finish in Targa Tasmania when he competes in the 2002 annual tarmac rally next month.

The 58-year-old automotive businessman said he hoped a successful result in the 1,968km Targa event from April 16-21 would add impetus to promoting his newly-established Porsche Centre Sydney South car dealership.

Lintott has finished on the podium in Targa three times previously, as runner-up in 1996 and again the following year in Porsches, and third in 1995 in a Toyota.

He said he would contest this year's 43-stage event in the same four-wheel-drive Porsche 911 turbo in which he finished fifth in 2001, but added his main challenge would be overcoming an absence from racing since the previous Targa event.

"My car is a race-proven package, but this will be my first motorsport event since the last Targa, which is a big gap for me," said Lintott.

"I'll be doing some driving before Targa to get myself back in the groove, and if we have a good run and we're still there at the finish then I think the podium is a good chance."

He is one of three drivers entered in Modern Competition in the Porsche 911 turbos, along with five-times Targa champion Jim Richards and 2001 runner-up Tony Quinn.

Lintott said he would adopt a conservative driving approach to this year's Targa, due to both his lack of racing in the past 12 months, and the introduction of a new rule which doubled the compulsory penalty for tyre changes to 2-mins.

"Unlike some of the other Porsches, I got through without a tyre change last year because I went for a harder compound and looked after the car," said Lintott.

"I'll be doing the same again this year, and while the harder tyre may cost me some speed it could be the best strategy if the others start getting penalties."

This year Lintott will be reunited with Canberra navigator Fred Gosentas, his partner both times he finished runner-up to Richards in Targa, and when he won Rally Tasmania in 1998.

"Fred has been competing regularly in the past year and he's up to speed," said Lintott. "I think the role of the navigator is sometimes underestimated, but it's important because you have to be able to trust what you're being told, often at high speeds."

In a part-time racing career spanning 30 years, Lintott has raced in 24-hour international endurance events at Daytona in the United States, Le Mans in France, and Monza in Italy, and has competed at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Lintott's focus in the past year has been establishing Sydney's third major Porsche dealership, situated at Alexandria. The Lintott Automotive Group is spending $11-million on facilities that will include a showroom for new vehicles sales, plus service and spare parts areas.

"I'm a businessman first, and a part-time racer second, but I still thoroughly enjoy competing in motorsport events like Targa where you can get in and have a go on different types of roads and conditions," he said.

Andrew Miedecke, Targa champion in 1994, has withdrawn from this year's event. The Port MacQuarie driver's Dodge Viper was damaged in a crash during Rally Tasmania in February.

More than 280 entries have been received in the four Targa competitions -- Shannons Historic, Shannons Touring Classic, Classic, and Modern.

Targa Tasmania is owned and produced by global sports marketing company Octagon Worldwide, the sports marketing and entertainment division of the Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing communications groups.

-www.targa.org.au-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Jim Richards , Tony Quinn , Ray Lintott , Andrew Miedecke