TARGA TASMANIA TARMAC RALLY -- Tuesday, April 24 Hobart to Hobart: 7 stages A masterful wet-weather driving display by Jim Richards in today's sixth and final leg lifted him to a fifth win in the Targa Tasmania tarmac rally. The 53-year-old ...
TARGA TASMANIA TARMAC RALLY -- Tuesday, April 24
Hobart to Hobart: 7 stages
A masterful wet-weather driving display by Jim Richards in today's sixth and final leg lifted him to a fifth win in the Targa Tasmania tarmac rally.
The 53-year-old Melbourne-based New Zealander and Tasmanian navigator Barry Oliver, who had won the rally four times previously, finished this year's event over 2,110km and 52 stages with a total penalty time of 14-mins 52-secs in a turbo Porsche 911.
They finished the rally 2-mins 19-secs clear of second-placed Tony Quinn of Queensland and Tasmanian Keith Wenn in another Porsche 911, who were followed by Victorians Craig Dean and Graham Bell in a Toyota Supra, and triple Australian rally champions Neal Bates, of the A.C.T., and NSW's Coral Taylor in a Lexus IS200.
Richards, a six-times Bathurst 1000 champion, began today's sixth and final leg with a lead of 1-min 38-secs over Quinn. Road conditions were wet and slippery. Richards made a decisive move in the second stage at Oyster Cove by covering the 12.36km course 23-secs faster than Quinn.
"We lost time at Oyster Cove, but not as much as everyone else," said Richards. "It gave us some breathing space. It was wet and soggy out there and the fog was pretty bad. You could hardly see a foot in front of you in some places."
"It's a thrill to win Targa again because it's one of the best events we do. You've got a combination of wet and dry weather, winding roads and fast country. This year my car was fabulous. We had to change three tyres, and Tony (Quinn) did a great job staying on our tail. We thought he'd be quick and he was. Next year I will be back again."
Quinn, a 43 year-old pet food businessman from the Gold Coast, believes the wet weather on the final leg counted against him.
"Jim's car was more suited to the wet than mine," said Quinn. "His car is four-wheel-drive and it has better traction in those conditions, but I'm pleased with how we've gone. We've been second the last couple of years so the only way from here is up."
There were seven crashes in the final leg, with former Targa winner Peter Fitzgerald suffering a fractured vertebrae when his Porsche 911 collided with a roadside bank during the Cygnet stage.
Tony Esplin, a 38-year-old managing director from Eden in NSW, and his navigator, Anne-Maree Kennedy, also 38, from Fitzroy in Victoria, were rushed to Royal Hobart Hospital after crashing their Ford Escort in the Howden stage. The accident caused delays and the stage was eventually cancelled.
Esplin suffered lower back injuries and remains in hospital where his condition in being further assessed, but Kennedy was discharged after initially suffering abdominal pains from the crash.
Others who crashed, but were not injured, were Porsche drivers Max Warwick and Charly Cuenoud, Geoff Hall in a Renault, Ray Vandersee in a Van Demon, and Ken Jaffey in a Nissan Skyline. <pre> RESULTS (overall classifications)
(Outright): POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. J. Richards (Vic)-B. Oliver (Tas) Porsche 911 14-min 52-secs 2. T. Quinn (Qld)-K. Wenn (Tas) Porsche 911 17-min 11-secs 3. C. Dean-G. Bell (Vic) Toyota Supra 18-min 50-secs 4. N. Bates-C. Taylor (A.C.T.) Lexus IS200 19-min 39-secs 5. R. Lintott (NSW)-T. Jackson (Tas) Porsche 911 20-min 09-secs 6. J. Beable-N. Beable (Vic) Nissan Skyline 20-min 26-secs 7. B. Learoyd-C. Palmer (Qld) Chevrolet Corvette 21-min 02-secs 8. M. Cummings-C. Alp (Vic) Porsche 993 22-min 22-secs 9. John White-Jason White (Tas) Nissan 300ZX 24-min 45-secs 10. B. Hughes-M. Hughes (NSW) Mazda RX-7 25-min 13-secs OTHERS: 20. M. Coote-A. McLoughlan (Qld) Mazda MX-5 31-min 03-secs 21. S. Hoinville-G. Foletta (Vic) Ford Falcon XR6 31-min 16-secs 75. P. Brock-J. Brock (Vic) V8 Holden Ute 8-hr 31-min 46-secs
CLASSIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. P. Stuart-M. Connolly (Vic) Porsche 911 13-min 11-secs 2. G. Duggan-L. Duggan (Tas) Datsun 2000 13-min 57-secs 3. I. Morris-K. Crib (Vic) Alfa Romeo GTV6 19-min 27-secs
TOURING CLASSIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. P. Nichols-P. Blake (Tas) Austin Healey 25-min 22-secs 2. B. Titheradge-J. Shuttle (NSW) Jaguar XK140 29-min 18-secs 3. D. Meyer-M. Petersen (NSW) EH Holden 38-min 15-secs
HISTORIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. N. Cocks (SA)-S. Fong (NSW) Bugatti 35B 14-min 34-secs 2. M. Lane-R. Lane (NSW) Bugatti 24-min 38-secs 3. J. Lawson-P. Lawson (Vic) Alfa Romeo Spyder 34-min 08-secs