Stage set for thrilling Targa Tasmania The official Temco Prologue at Targa Tasmania has confirmed that the 2010 running of the classic tarmac rally will be one of the most hotly contested in the 19-year history of the event. Pre-event ...
Stage set for thrilling Targa Tasmania
The official Temco Prologue at Targa Tasmania has confirmed that the 2010 running of the classic tarmac rally will be one of the most hotly contested in the 19-year history of the event.
Pre-event favourites Jason White (Modern), Rex Broadbent (Classic) and Tony Warren (Showroom) have set the fastest times in their respective categories, in front of a big crowd of enthusiastic spectators.
The 4.81 kilometre street stage around George Town was held in fine, dry conditions. While the results determine road positions for the remainder of the event, times recorded over the Prologue stage do not count toward the overall Targa Tasmania results.
Jason White, driving his new Lamborghini Gallardo Supertrofeo Strada, got off to a blistering start, making the point to his rivals that he is determined to back up his victory from Targa Wrest Point in January.
With changes to the specification of his Lamborghini, his car appears faster than in previous events, which will be a major concern to his rivals.
Queenslander Tim Hendy was a surprise second driving a 2005 Daytona Coupe, 5.65 seconds back, with West Australian Steve Jones third in his 2008 Nissan GT-R, 6.36 seconds behind White.
Last year's winner, Tony Quinn was fourth and eight-time winner Jim Richards fifth. Both will now push hard to make an impact when the rally gets underway in earnest on Wednesday morning.
"This new car has certainly put a grin on our faces. It's a hell of a lot of fun to drive and we've never really had a crack at the Prologue before," White commented.
"We've always gone at a reasonable pace, but never recced it or used pacenotes for it before. The plan was to go slow and steady, but it all felt nice when we took off, and we definitely went around there quicker than we've ever gone before.
"It was a bit of a confidence builder. We took it to the limit on most of the corners, but being such a new car as well, you also need to learn how to drive it. It doesn't come automatically, and it's quite different to the other one.
"It was quite a confidence inspiring run. I could put the car wherever I wanted to, and the suspension was the best that I've ever driven with. Everything just felt as it should be."
Victorian Rex Broadbent was the fastest Classic car over the Temco Prologue stage.
His 1974 Porsche 911 RS was 2.41 seconds quicker than Tasmanian hope, David Cooper, in his 1977 Torana A9X. Peter Eames, who Broadbent thinks will be his greatest rival this year, was third, another 1.39 seconds back in his 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.
Broadbent, the defending Classic Outright champion, is looking forward to the challenge of the next five days after a late decision to enter the foray.
"A week before the event I decided I'd better do it," Broadbent said.
"Chris (Randell) volunteered to be my navigator at the last minute, so it's all come together rather quickly, but the car felt good today - really good. We got through cleanly; nothing to worry about and we didn't knock any wheels off.
Hobart driver Tony Warren confirmed his favourite status to take the Showroom title. The former winner, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, heads the newer Lancer Evo X of motoring journalist Dean Evans by 2.34 seconds.
The Mazda 3 MPS of 21-year-old Victorian, Brendan Reeves, was third quickest in the Showroom competition over the short street stage.
Quickest Vintage car was the newly acquired 1938 Dodge Speedster Special of Wayne Clark and Roger Richardson.
The first full day of Targa Tasmania competition will see the full field of over 270 competitors head on a loop from Launceston via Sheffield. Eight Targa stages with a total competitive distance of just over 56 kilometres make up the day's total.
-source: targa tasmania