Targa Tasmania tarmac rally Saturday report

Australia's five-times 500cc motorcycle champion Michael Doohan today escaped injury in a high speed crash which eliminated him from the 10th anniversary Targa Tasmania tarmac rally. The 35-year-old crashed his Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG early in...

Australia's five-times 500cc motorcycle champion Michael Doohan today escaped injury in a high speed crash which eliminated him from the 10th anniversary Targa Tasmania tarmac rally.

The 35-year-old crashed his Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG early in the 38.05km Cethana stage in the north-west region of Tasmania when in 13th position. His Queensland-based navigator Mark Stacey was not injured in the incident.

Doohan, who was making his car racing debut in the six-day rally, said the damage to the car could not be repaired for him to continue in the event, which finishes on Tuesday.

"I'd been having some brake problems in the morning, and when I came to the turn the car didn't want to go where I wanted it to go," said Doohan. "It hit a bank, rolled over, and went backwards. It was disappointing because I'd been enjoying it and I was keen to get to the finish."

Doohan's crash was one of two major incidents on the third leg of the rally. The other involved NSW pair Gary Burchett and navigator Ron Markland in a Nissan Skyline, who slammed into a tree at high speed in the Deloraine stage over 6.99km.

Burchett, a 46-year-old company director from South Windsor, was rushed to Launceston General Hospital by ambulance and was admitted in a serious, but stable condition. He later had X-rays and underwent corrective surgery for an ankle injury.

Jim Richards and Tasmanian navigator Barry Oliver continued to dominate the rally in their Porsche 911 turbo. They now lead with a total penalty time of 5-mins 40-secs, which is 2-mins 15-secs clear of their closest rivals, and are firmly on target for a fifth win in the event going into tomorrow's fourth leg over nine stages.

"It was another good day for us, except for when we overshot a corner and had to back up," said Richards. "This car is the perfect package for these stages."

Queensland's Tony Quinn retained second position in a Porsche 911, but Tasmanian John White improved from fourth to third in their Nissan 300ZX. Port Macquarie's Andrew Miedecke, who had been third after the second leg, withdrew from the rally today because of a failed crankshaft harmonic balancer.

<pre> RESULTS (overall classifications)

MODERN COMPETITION (Outright): POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. J. Richards (Vic)-B. Oliver (Tas) Porsche 911 5-min 40-secs 2. T. Quinn (Qld)-K. Wenn (Tas) Porsche 911 7-min 55-secs 3. John White-Jason White (Tas) Nissan 300ZX 8-min 12-secs 4. C. Dean-G. Bell (Vic) Toyota Supra 9-min 09-secs 5. R. Lintott (NSW)-T. Jackson (Tas) Porsche 911 9-min 27-secs 6. N. Bates-C. Taylor (A.C.T.) Lexus IS200 9-min 54-secs 7. M. Warwick-G. Warwick (Vic) Porsche 911 10-min 27-secs 8. S. Coad-R. Coad (Vic) BMW M-Coupe 10-min 35-secs 9. B. Learoyd-C. Palmer (Qld) Chevrolet Corvette 10-min 37-secs 10. M. Cummings-C. Alp (Vic) Porsche 993 11-min 10-secs M. Saxby-M. Rees (Tas) Nissan Skyline 11-min 10-secs

OTHERS: 17. P. Brock-J. Brock (Vic) V8 Holden Ute 13-min 08-secs 23. M. Coote-A. McLoughlan (Qld) Mazda MX-5 14-min 44-secs 34. S. Hoinville-G. Foletta (Vic) Ford Falcon XR6 17-min 31-secs 45. B. Sheene (Qld)-F. White (Tas) Mercedes-Benz ML 55 22-min 39-secs

CLASSIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. R. Broadbent-M. Goedheer (Vic) Porsche 911 5-min 23-secs

TOURING CLASSIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. B. Titheradge-J. Shuttle (NSW) Jaguar XK140 14-min 48-secs

HISTORIC COMPETITION: POS DRIVERS CAR PENALTY TIME 1. N. Cocks (SA)-S. Fong (NSW) Bugatti 35B 5-min 17-secs

-Mike Porter

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Jason White , Jim Richards , Tony Quinn , Mark Stacey , Andrew Miedecke