Tuesday, 25 April 2006 Targa Tasmania Temco Prologue Report - George Town SUNSHINE DELIVERS RICHARDS PROLOGUE WIN - GARWOOD CRASHES Some fine Tasmanian sunshine has put event favourite, seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards on top after ...
Tuesday, 25 April 2006
Targa Tasmania Temco Prologue Report - George Town
SUNSHINE DELIVERS RICHARDS PROLOGUE WIN - GARWOOD CRASHES
Some fine Tasmanian sunshine has put event favourite, seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards on top after clocking the fastest time in today's Targa Tasmania Temco Prologue at George Town in his Porsche GT-2 in front of a record crowd - while Tasmanian podium chaser Greg Garwood will anxiously await the verdict on whether a damaged radiator will tomorrow rule him out of the race.
Richards and his long-time Targa Tasmania navigator, Barry Oliver, have reaffirmed their domination over this year's 15th anniversary event with a time of 2-minutes 50-seconds seeding him in pole position in the drivetravel.com Modern field for the first day of competition tomorrow.
"It was a nice warm up and we were only a little bit quicker than some of the others, but the brakes bedded in and the tyres are ready to race," said the 58-year-old Victorian who has also won Targa Tasmania seven times before.
"I have to say that I am pretty happy with the result today."
After overshooting a corner on the 4.22km town stage, Garwood's Porsche 911 Turbo suffered significant radiator damage and, what was initially thought to be, debilitating damage to the Porsche's front right tyre.
"You can't stop when you're in mid-air," explained Garwood following the incident. "I was driving too hard and had nowhere to go. It was totally my fault - we ran over a curb, hit a fence and buggered a tyre."
What turned out to be only cosmetic damage to the tyre raised major doubts about the team's ability to contest the 2100km tarmac rally with an unreliable fifth tyre. Under event regulations the replacement of a tyre attracts a 2-minute time penalty which would have spelled the end to Garwood's podium hopes.
Only overnight work will decide whether the radiator can be repaired, but the team are confident the car will hit the tarmac tomorrow in top shape.
The boys in blue will be celebrating tonight with a good start for Subaru factory driver Dean Herridge who, with navigator Bill Hayes, finished second fastest with a time of 2-minutes 54-seconds in their Subaru Impreza WRX.
"That was great. I really am looking forward to more rally-type stages as opposed to the street circuit. It was a lot of fun but the car was pretty squirmy on brand new tyres - but I am not really worried about that as it all starts tomorrow," said the acclaimed gravel rally driver.
Rounding out the top three in the drivetravel.com Modern Competition was Queensland Porsche driver Tony Quinn, who in his 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo drove the stage in 2-minutes and 55-seconds.
Legendary Bathurst champion Peter Brock achieved an impressive result in his unfamiliar 2000 Daytona Coupe with a time of 2-minutes 56-seconds, only six seconds behind fifth fastest today, the Aussie-made Skelta G-Force driven by Queenslander Ray Vandersee.
"The car was very nice in today's conditions, it felt pretty good to drive and I'm fairly happy with how it felt," said Brock.
Defending Targa Tasmania champion Jason White clocked a disappointing time today finishing 11th fastest, but remained undeterred, admitting his experience behind the wheel of the 5-litre V10 Gallardo is minimal compared to what he enjoyed in his previous Targa-winning Nissan Skyline.
"This car is a hell of a lot of run to drive. I had a smooth run around those tight and squirmy street stages," said White.
Now seeded at the rear of the Shannons Classic Competition field for Day One was the fastest 'around town', New South Welshman Bill Pye, who completed the Temco Prologue with a time of 3-minutes 3-seconds with navigator Grant Geelan in their 1973 Porsche Carrera 3.
Tomorrow brings the first day of proper competition in the Targa Tasmania 2006 rally. Although not an overly challenging day for the competitors, competition truly revs up following the Devonport lunch break in the state's North East with Day One's four afternoon stages.
The field will take-off from the Official Launceston City Start in the Brisbane Street Mall and then embark on 59.49 competitive kilometres over the Matthew Flinders Northern Loop, arriving back in Launceston in the afternoon.
<pre> TARGA TASMANIA TEMCO PROLOGUE SCORES
drivetravel.com Modern Competition 1. 919 Jim Richards, VIC - Barry Oliver, TAS 2003 Porsche 911 GT2 CS 2:50:28 2. 978 Dean Herridge, WA - Bill Hayes, WA 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX 2:54:52 3. 996 Tony Quinn, QLD - Keith Wenn, TAS 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo 2:55:06 4. 998 Warwick Rooklyn, NSW - Linda Long, NSW 2005 Mitsubishi Evo IX 2:55:49 5. 972 Ray Vandersee, QLD - Jahmeil Taylor, SA 2004 Skelta G-Force 2:56:34 6. 974 Peter Brock, VIC - Mick Hone, VIC 2000 Daytona Coupe 2:56:40 7. 991 Kevin Weeks, SA - Rebecca Crunkhorn, SA 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo 2:56:70 8. 915 Robert Hughes, NSW - Ben Searcy, WA 2004 Mitsubishi Evo VIII 2:56:96 9. 817 Frank Purdy, QLD - Peter Symons, QLD 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo 2:57:47 10. 939 Max Warwick, VIC - Anne Gigney, TAS 2003 Porsche GT3 2:58:36
Other Competitors of Interest 16. Tony Longhurst, NSW - Michael de Vere 2005 Subaru WRX STi 19. Daryl Beattie, QLD - Scott Young, NSW 2006 Mitsubishi EVO IX 3:00:32 79. Greg Garwood, TAS - John Allen, QLD 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo 3:15:30
Shannons Classic Competition 1. 531 Bill Pye, NSW - Grant Geelan, NSW 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3 3:03:31 2. 615 Chris Crowe, NSW - Gavin Smith, VIC 1977 Holden Torana A9X 3:04:74 3. 613 Kim Barwick, TAS - Paul Walker, TAS 1977 Holden Torana LXSS 5000 3:04:89
Unique Cars Historic Competition 1. 131 John Lawson, VIC - Andrew Lawson, VIC 1938 Alpha Romeo Mille Miglia Spyder 4:10:04 2. 1 Graham Kent, TAS - Patricia Kent 1936 Ford V8 Coupe 4:21:44 3. 116 John Felder, VIC - Mark Burns, VIC 1930 Oakland 8-101 4:24:56 4. 135 Jock McLean, TAS - Geoffrey Reader, TAS 1916 Ford "T" Speedster 5:03:66
Unique Cars Classic Sprint Competition 1. 173 Simon Froude, VIC - Will Logan, TAS 1973 Porsche 911 RSR 3:18:95 2. 170 James Powell-Davies, TAS - Nick McShane, TAS 1977 BMW Alpina 533i 3:23:47 3. 180 Peter Bignold, TAS - Denis Bignold, TAS 1981 Holden HDT Group 3 SS Commodore 3:25:12