Tony Quinn upgrading Porsche for Targa Tasmania

Tony Quinn to race same model Porsche as Jim Richards in Targa. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10: Tony Quinn, runner-up in the 2001 Targa Tasmania tarmac rally, believes he has boosted his chances of winning next week's event by upgrading to the same model...

Tony Quinn to race same model Porsche as Jim Richards in Targa.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10: Tony Quinn, runner-up in the 2001 Targa Tasmania tarmac rally, believes he has boosted his chances of winning next week's event by upgrading to the same model Porsche raced by defending champion Jim Richards.

Quinn will contest the 1,977km rally from April 16-21 in one of three all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 turbo cars entered, with the others driven by five-times winner Richards and Sydney's Ray Lintott.

In Targa 2001 Quinn raced a normally-aspirated and rear-drive Porsche GT3, finishing 2-mins 19-secs behind Richards, who won in one of the 460-horsepower turbo models both will have this year.

"Jim (Richards) is a great driver, so to have any chance of winning I thought I'd need to get on an equal footing with him and be in the same type of car," said Quinn.

"It's doubtful I can run at Jim's speed, regardless of the car, but perhaps I can stay closer to him and be in a better situation to take advantage of any problems he might have."

The Gold Coast-based businessman prepared for Targa by driving his new turbo Porsche in the Rally Tasmania event in February, and finished second to Richards.

"That was the first time I'd driven the turbo car in competition, and even with a standard suspension we went progressively quicker so there's room for more improvement in Targa," said Quinn.

"There's quite a big difference between the (Porsche) GT3 I raced in Targa last year, which was a marvellous car, and the new 911 turbo."

"The turbo car is heavier and it lunges out of the corners. You have to be a little bit more careful because of the extra wheelspin."

Quinn, who will be partnered by Tasmanian navigator Keith Wenn in Targa for a third successive year, believes the past domination of the Porsches could be eroded by new regulations which have doubled the compulsory penalty for any tyre changes from 1-min to 2-mins.

"This is really tough on the Porsches, which traditionally chew through the tyres more than some of the other cars," he said.

Quinn said it was possible the new penalty could favour the production-based all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evo models, which were eligible for this year's 43-stage event.

"We have no form guide for the Subarus and Mitsubishis because this is their first year, but they are rally-bred cars, even in production trim," he said.

"In the right hands they could be very competitive, especially if we have to start throwing tyres at our Porsches with double the penalty from last year."

Quinn said that the Targa event had important promotional spin-offs for his business V.I.P. Petfoods.

"We do a lot of business in Tasmania and Targa is a fantastic way for us to advertise our products to all parts of the State," he said.

Quinn's other motorsport sponsorships with his business include backing Brisbane driver Cameron McLean in the V8 Supercar Championship, and naming-rights to the V.I.P. Petfoods Queensland 500 at Ipswich.

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

Apart from Quinn, Richards, and Lintott, other leading entries include nine-times Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock and V8 Supercar driver Steven Richards in works V8 Holden Monaros, Rick Bates in a factory-supported Mazda RX-7 SP, triple Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates in a Lexus IS200, and Nations Cup leader Paul Stokell of Tasmania in a Volkswagen Beetle RSi.

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 , Rick Bates , Cameron McLean , Peter Brock , Tony Quinn , Paul Stokell , Ray Lintott , Steven Richards