Queenslander Tony Quinn has claimed his second modern Targa Tasmania title in three years with an emphatic display across five days and 500km of intense competition around the island state.
The 2009 winner was the dominant force in the event in his Nissan GT-R. He and co-driver, Naomi Tillett, took the lead on Targa stage four on the opening day, and were never headed, crossing the finish line at Hobart’s Wrest Point 3min:39sec ahead of second placegetter, Dean Herridge, in a Subaru WRX STi. Matthew Sims was third, a further one minute 58 seconds in arrears in his R35 Nissan GT-R.
Herridge’s consolation was to claim the inaugural Australian Targa Championship, his consistency across Targa High Country in November, Targa Wrest Point in January and this event being rewarded.
In the Classics battle, Rex Broadbent made it five straight outright titles, once again showing mastery of the course in his 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera. He finished 4min:12sec ahead of local hope, David Cooper, driving a 1977 Torana A9X with Victorian Nic Ellis third, a further 39 seconds back in his 1977 Porsche 911.
Brendan Reeves/Rhianon Smythe showed his class in taking Showroom honours, setting times that placed him in the top five overall.
Blaise Paris/Raechel Krause took Early Modern honours in their Evo VI TME, Jack Waldron won Early Classic, Dwayne Rodgers secured the Late Classic title and Scott Millar/Chris Dean the winning 4WD Showroom competitor.
The Vintage Rallye went to John Lawson in his 1936 Alfa Romeo.
Quinn came to Targa for 10 years before finally securing his first win in 2009. Last year he finished third, but in 2011 the 53-year-old was in a class of his own.
“This is beautiful to win this,” Quinn said. “It’s something that I wanted to do since I knew it was the 20th year of the event.
“We had a bit of a noise in the front end this morning and we were panicking over Mt Arrowsmith and starting to take it easy, but we had a buffer so we cruised through a bit.
“This year our win has been well deserved, and Naomi and I as a team have come on in leaps and bounds.
“We’re learning so much about the car, but there are still things we need to do to it to make it a better package. We haven’t had much wet stuff to practice on, so I think we’ll get better as a package.”
Herridge came to tarmac rallying in 2006 after building his reputation on gravel. The Subaru driver rates his Australian Tarmac Championship win as one of his most significant achievements in motorsport.
“It’s been our aim to win the championship, and we thought we’d be a chance in that, but it’s sometimes hard to have our little Subaru battling against the Lambos and the GT-Rs,” Herridge said.
“It’s a thrill to win a championship, and I’m very proud to be second in what was arguably the most competitive Targa field that has ever been assembled.”
Broadbent has won the Classic outright title every year since 2007. This year his remarkable record faced the challenge of two-time World Rally Champion, Walter Rohrl, also in a Porsche.
But Rohrl struck mechanical troubles on day two. Broadbent was patient, easing his way into the event, taking the lead only on Saturday morning after Andrew Miedecke crashed his 1970 Ford Perana on the Cethana stage.
“Not in a million years did I think I’d win it five times,” Broadbent said.
“I come into this event thinking about it as 38 races, and even if you win 37 of them, but fail to finish the last, you don’t win.
You have to finish every stage, so that’s how I drive. I’m rarely the fastest, but consistency means I’m always there.
“As far as wins are concerned, the most recent is always the best, but this one has been memorable to be up against Walter Rohrl. That added an incredible amount of prestige to the event.
“In the rain he was clearly quicker, but we didn’t have to push that hard because we already had a buffer. You feel very satisfied after this sort of an event to be where we are.”
Tarmac magazine's Hankook Evolution X of Dean Evans and Toni Feaver were set for a 4th outright finish until the first stage of the final day when their car developed an engine miss cruelly forcing their retirement.
The first round of the 2011/12 Australian Targa Championship season gets underway with Classic Targa Adelaide, starting on September 13.
Pure Tasmania Modern Results (Prov)
1. Tony Quinn (Qld)/Naomi Tillett (SA), 2009 Nissan GT-R
2. Dean Herridge (WA)/Ben Searcy (WA), 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +03:39
3. Matthew Sims (SA)/Dennis Sims (SA), 2009 Nissan GT-R, +05:37
4. Tony Sullens (NSW)/Julia Barkley (NSW), 2008 Subaru WRX STi Spec C, +06:52
5. Jamie Vandenberg (Tas)/Simon Vandenberg (Tas), 2009 Mazda RX-8 SP, +6:54
6. Jim Richards (Vic)/Barry Oliver (Tas), 2011 Porsche GT2 RS, +07:55
Shannons Classic Outright Results (Prov)
1. Rex Broadbent (Vic)/Chris Randell (Vic), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS
2. David Cooper (Tas)/Jason Dann (Tas), 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +04:12
3. Nicholas Ellis (Vic)/Travis Lacey (Vic), 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +04:51
4. Jon Siddins (Qld)/Darren Ferguson (Qld), 1970 Datsun 240Z, +07:08
5. Paul Freestone (Vic)/Christine Freestone (Vic), 1948 Holden 215, +15:10
Shannons Late Classic Handicap Results (Prov)
1. Duane Rodgers (Vic)/Paul Rodgers (NZ), 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera
2. Nicholas Ellis (Vic)/Travis Lacey (Vic), 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera, +05:08
3. Jon Siddins (Qld)/Darren Ferguson (Qld), 1970 Datsun 240Z, +06:39
4. Peter Ullrich (NSW)/Sari Ullrich (NSW), 1963 Jensen CV8, +07:00
5. Greg Sutton (ACT)/Paul Kelly (NSW), 1979 Mazda RX-7, +09:01
Shannons Early Classic Handicap Results (Prov)
1. Jack Waldron (Vic)/Vin Gregory (Vic), 1955 Fiat Abarth 750
2. Paul Freestone (VIC) / Christine Freestone (VIC), 1948 Holden 215, +00:08
3. Andrew White (NT)/Ashley Yelds (USA), 1961 Volvo 122S, +02:18
4. Scott Kent (Tas)/Wayne Kent (Tas), 1965 Ford Mustang, +02:29
5. Paul Batten (Vic)/Mike Batten (NSW), 1961 Volvo PV544, +06:22
Pure Tasmania Early Modern Results (Prov)
1. Blaise Paris (WA)/Raechel Krause (WA), 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI TME, 33:10
2. Andrew Richmond (Vic)/Matt James-Wallace (WA), 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R V Spec II N1, +03:32
3. Ric Shaw (NSW)/James Parish (NSW), 2000 Mazda RX-7, +04:40
4. David Ayers (TAS)/Robbie Bolton (ACT), 1997 Nismo 400R, +04:41
5. Steve Spada (NSW)/Christina Condon (NSW), 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, +07:37
Pure Tasmania Showroom Results (Prov)
1. Brendan Reeves (Vic)/Rhianon Smyth (Vic), 2009 Mazda3 MPS
2. Michael Sinclair (Vic)/Bill Hayes (WA), 2009 Skoda Octavia RS, +14:45
3. Andrew Mckay (Vic)/Alex Hailstone (NSW) 2006 Mazda MX-5, +34:12
4. Kelly Silverthorn (Canada)/Duane Bentley (Canada) 2007 Mazda MX-5, +45:08
TMR Performance 4WD Showroom Results (Prov)
1. Scott Millar (Qld)/Christopher Dean (Qld), 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X RS
2. Tony Warren (Tas)/Greg Boyle (NSW), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX RS +06:21
3. Ralph Norton (Tas)/Malcolm Norton (Tas), 2010 Subaru WRX STi +08:54
4. Greg Burrowes (Qld)/Rhonda Burrowes (Qld), 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, +13:37
5. Michael Minshall (Vic)/Paul van der Mey (WA), 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +17:46
Shannons Vintage Rallye (Prov)
1. John Lawson/Andrew Lawson, 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Spyder
2. Wayne Clark/Roger Richardson, 1938 Dodge Speedster Special, +4m40s
3. Martin Wilson/Kevin Pitt, 1934 Jaguar SS Special, +22m44s