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Showroom wrap - Leg 4

Day four and the atrocious wet conditions saw an end to racing car veteran Jim Richards’ bid to claim victory in a new category.

Richards and co-driver Barry Oliver crashed out on TS28 Riana.
Clinton Arentz
Day four and the atrocious wet conditions saw an end to racing car veteran Jim Richards’ bid to claim victory in a new category.

Richards and co-driver Barry Oliver crashed out on TS28 Riana.

“We came around the corner a bit wide and just grazed the fence. It’s holed the radiator and leaked the water out. We just turned the car off and parked it,” the eight-time Targa Tasmania winner said.  

It’s just the second time in 22 years the Targa’s pair has crashed out.

“We were having a great run. Last time (we crashed) it was the same story, a punctured radiator,” Oliver said.

Richards and Oliver were competing for the first time in the Showroom Sports category, in a new Porsche Cayman S.

“There’s a lot more disappointed people than just us out there. “Ours is a simple fix and we can go again,” Richards said.

“We’ll probably come back in the same car next year – if nothing bigger and better comes out!”

Richards had dominated the first three days of competition and with the champion now out of contention, the 2011 Audio TTRS of Michael Minshall moves into the lead, more than four minutes ahead of Glyn Crimp.

“We’ve been going cautiously today, even more cautiously than we’ve been approaching it so far.

“It’s a shame Jim (Richards) is out. As cool as it is to have a chance to win it, it would have been really cool to be up on the podium with Jim Richards,” Minshall said.

Circuit racer Clinton Arentz has secured a convincing lead over rival Ben Newman in the RDA Brakes Showroom Sports category and remains confident of staying on top of the Subaru on the final day of competition tomorrow.

It’s been a neck and neck battle between the pair with Arentz heading into the penultimate day of competition just five seconds ahead of the young and determined Newman. 
With boost issues, the Subaru team dropped 46 seconds in the first stage and by TS27 were one minute 30 sec off the pace.

Newman clawed back five seconds on TS28, but by days end Arentz had stemmed the flow and finished with a comfortable one minute 31 ahead.

Arentz said the wet suited his 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X well.

“We changed tyres last night, even though we still had plenty of tread.

“We’ve got two sets of tyres and we’ve got to use them somewhere, so today was as good a day as any, and judging by how they went, we’ll still have good rubber left when we get to Hobart,” he said.

It hasn’t been a good 24 hours for Newman and co-driver Crichton Lewis, but Lewis is hopeful of a better day tomorrow.

“We’re going to sort a few things out. It’s a new day tomorrow, so we’re going to focus on going faster and getting back into the grove,” Lewis said. 

Showroom category leader Andrew Bollom hit trouble early in today’s leg, which could have put at risk his unassailable lead.

Bollom, competing in 2011 renault Megane RS 250 with co-driver Lee Challoner-Miles  paid the price early of not changing tyres ahead of the rain.

“I made the mistake of not changing my tyres last night and we paid for it in the first two stages and we had a couple of close calls with spins, but we’ll definitely change them tonight,” Bollom said. 

“We’re still taking it fairly easy, but it’s hard to hold back on these great roads,” he said.
“It’s been extremely slippery and quite diabolical in some places today.”

Bollom extended his lead to over 14 minutes over todays seven stages and barring any setbacks on the final day, the top three of Bollom, Robinson and Spence look decided. 

RESULTS
RDA Brakes Showroom Sports
1. Michael Minshall/Kirrilee Gentleman, 2011 Audi TTRS
2. Glyn Crimp/Paul van der Mey, 2012 Audi TTRS, +4min 18s 

RDA Brakes Showroom 
1. Andrew Bollom/Lee Challoner-Miles, 2011 Renault Megane RS 250
2. Andrew Robinson/Thomas Browell, 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, +14min 47s
3. Adam Spence/Erin Kelly, 2013 Renault Megane RS 265, +41min 53s

RDA Brakes 4WD Showroom
1. Clinton Arentz/Dale Moscatt, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2. Ben Newman/Crichton Lewis, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +1min 31s
3. Ralph Norton/Malcolm Norton, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +9min 43s
4. Barrie Smith/Jan Smith, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, +10min 48s
5. Gregory Burrowes/Rhonda Burrowes, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +17min 19s

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