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Class action - day 2 at High Country

Check out all the action - class by class - from Day 2 at Targa High Country, where the action was hot in and car, and out.
Eddie Maguire leads Modern
Showroom 4WD – all square

The Showroom classes provided some of the biggest battles of the day, but it was the 4WD stoush between a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and a Subaru WRX STI that really captured the interest of Targa High Country fans.

Angus Kennard started the day in his Subaru WRX four seconds clear of the Mitsubishi Evo of Stewart Lidddle.

Liddle won the day’s first two stages, they tied on the third and Kennard took the fourth to go to lunch all locked up.

The Evo driver moved one second ahead after TS11, the first of the reverse stages. But not to be outdone, it was Kennard who was fastest on TS12, but only by a second and the two cars were tied again. 

On TS13, it was again a dead heat, and with the Mansfield stage easy to clean, the pair go into the final day square, with no-one prepared to make a prediction as to which way it will go on the final day.

Liddle was pleased to be able to take a break at the end of an incredible day of racing.

“Equal at lunch and we got Angus to one side and told him he was going to have to slow down a little bit because we’re better looking guys and we’ve travelled further than him, but he obviously didn’t listen,” Liddle said.

“You’d have to think that both cars are just about exactly the same in performance, and he’s keeping us honest.

“We’ve had absolutely no problems whatsoever, and I know Angus is the same, so we just look forward to tomorrow where it will be game on!

“The 30km stage in both directions tomorrow is the one that we’re both looking at, and if you can push really hard all the way through, then it can be a real advantage.”

Showroom – intense battle

In Showroom, Jim Richards in a Porsche Caymen S, had started the day with a six second buffer, having charged up Mt Buller last night to grab the class lead at the end of the first day.

But after a morning of pushing hard, Neill Ford, in a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, moved ahead of Richards on TS9, extending the gap by a further three seconds on TS10 to take a five second lead in to lunch.

Overnight third, Kym De Britt, lost a heap of time on TS10 to suddenly find himself just four seconds ahead of Tristan Stirling-Cameron at the Pizzini Wines lunch stop.

After the break, Ford took another five seconds off Richards on TS11. But the veteran was fastest on the next stage, but only by a second, so after a total of 12 stages just nine seconds separated the pair.

The day ended with the margin back at 10 seconds, but Richards knows the final day well and has another run up Mt Buller where he always thrives - it must be something about being on a mountain for the Bathurst legend.

“We said we were going to get stuck into it today and we’ve had a great day,” Ford said. “The team prepared this car absolutely magnificently, and everything’s gone to plan.

“Today’s stages were built for this car - supercharged with 638 horsepower and 520 horsepower at the back wheels. Everything is stock standard from the showroom, including the tyres, so it’s a fantastic car.”

But with one day to go, and being up against a legend, Ford knows it promises to be another fascinating contest on the final day of what is already a very memorable Targa High Country.

Late Classic – Nunn flying

Not only was Launceston’s Peter Nunn dominating in Classic Outright, he was more than holding his own in the Late Classic handicap, taking a 49 second break to lunch ahead of Triumph of Craig Haysman.

Across the afternoon’s four stages, Nunn pushed hard, finishing the day with a one minute two second advantage over the South Australian TR7 V8 driver.

In third place, one minute 37 seconds behind Nunn, is Steve McClintock and Jann Skinner in their well-prepared 1985 RX-7.

“We had an overheating problem last night and I was a bit worried about that, but I think every car is running a bit hot today,” Nunn said in Mansfield.

“We’ve been pushing reasonably hard but taking no risks.

“We’ve gone to a turbocharged engine for this event which has put us back into the classic competition instead of early modern, so it’s got a bit more power and torque which makes it a little easier to drive.

Haysman has not given up all hope, despite a testing day.

 “We’ve got major diff problems that started yesterday afternoon and that we attempted to repair last night, but when the oil gets hot we don’t have any drive out of the corners” Haysman said.

“I’ve had to adjust my driving style to manage the car a little bit so that we can get through today, and hopefully tonight we can fix it so that the limited slip diff works again.

“Our only option is to fix it tonight, otherwise it’s not worth continuing tomorrow, but I’m confident we can do that.

“I love tomorrow’s stages, so the whole team is determined to get the car fixed and ready for an attack on the final day.

“We’re 53 seconds behind Peter Nunn, and that’s within reach if the car’s right. I’m confident we can make up the time without any problems at all.”

Early Classic – Jensen class

Peter Ullrich, is the leader of Early Classic, competing with a new co-driver, Roger Carter, in the 1963 Jensen CV8.

The pair had three minute 10 second lead at the Pizzini stop, over Ross and Jill Steuart’s 1962 Ford Anglia 105e. The demise of the Knappstein’s Datsun 240Z on the day’s second stage left the Jensen driver with a huge advantage.

The afternoon was set up for an interesting contest for the minor podium placings.

Just 36 seconds separated second to fourth, with Roger Lomman’s 1972 Datsun 240Z 26 seconds behind the Steuarts, and Ted Banks another 10 seconds in arrears in his 1971 Porsche 916.

On the run back to Mt Buller, Ullrich pressed on, and finished the day with a four minute 42 second advantage over the Steuarts. Ted Banks remains in third place just six seconds further back. 

“It’s been really hot and we’ve had a bit of fuel starvation, and this is Roger’s first time navigating, but we’ve finally got it right,” Ullrich said.

“We’ve been a bit off the pace because of the fuel vaporization, but sometimes off the pace is a bit safer.

“It’s encouraging that we’ve got a good lead, but tomorrow’s the longest day, so we haven’t really started yet.”

Early Modern – WA win looms

Overnight leaders Jason Whitburn and Bernie Webb made a solid start to Day 2 at Targa High Country.

Driving a 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5 TME, the pair extended their led on the day’s opening four stages.

Early on the team in overnight second, Paul Downie and Nicole Bryan, pushed hard in their 2001 Evo, actually taking time off Whitburn, but mechanical problems slowed their charge, but they managed to limp to lunch.

Car 821, the 2000 Evo 6 of Ben Calder and David Rowe, took over their spot on second on the class leaderboard, still in touch 26 seconds behind at lunch. 

The Kaplans, Adam and David in the powerhouse 1988 HSV Group A SS, were third, 34 seconds back. They were in a three way tussle, with Steve Bowen’s 1994 Evo 2 just seven seconds behind, and Daniel Ford’s 2002 Subaru WRX STI just five seconds further back.

Whitburn was quickest out of the blocks after lunch, building his buffer to 34 seconds.

Calder was fastest on TS12, but only by a second, ahead of the leader and also Downie, who had managed some running repairs to his Evo at lunch after a horror morning on the road.

Whitburn and Webb finished the day with a 29 second lead, but across the second day Calder and Rowe have shown they are fighters who will continue the battle to the very end at Mt Buller on Sunday.

Sports Trophy – Ben in control

Ben Newman, driving an F-Type Jagaur for the first time in Targa competition, holds a handy one minute 41 second buffer going in to the final day of competition at Targa High Country.

But it hasn’t been all easy for the Tasmanian combination of Newman and co-driver Crichton Lewis, who have completed all their other Targa events in a Subaru WRX STI.

The pairing of Martin and Angela Karkas, in a 2001 BMW M3, has kept them honest, even taking a few fastest stage times from the Tasmanian combination.

“I'm really enjoying the change to the Jaguar, although it is totally different to the Subaru. It has an extra 250 horsepower and is rear wheel drive,” Newman said. 

“It is the total opposite to the Subaru really.”

“This car is 100% showroom spec, where as the little BMW we're running against is running racing tyres, so it's a great battle.”

Husband and wife combo all class in TDS

Alan and Heather Gluyas have continued their domination of the RDA Brakes TSD Trophy, holding a substantial 58-point advantage at the end of the second day.

The husband and wife duo, and their Toyota 86 GTS, has been uncatchable over the event’s 14 stages held so far.

Adam Gosling and Jonathan Sperling have moved into second place in their 2011 BMW E90 M3, while Gerard Knapp and Roger Campbell had a good second day to be third, just 39 points behind Gosling.

The category’s Targa Wrest Point winners, Gerry Ashford and 1970 Australian Rally Champion, Bob Watson, are in fourth place in their Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico, just seven points away from another podium place.

The Waldock/Kirby combination are also still eyeing a podium finish. The beautiful Jaguar V8 F-Type Coupe R is just a point behind Bashford in the standings.

It appears that only misfortune can rob the Gluyas’ of a well-deserved Targa High Country victory on the final day.

Thoroughbread Trophy - Battle still on

Keith and Karl Brookes may have thought they had the Thoroughbred Trophy category all stitched up mid-way through the second day of Targa High Country, with a handy one minute and four second lead.

Driving a 1980 Porsche 911, they appeared to be in full control, but Derek Jones and Joel Guest had other ideas.

The 1972 Datsun 240Z pairing started pegging back that advantage, and by the time the stage around the streets of Mansfield was finished on Saturday afternoon, the margin was back to just 20 seconds.

Brett Dillon and Geoffrey Corah in a 1968 Porsche 911 are well back in third place, nearly three minutes from the lead.

It’s all set for a fascinating final day, with Brookes hoping to hang on, and Jones determined to claim an unlikely victory.

Modern - Eddie holds on

In the battle for Modern honours, Eddie Maguire continued where he left off on the opening day, building a handy buffer of 29 seconds over the Nissan Skyline of Tim Hendy on the road from Mt Buller to Victoria’s King Valley and back.

Adam Spence and Erin Kelly had a good day a good day in their first outing in the 2011 Nissan GTR, finishing two minutes 20 seconds behind Maguire.

Toby Gill and Sam Tapping, in a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, are just 12 seconds further back, so look out for that contest tomorrow because both would love a podium placing.

“Things went fairly well today, although I think the roads suited Tim’s (Hendy) car a bit better, but tomorrow should suit us more so we’ll just plug away and keep going,” Maguire said.

“We’ve had a few little glitches, but I think that’s just because of the serious temperatures we’ve had today.

“I really think that tomorrow will be our day, and with Pete Nunn doing so well in the classics, it’s been a great event for the Tassie boys.”

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