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Macleod and Hunter set winning pace at Targa North West

The Launceston team of Trevor Macleod and Scott Hunter have taken the overall win at the inaugural running of the of the Burnie-based Targa North West, which provides a key lead up event to the annual Targa Tasmania. 
Trevor Macleod and Scott Hunter in their Subaru Impreza STI - Photo credit: Angryman Photography
An experienced field of 40 cars hit the roads Saturday afternoon, but Macleod and Hunter surprised their more fancied rivals in their Subaru WRX STI to claim the Overall victory after an intense battle with Jason and John White in their Dodge Viper ACR.

 Macleod and Hunter also claimed the GT4 victory ahead of the Canberra-based combination of Barrie Smith and Bernie Webb, who drove a smart race in their Audi TTRS. 

 While White had to settle for second overall he took the GT2 Competition win ahead of Mike Pritchard and Gary Mourant in a similar Viper. 

The conditions were tricky for the one-day event, with the Hellyer Gorge stage dry and Savage River stage wet, providing an intriguing battle between the two wheel and four-wheel drive cars.

 Macleod and Hunter won Targa Hellyer Gorge last year, so the pair came to this event with form and it was on the amazing Savage River stage that they made the most of their 4WD advantage to take very handy lead into lunch. They then repeated the effort on the reverse of the stage to enter the return trip through Hellyer Gorge with a comfortable lead and then drove smartly on the final stage to secure a very well-deserved overall win. 

 Naturally, the Launceston stockfeed business owner was delighted with his win.

 “We’ve only been doing this for three years and we came into it with no motorsport experience before that, so how cool is it to be able to get out on the roads we grew up with and go out and get a win,” Macleod said. 

 “We are building up each event – picking up more knowledge and improving every time out.” 

 “I enjoyed the tight twisty stuff even on Savage River, even in the wet today. It’s a sensational stretch of road and really suits the Subaru STI.” 

 Peter Nunn and Keith Johnstone were never headed in their Porsche 944 Turbo to win Classic GT and will now focus on their GT2 debut at Targa Tasmania. Joshua Sutcliffe and Jon Mitchell showed plenty of speed in their Subaru WRX Sti to win the Dutton Garage Early Modern ahead of Igor Van Gerwen and Anthony Brandsema in their Celica GT4. 

 Ashely Yelds and Charlie Hughes won the Classic competition on debut in their stunning Volvo 122S with a steady and consistent drive throughout the day.

 In the speed-limited GT Sports Trophy competition, Richard Woodman and Marcus Towle, in a Subaru WRX STI, led from start to finish to win.

 In all, the first running of Targa North West went well under mostly sunny skies as the North West Coast of Tasmania again showed it’s true beauty to the hundreds of people involved in the event.

 Event Director was delighted with the running of the event.

 “The event went off really well and was a great hit-out for competitors on some brilliant Targa roads,” Perry said.

 “All eyes will now focus on the 26th running of Targa Tasmania from April 24 to 29.”

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