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Sutcliffe and Mitchell lead Early Modern

The Dutton’s Garage Early Modern competition has seen an intriguing battle on day two of Targa Tasmania, with the leading drivers jostling for position over the six stages and 75 competitive kilometres.

Joshua Sutcliffe and Jon Mitchell

On the opening stage, High Plains, the 2006 Subaru S204 of Joshua Sutcliffe and Jon Mitchell took over the Early Modern lead, finishing the stage nine seconds faster than the overnight leader, Liam and Larry Howarth, to open up an eight second buffer.

On the Sheffield stage, Sutcliffe was again the pace setter, extending his lead out to 16 seconds.

Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney were consistent in their 2004 BMW M3 CSL, holding on to their overnight third placing but unable to take time off the leading two on the first two stages.

All the leading cars cleaned the Nook stage.

Stephen Thatcher and Phillip Parker (1994 Nissan ATTKD Select R SP) started the day tied for third, but by the lunch stop in Latrobe they had slipped back to 11th.

On Moriarty, Sutcliffe was again quickest, his lead now up 22 seconds over Howarth. Kaplan was second fastest on the stage.

On TS8, the 16.38 kilometre Paloona, Sutcliffe made his intentions clear, extending his buffer over the Skyline to 43 seconds. Sutcliffe and Mitchell continued on their merry way on Mt Roland, to finish the day with a 46 second buffer over the Howarths, with Kaplan and Penney another 41 seconds back, one minute 27 seconds behind the leader.

“We had always hoped to be leading,” Sutcliffe said. “We’ve worked on our strengths today and we’ll try to build a bit of a buffer and hopefully hold it for the rest of the event.

“Our Subaru’s strength is in the tight and twisty stuff, but we seem to be going okay in the high-speed stuff as well.

“It’s all about keeping speed in the car as we’re down on horsepower compared to some of the other cars we’re competing against, so we really have to keep the car moving through the high-speed stuff.”

Duttons Garage Early Modern – after day 2 of 6 (results provisional)

Joshua Sutcliffe/Jon Mitchell 2006 Subaru S204 +01s 

Liam Howarth/Larry Howarth 1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GTR V-Spec +46 secs

Adam Kaplan/Aleshia Penney, 2004 BMW M3 CSL +1min 27secs

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