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What they said - Day 3 driver quotes

Lots of happy people at the end of Targa High Country - happy to talk to our reporter. It seems like it was a great day out on the roads and the end to a wonderful year of Targa.

Thanks to Angryman Photography for some great visuals across the weekend.

MARK MELETOPOULO (GT Sports Trophy) – We tied for the class win here last year, but we were determined not to let it happen again this time.

We de-laminated rear tyre after lunch, but limped through the last third of the stage without losing too much time and made it to the service stop.

We had a bit of a buffer at the start of the day, so it was handy we could afford to back off when we had dramas.

We put two new rear tyres on but they weren’t exactly what we wanted so we didn’t hammer it too much after that – just enough to keep our lead.

STEPHEN MARLIN (EARLY MODERN) – We were in a good position at the start of the day I drove fairly consistently today as I have done all weekend.

When the Howarths de-laminated a tyre in the Jamieson stage, they dropped a few minutes and we inherited the lead.

We had a decent buffer over the next car, so I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself at that stage just because we were in front.

We just pushed on and tried not to go too slow and just maintain the pace we were at.

I was having a look at some of the outright times too and we picked up ninth outright, so it was pretty good to get a top 10 outright result as well.

MICHAEL BRAY (Overall Classic CAMS title) – We melted a rotor button on the last stage and it went gone down into the distributor.

A very disappointing end for us.

It’s a bitter-sweet result for us, winning the championship, but ending the way we did today – you want to finish every event you go in.

We’re pleased for the Downey boys and their team winning today.

They deserve it – they’ve taken some hard knocks before today and we’ve had a really good run in Targa events for the last two years, so we can’t really complain.

From day one when the championship was announced, we said 100% we’re up for it.

We committed to it straight up and said we wanted to be a part of it, so now we’ve realised the dream.

MICK DOWNEY (Classic GT) – I’m pretty excited.

We went like a bull at a gate this morning and ripped 20 seconds out of Adam Kaplan and then he de-laminated a tyre, so we had a 56 second margin for the final stage.

It was a pretty tense drive up the mountain, but we brought it home.

I’m a very happy man, especially after Targa High Country last year.

I killed my pride and joy, the Torana, but bought the Commodore home, so I’m bloody happy.

PAUL STOKELL (Overall Modern CAMS title) – We had a pretty conservative day and it was all about finishing in the top 10 and winning the championship.

We just wanted to build a buffer early and then keep it in the top 10.

We had a fair bit up our sleeve so we just cruised up the last stage.

We didn’t push it at all – we just got to the top and did a few doughnuts so I’m pretty happy.

It was actually harder to drive slower than fast – not brilliant, but I apologised to my co-driver and tell him we had to take is easy because I couldn’t afford to make a mistake.

The championship means a lot to me.

It’s cool being a different discipline – I’ve done a lot of circuit racing and people tend to bag out circuit drivers in rallying, so it’s very satisfying for me.

I’m pretty happy to be still winning championships at my age to be honest.

PAUL DOWIE (GT4) – It was a great weekend for us but the focus after yesterday was on getting the best outright result we could get.

We wanted to hold sixth place (outright) and we dropped to seventh at one stage, but Paul Stokell had obviously backed off in the final stage to conserve his championship, so we pulled sixth place back.

This is the second year in a row we’ve won GT4 in Targa High Country so that’s a bonus.

The placings weren’t the highlight for me, but the improvement I’d made in my driving.

PETER TAYLOR (TSD) – We really didn’t expect to win, so we’re very happy.

I didn’t think we’d do anywhere near that well.

We had a good points lead at the start today, so all we had to do today was behave ourselves and not make any mistakes.

Because we had a decent lead from yesterday, no-one could catch us as long as we did the right thing.

It’s our first Targa win.

Christmas Closure Dates

Targa Australia Offices will be closed from Friday 21st December, 2018 and re-opening Monday 7th January, 2019.

2018 was a very big year for the Targa family, a year that included our first brand new event since 2010 in Targa Great Barrier Reef, which was a massive success in its first year. 

We would like to wish all of our loyal customers, sponsors and officials a very joyous and safe Christmas and New Year period.

We look forward to seeing you all at a Targa Australia event in 2019.


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