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Final day ... what the driver's said

Our reporter caught up with all the class winners and key competitors after a hugely successful 28th running of Targa Tasmania.

Nik Prieston and Dylan Braithwaite (1975 Fiat 131 Abarth Rallye). Photo credit: Angryman Photography.

OUTRIGHT/DUTTON GARAGE GT2

PAUL STOKELL:

I’ve always called Targa Tasmania the hardest event I’ve ever done.

It’s the most challenging and the most individual thing because you are out there on your own.

The conditions we had. We went from icy roads that were so slippery that you could hardly stay on them to high grip, high speed stuff and you’ve got to adapt pretty quickly.

To win a circuit racing championship you can never take it away but this means a lot.

KATE CATFORD:

This is very special and its long been a dream of mine. Sometimes you think its an unrealistic dream so I’m really excited to win Targa Tas.

In the wet conditions it took a lot of focus to get through those conditions. Paul really drew on all his experience in the wet to get us through.

Anything could and did happen so it’s great to be in this position.

MATT CLOSE:

About an hour before the start of the first stage today (Tinderbox) it started raining so that meant our chances of running Stokell down went out the window.

We also could have potentially run down Gus (Angus Kennard) had it of been dry.

So we just made a decision to bring it home.

To be a predominantly wet Targa and to be beaten by one four-wheel-drive we are massively happy with that.

GT4

ANGUS KENNARD:

“Today we were a bit nervous. We weren’t sure how the weather was going to play out. It got a bit wet and we thought we’d go out hard early and get a bit of a gap on (Matt) Close because it was tight between us and him.

After a couple of stages we were about a minute ahead. It made it a bit easier for us.

Most of the stages were wet and we were slipping all over the road a bit.

It was good fun in the Nissan. The car was really well prepared by the guys at Les Walken rallying.

My navigator Ian (Wheeler) made sure I kept under the speed limit on the roads in the transport stages.

SHANNONS CLASSIC GT

MICHAEL BRAY: It’s been pretty intense from the start to the finish with no let up.

The rules made it a bit challenging with the Downey crash at Strahan yesterday and there’s a few grey areas but we know where it’s at and we accept it.

SHANNONS CLASSIC

NIK PRIESTON: It was such a relief to get to the end, because we were limping due to clutch problems and starter motor issues. We weren’t even sure we would make it to the finish after the last competitive stage.

The last stage had a downhill start, so we were a bit lucky there.

We’ve been working hard for this one. We put a heap of work into the car.

It handles like a dream and it was predictable.

We’ve won Targa North West and now Targa Tasmania, so we’re chasing the championship now.

DUTTON GARAGE EARLY MODERN

GUY LILLEYMAN: We didn’t expect to wIn by such a big margin but the wet was good for us.

The teamwork between us is just getting so good and the car’s got so much to give. We’re just improving all the time.

This is our first Targa Tasmania win after being on the podium for the last two years, so it’s a relief to finally win it.

COUNTRY CLUB GT SPORTS TROPHY

STEVEN SHER: We didn’t expect to win, so I think we’ve ‘surprised ourselves and probably a few other teams as well.

We didn’t do a recce and we’ve never done a competitive event before and we didn’t even know what tyres to put on the car.

We’re chuffed with the result. We just went out to have fun and somehow we ended up being competitive, so we’ve had a great time.

SHANNONS THOROUGHBRED TROPHY

COWIE: It’s just sensational to be here at the end. At the start of the week we were just looking to settle into a groove and make it to the end.

It’s our first time here, so we’re stoked to be on the podium.

It’s a tough event and we were expecting that, so we did a fair bit of preparation. The car ran pretty much seamless for us.

BUDGET TSD TROPHY

DARRYL MARSHALL: This is a very special win for me. It’s my fourth straight and my third with Peter in the car and a record low points score.

We absolutely loved yesterday and today’s stages.

It’s an endurance event this one and we just seemed to step it up for the last two days.

This is the toughest event than every previous tarmac rally we’ve ever done.

SPIRIT OF TASMANIA ROOKIE RALLYE

KRISTIAN DOWNING: It’s great to finish, but even better to finish first in your class.

We’re thrilled. We had a fantastic week.

I had a look at the line-up at the start of the week and I thought we were a chance to be at the pointy end.

(but) I thought we probably deserved a third place, based on the cars and the experience of the drivers.

I’ve competed in GT Sports Trophy before, but this is our first time in open competition.

This year we stepped up and it’s been a great result.

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