The second leg of the 2015 Quit Targa West took competitors through 118 kilometres of classic targa stages, with long country roads winding through the Australian bush backdrop in Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook.
The Classic Competition standings remained relatively unchanged today. However, the same cannot be said for the Modern Competition, which saw a series of standing changes due to mechanical issues.
The close chase between Paul Moltoni and Simon Gunson continued, with Moltoni winning six stages and Gunson winning seven, plus both teams scoring an equal first on a stage. Both teams finished in the same positions they started in, with Paul Moltoni and co-driver Lisa White in the Porsche 911 RS almost two minutes ahead of Simon Gunson and co-driver Jurgen Lunsmann in the Ford Capri Perana.
David Moir and Evan Cockram also remain unchanged in third position. After eight Targa Wests, David is selling his 240Z and hanging up his helmet at the end of the event.
“This is my last event – I’m going to retire after this,” said Moir.
“Third is a better position than I thought I’d be in. There are quite a lot of powerful cars here and some have had problems – so I’ve fallen over the line as it were. We are very pleased how our event is going.
“Today’s stages suit our car. We don’t have a lot of power, so we need long fast country roads and today’s got them!”
Moir / Cockram sit 4.40 minutes off the leaders, with the fourth-placed Mustang of Kim Stewart and Frank Zanotti a further 1.07 minutes off the pace.
It was a heartbreaking morning for Brett Wilkinson and Matthew Edgar. They started the day in first but were out of the competition by the third stage when their Mitsubishi Evo 9 experienced engine trouble.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t the way we wanted to go out but I can’t help mechanical dramas - that’s motorsport! At least we went out on a high,” said Wilkinson.
Despite taking a 30 second penalty to get his mechanical dramas sorted last night, Peter Major remains in first overall and on track to clinch his third Quit Targa West victory.
For much of the day, Brett Morse and Rodney Ng occupied second overall, until they too had mechanical issues which saw them end the day in fifth, 5 minutes behind Major / Flood.
“We’re just going to keep chipping away,” said Morse.
“This is our first year in this car and we’re still getting used to it.”
Second place then became the property of Matt O’Neill and Mandy Lister, who are 51 seconds behind Major / Flood. Third place was claimed by father-daughter team Stuart and Carly Liddle who are 2.49 minutes off the pace.
Today’s stage times were dominated by Peter Rullo and Jimmy Marquet in their Nissan GTR, with ten stage wins. Unfortunately, the mechanical dramas plaguing the team the past two days have put them out of podium contention.
Modern: Adrian Stefan and Alan Matthewson’s mended BMW 335i made its return to the course today, claiming victory on six of the stages. But, it was the duo of Sharon Gunson and Helen Lunsmann in the Mitsubishi Evo 7 that once again lead the pack, with second placed George and Kerry Watts 1.41 minutes behind.
Classic: Paul Thompson and Vanessa Saunderson started the day on a level pegging with Martin Eyer and Benn Russell, but after winning 11 of the 14 stages, the Eyer / Russell duo put themselves 20 seconds ahead.
Tomorrow is the final chance that competitors will have to secure a place on the 2015 Quit Targa West podium. In the morning, competitors return to Malaga to compete in three tight technical stages before they head to the Perth CBD for the final three stages on Riverside Drive, near Supreme Court Gardens.
The 2015 Quit Targa West winners will then take to the podium in Supreme Court Gardens at 3.30pm.
The 2015 Quit Targa West runs from August 13 to 16. The 134 competitors, including Bathurst legend Jim Richards and his co-driver Barry Oliver, will complete in 34 stages and 250 competitive kilometres through Wanneroo, Malaga, Whiteman Park, Kalamunda, Toodyay, Lower Chittering, Bullsbrook, and Perth City.
For more information on 2015 Quit Targa West entries, road closures, event program and spectator locations please refer to www.targawest.com.au.
The 2015 Quit Targa West is proudly sponsored by Healthway and the Quit message.
SUNDAY 16 August 2015 - Leg 3
8.45am to 11.45am 12km Special Stages in Malaga, always awesome action
10.00am to 1.00pm Targa City Sprint - Exotic, Historic and Classic race car sprints.
10.00am to 3.30pm Shannons Classics on the Park display in Supreme Court Gardens
1.00pm to 3.30pm Grand Finale City of Perth Super Special Stage on Riverside Drive
& Governors Ave.
3.30pm to 4.00pm Podium Finish under the Arch on Supreme Court Gardens