SOLID FIFTH PLACE IN TARGA WREST PORT FOR RICHARDS
11 FEBRUARY 2013
The third round of the CAMS Targa Championship held in southern Tasmania has resulted in a solid fifth placing in the Modern competition for Jim and navigator Barry Oliver in the Shannons Porsche GT2RS
The two day event covered fourteen targa stages over 210 competitive kilometres and was run in dry conditions.
After a shakedown stage at Lucaston the first competitive stage was run over twenty two kilometres into the famed Airwalk tourist centre south west of Geeveston with the team losing a little time to the front runners due to a conservative run to check out the conditions.
Teams had been warned there was gravel in places due to holes being patched in the lead up to the event so discretion was the order of the day.
The reverse run produced a much quicker time before the crew headed to the Esperance stage near Dover ,which was very technical ,but Jim was happy with the time.
The Airwalk stage was then repeated in both directions producing some very competitive times but it was obvious that any chance of beating the front running 4WD Lamborghini ,Audi and R35 Nissan GTR wasn't a possibility unless they encountered problems.
"The final stage of the day at Longley was extremely rough and bumpy to the point that Oliver had trouble focusing on the notes and not surprisingly the team dropped a lot of time.
" It was impossible to drive the car any faster as there was a very good chance that we would have speared off the road." said Richards.
"The other cars with their better weight distribution handle those conditions much better than the Porsche with all it's weight out the back so it didn't come as a surprise that we lost time to a number of teams." said Richards.
Unfortunately the first stage of day two at Pelverata was even worse than Longley and the team were very pleased when the 15 kilometre stage was over.
What followed was two runs over stages at Nicholls Rivulet ,Gardner's Bay and Cygnet with contrasting road conditions on each.
Nicholls Rivulet was very smooth ,Gardners Bay was reasonable but Cygnet was very rough so it was a mixed bag as far as times were concerned.
"Overall I was happy with the result and we finished where I thought we would bearing in mind the level of competition". said Richards
Over the weekend the car performed faultlessly requiring no servicing apart from putting fuel in the tank and cleaning the windscreen which augers well for Targa Tasmania in April.
The final round of the CAMS Tarmac Championship will be run over six days and cover three times as many competitive kilometres as Targa Wrest Point so reliability is going to be the key ingredient to success.
The Modern competition in Targa Wrest Point was won by Jason and John White in their Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo which won most of the fourteen stages despite having gear selection issues on the first day.
Second place went to Matt and Casey Close in the Audi TTRS from the R35 Nissan GTR of Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett and the similar car of Peter Rullo and Simon Iseppi in fourtH.
So far 170 entries have been received for Targa Tasmania with organisers Octagon anticipating the final entry to be around 190.
Recently released information indicates that there have been a few changes to the course from last year but all of the traditional stages have been retained.
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