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19 AUGUST 2014

The Shannons Porsche Cayman S driven by Jim Richards and navigated by Barry Oliver has taken out the Showroom class and was the first two wheel drive car in the 2014 Quit Targa West.

The four day event was run over 33 special stages covering 220 competitive kilometres and for the first time in the ten year history of the event contained a night stage which was run twice in the Malaga industrial estate.

The times recorded on these Thursday stages were not very quick in relation to the opposition as vision was an issue and Richards decided that at such an early stage in the event a conservative approach was the best way to go.

“The whole five kilometres was bordered by kerbs and it would have been easy to damage a wheel and tyre if you got it wrong”. said Richards. “I had trouble picking up the apexes and exit points and to add to the problem I was concerned about the positioning of some of the spectators who just appeared out of the darkness”.

The only problem the team had the following day was on a stage called Zig Zag which contained three very tight hairpins one of which was so tight the Cayman didn’t quite get round on the first run without backing up.”.

The second time a different approach saw the car get round without the need for a three point turn and the time was ten seconds faster than the first run.

The fourteen Saturday stages were run in the Toodyay and Chittering area and the flowing roads proved to be much better for the car which was running in totally standard configuration.

A highlight of the day was the sixteen kilometre Maryville Downs stage which was run in a rural housing estate and proved to be very popular with all the competitors. On Sunday there were just six stages with the first three run over a twelve kilometre Malaga course followed by three runs along the Swan river foreshore right in the centre of Perth.

Not surprisingly the Langley Park area was full of spectators ,who not only enjoyed the competition ,but had the opportunity to view a wonderful line up of display cars. The team were very happy with their 18th outright position in the eighty car field bearing in mind the cars that finished in front were all mega horsepower turbocharged four wheel drive cars.

“The car was absolutely fantastic and even though we are no longer competing for the outright positions it was still a great deal of fun. The car only has half the horsepower of the GT2 RS but the handling is so much different and better and the seven speed PDK paddle shift transmission is so much quicker than the standard H pattern gearbox”. said the defending Touring Car Masters Pro champion. .

The next tarmac rally for the team will be Targa High Country in November but Richards will have no time to relax as he will be heading to Sydney Motor Sport Park on Thursday for the next round of the TCM championship.

He will continue to run the faithful and very successful Shannons Falcon Sprint for the balance of the season and reintroduce the rebuilt Javelin in 2015.

“The Javelin is very close to being finished but at this stage in the championship I’m happy to continue with the Falcon which has served me so well. The reason it has taken so long is that we have focused on the TCM championship and the race preparation of the Falcon as well as the tarmac rallies so there is only so much time available to work on the rebuild. “said Richards.

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