STEADY RUN TO FOURTH PLACE FOR JIM AND BARRY IN TARGA TASMANIA.
5 MAY 2015
Jim Richards and Barry Oliver have enjoyed a trouble free run in the Shannons Porsche Cayman S in the six day Targa Tasmania event which finished in Hobart on Saturday May 2.
For only the third time in the 24 year history the entire event was rain free allowing teams to enjoy the best possible conditions and drive their cars at fully competitive speeds.
The Porsche never missed a beat on it’s way to a solid fourth place in the competitive two wheel drive Showroom class finishing behind winners Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett in their new McLaren 650S ,Grant Denyer and Alex Gelsomino in the Renault Megane 265 and Craig Dean and Jenny Cole in the Ford Mustang.
“Obviously we would like to have been faster but at the end of the day we drove at a pace that was both comfortable and safe and that’s the way we have always treated the tarmac rallies we compete in”. said Jim..
“By their very nature tarmac rallies are more dangerous than circuit racing so you have to treat each part of the 500 competitive kilometres with a great deal of respect”. said the eight time Targa Tasmania outright winner.
“It’s obvious that the leading teams in each class are more committed to their notes than we are but once you start pushing the envelope there is less margin for error and if you get it wrong the consequences don’t bear thinking about”. said Barry.
The event started off in controversial circumstances when officials imposed a five minute penalty on a total of 71 teams for breaching a regulation that required them to complete the first three stages on day one without going under the nominated minimum time for the stage or slowing to under 30 kph or stopping on the stage.
The purpose of the regulation was to prevent the crews from going faster than necessary before they had a chance to dial into the event and give them a chance to scrub their tyres and bed in the brakes.
In the past cars have crashed on early stages where the base time was easily achieved simply because they went far too fast too early.
Overnight the penalties were squashed on a technicality so times were reinstated and while that was good news to the 71 crews, including some who ultimately finished on the podium, it was frustrating for the ones who did the right thing and abided by the bulletin and the notification at briefing
There was further drama on day two when officials, who were setting up the Mole Creek stage, discovered a large quantity of oil had been deliberately poured on a tight right hand bend causing the stage to be downgraded.
This act of sabotage was roundly condemned and Tasmania Police are currently investigating the matter.
The cars are limited to a maximum of six tyres for the event and the Cayman was so easy on tyres that it would have gone the whole distance on the one set but at Strahan at the end of day four Jim chose to fit two new fronts as a precaution in case there was any wet weather on the last two days.
This was the 24th running of Targa Tasmania and the 23rd time that Jim and Barry have competed in the event having missed out on the first running in 1992.
“We have now contested 68 tarmac rallies together and it has been a wonderful experience”. said Barry
Additional support for the Shannons Porsche comes from Adrenalin, Leatherman Multipurpose Tools, Dunlop and Porsche.
The next event for the Shannons team will be Targa West in WA in August.