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11 NOVEMBER 2015

In the first full competition outing for the new Shannons Porsche Cayman GT4 Jim and Barry have finished fourth in the two wheel drive showroom class of last weekend’s Targa High Country event against some really tough opposition.

The prestigious class was won by Matt Close and Cameron Reeves in a brand new Porsche GT3 from Tony Quinn and Cate Catford in a McLaren 650S with Craig Dean and Emma Quigley third in a brand new supercharged Shelby Mustang.

Run over 15 stages, covering 250 competitive kilometres in three days in the Mount Buller, Euroa, Eildon and Mansfield region, the teams faced some wet and foggy conditions on the first day after which the weather was fine.

One of the highlights of the weekend was Jim’s drive up the 18 kilometre climb to the Mount Buller Ski Resort in very wet and foggy conditions to not only record the fastest time in the class but to finish second overall against the entire field including four wheel drive cars.

“It was an amazing performance by Jim and the new car and one of the most exhilarating experiences I have had in our 22 years together”. said Barry.

The new Cayman GT4, which has the bigger 3.8 litre engine, GT3 hubs, brakes and suspension, proved to be much quicker than the previous Cayman S and on most of the stages was two seconds per kilometre faster than it’s impressive little brother.

In rally terms that is significantly faster and the team are now looking forward to the 25th anniversary running of Targa Tasmania in April next year.

Jim was extremely happy with the new car which, as required by the class regulations, was completely showroom.

“The performance of the car was outstanding despite the fact that I made no changes to the standard springs and shock absorbers and we even ran the standard brake pads”. said Jim.

“The handling was fantastic as well as very neutral and the Dunlop tyres gave good grip and feedback and we will run a new set of those for Targa Tasmania”. said Jim. Sunday’s final six stages contained two 40 kilometre runs on the Jamieson/Eildon road which proved to be extremely tough on man and machine.

Apart from some straights in the middle section the stages were very technical and required total concentration from both driver and the co-driver.

Large sections at the start and finish of the stages consisted of a constant series of tight second gear corners and there was no respite for teams.

For the co-drivers it was very difficult to stay on the pace notes and Barry was quick to admit he fell off the notes on the first run for a short distance before he picked his place and was able to continue.

“Jim and I have contested 71 tarmac rallies in 22 years and I would have to say these two 40 kilometre stages would be amongst the most difficult we have completed”. said Barry.

Meanwhile preparations to the Shannons AMC Javelin for the final round of the Touring Car Masters at Phillip Island on November 20-22 are complete and Jim is looking forward to racing at the iconic and fast flowing circuit.

He will go into the three race round with a five point lead in the Pro-Masters class but is expecting the racing to be really competitive.

“Based on his performance at the previous round at Bathurst multiple champion John Bowe will be the man to beat in the Torana but I expect others such as Steve Johnson, Eddie Abelnica and Andrew Miedecke, if he runs, to be right in the mix”. said Jim. Apart from major sponsor Shannons, Jim is also supported by Porsche, Adrenalin, Leatherman Multi Tools and Dunlop.

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