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18 APRIL 2016

After six days and 38 stages over 560 competitive kilometres Jim and navigator Barry Oliver have taken their Shannons Porsche Cayman GT4 to a very satisfying third place in the two wheel drive Showroom competition in the 25th running of Targa Tasmania.

It was a better result than the team expected bearing in mind the high level of competition as they were up against the GT3 Porsche of eventual winners Matt Close and Cameron Reeves and the Dodge Viper ACR Extreme of five time winners Jason and John White.

Also in the mix was the supercharged Shelby Mustang of Craig Dean and Alex Gelsomino as well as the second Dodge Viper of Michael Pritchard and Gary Mourant which went onto finish second.

Apart from the Oyster Cove stage on day six the remaining stages were run in dry conditions but the challenging roads took their toll on a number of cars, including the Dean/Gelsomino Mustang, that visited the scenery and were forced out of the event. After a thrilling battle between White and Close the Dodge blew it’s engine on day five on the 53 kilometre Mount Arrowsmith stage and Close and Reeves were able to ease off and record their first win in the event.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though as the pair had a moment on day six that came close to putting them out of the event and then they got a puncture on the second last stage.

Fortunately they had enough of a lead that they were able to limp out of the stage to their service vehicle replace the wheel and get to the finish line inside their late time. For Jim and Barry there were no issues at all during the event and the GT4 performed superbly requiring only minimal servicing.

“At the end of each day we simply checked the wheel nuts, cleaned the windscreen, put fuel in the car and then put it in parc ferme ready for the next day”. said Jim. “The car never missed a beat and I couldn’t have been happier with the way it performed. We were giving away a lot of horsepower to the front runners so to come home third was really pleasing”. said the eight time winner.

The cars were limited to a maximum of six tyres for the event but the Cayman did the entire event on the original four marked tyres and they were still in excellent condition at the end.

“The Dunlops we used gave us good grip and traction and they wore every evenly despite the event run almost entirely in dry conditions”. said the seven time Bathurst winner.

Targa Tasmania 2016 was the 24th time Jim and Barry had competed in the iconic event and this was their 16th podium which includes eight wins.

There were nine different competitions in the event plus restricted speed tour cars as well as cars in the Porsche and BMW tours bringing the total number of cars to 380.

The organisation of the event was excellent and a fitting tribute to Max Stahl and the late John Large who had the vision and enthusiasm to put the event together in 1992.

At the time there were plenty who said it would never happen or continue in the future and here we are 25 years down the track with the Tasmanian Government committing to support the event for another five years.

The next event for Jim and Barry will be Targa West in August to be followed by Targa High Country in Victoria in November.

In addition to major sponsor Shannons Jim and Barry are proudly supported by Porsche, Adrenalin, leatherman Tools and Dunlop.

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