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3 MAY 2017

After six days and 35 Targa stages over 480 competitive kilometres Jim and Barry have finished 9th in the ultra competitive GT2 class for two wheel drive showroom cars.

Driving the brand new Shannons Porsche GT3 RS the team were very happy to finish in the top ten considering the quality of the 23 car GT2 class entry and were not surprised by the fierce pace of the front runners.

“We went into our 25th Targa Tasmania knowing that we would not be able to match the pace of the leading cars and concentrated on getting to the finish with an unmarked car”. said the eight time outright winner.

“For us these days it’s more a question of really enjoying the event in a brilliant car on great roads and not worrying about the result and it should be said that we do not commit to our notes as much as the front runners. At our age we don’t take the same risks as the others and are content to get to the finish and relax”. said Jim.

The best stage result was fifth on the wet 14 kilometre Sidling stage on day one while the worst was 11th on the very wet 53 kilometre Mount Arrowsmith stage on day five. “We couldn’t get temperature in the tyres and the car was so twitchy that I thought something was wrong so we backed off losing over two minutes to our main opposition”. said Jim.

The weather for the event was a mixture of wet and dry and with the cars restricted to a maximum of six tyres for the entire event choice of tyre and compound was critical. For the Shannons Porsche Jim chose Dunlop which proved to be good overall and the wear factor was excellent.

The car ran faultlessly with wheels not coming off once and the only service was to check the tyre pressures, clean the windscreen and fill up with fuel.

Jim chose not to change the standard suspension which proved to be very good over the rougher sections of road and in fact the only concession to the showroom specification of the car was the fitting of competition brake pads.

“The car was fantastic and without question the best that we have used in 25 years of tarmac rally completion. This was our 75th rally together since we started in 1993 and the car was an absolute pleasure to drive. I guess you could say that it was much faster than we were prepared to go as evidenced by the fact that last year’s winners Matt Close and Cameron Reeves finished third in an identical car”. said Jim.

One interesting fact to emerge this year was that all of the fancied front runners finished which is almost unheard of in Targa Tasmania events with usually two or three front running cars at least not getting through to the finish.

Tasmanian’s John and Jason White in the Dodge Viper ACR Extreme were the winners of GT2 and outright which puts their total winning Targa Tasmania tally at six. They had an early scare when they suffered diff issues on day one which meant they had to take the car out of parc ferme to replace it.

In contrast to previous years competitors can only do that once without penalty so had they had further issues there would have been a five minute penalty.

Second place, 34 seconds back, went to Michael Pritchard and Garry Mourant in the Dodge Viper ACR to back up their second place last year while last year’s winners Close and Reeves were a further 42 seconds behind in third.

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

The Shannons Porsche was also supported by Porsche Cars, Adrenalin, Leatherman Tools and Dunlop.

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