TOP TEN FINISH FOR JIM AND BARRY IN 2017 TARGA WEST
17 AUGUST 2017
Despite inclement conditions on a number of stages Jim and Barry Oliver finished a satisfying ninth overall in the 13th edition of Quit Targa West in their Shannon’s 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
The four day 34 stage event was run over 240 competitive kilometres with stages in Perth and in rural areas north of the city.
Fortunately the first two days were dry, despite forecasts to the contrary, giving crews the opportunity to settle in before the very long third day which included fourteen stages some of which turned out to be very wet.
The team had an early setback when they were confused by signage and failed to slow to a mandatory 60 kph speed in a virtual chicane on the second run through the Kalamunda stage and were given a one minute penalty.
While it was disappointing it was a case of get on with it and make the best of the remaining stages.
The sixteen kilometre Maryville Down stage was traversed twice on day three and provided a real tough test on the second run as teams encountered a massive downpour that made visibility almost zero and played into the hands of the predominately 4WD car field.
“The conditions were amongst the worst we have encountered in years especially as in many places there were rivers of water flowing across the road causing the car to aquaplane. I was glad it was over when we got to the finish”. said the former two time winner of the event.
Because of the size of the wheels (20 inch diameter front and 21 inch rear) there are no soft compound R specification tarmac rally tyres available for the car so the grip level was not as good especially in the wet.
On the dry stages of day three the car was very good and times were consistently in the top eight and while the leaders continued to draw away the team were very happy with the times recorded.
The fourth day consisted of three runs through the ten kilometre Malaga industrial site and with over fifty 90 degree corners to negotiate it was a very demanding time for both driver and co-driver and the brakes!!!!!!
That was followed by three runs over a tricky City of Perth stage that included two runs through a car park maze.
“Overall I was extremely happy with the performance of the car which never missed beat during the four days of competition. This was our tenth consecutive Targa West and we have finished all of them which is testament to Porsche engineering.” said Jim.
“Apart from competition brake pads the car ran in total showroom condition in contrast to the field which was modified to various degrees and to be second two wheel drive car home was very satisfying.” said Barry.
The event was taken out locals Peter Major and Ben Searcy in the 996 version Porsche Turbo from Peter Rullo and James Marquet in the R35 Nissan GTR with Will White and Matt Thompson third in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.
It was the fifth win for Major and third in a row but he had to fight for it as Rullo/Marquet put in some very impressive times to finish within twenty four seconds after losing one minute fourty five seconds due to an off on day two.
The next event for Jim will be round five of the TCM at Sandown on September 15 to 17 in the Shannons Falcon Sprint and the next tarmac rally will be Targa High Country in Victoria on November 9 to 11.
Apart from major sponsor Shannons Jim is also supported by Adrenalin, Leatherman Tools and Porsche cars Australia.
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