Targa Tasmania LIVE day by day
The Final Day – Leg 5 2011 Targa Tasmania
Another extraordinary journey: the 2011 Targa Tasmania has been completed and pre-73 Historic Touring Cars acquitted themselves handsomely. Merely to finish is an achievement, the endurance for both men/women and machine and the intense concentration over five days coping with a wide variety of conditions must be exhilarating, taxing and after it’s all over, exhausting. There was a wide variety of weather and road conditions, from perfect late summer to extremely heavy rain, and everything in between.
Three of the top ten finishers in the Classic Outright– a class that includes a plethora of Porsches and other sports cars up to the mid 1980s – were HTC cars and all of them were Early Classic (pre-66) runners: the Freestone 48-215 Holden Supercar in 5th, the Ullrich Jensen 6th and the Kent Mustang 8th. (Eighty three Classic cars finished, only four of the twenty retirements were HTC cars, including front runners Miedecke/Willson in the Perana and the Cattlin Mustang, both with engine problems, the others being the Davison A30 at a late stage and the Stewart/Zanottti Mustang GT 350.)
Next HTC finishers were the Batten Volvo in 13th and the Kent/Krawczyk Falcon in the 15th, the Wilson Perana in 19th and the McClintock/Skinner BMW in 20th, who actually topped the Classic time sheets on Molesworth stage on the last day. The White/Yelds Volvo 122 recovered for 25th and back in 37th the Edwards/Wright led home the recovering Dermott Torana in 39th an the Pfingst/Loth Torana in 46th. A gap back the other Steuart Anglia in 52nd, the Henry/Blake Alfa Guilia in 56th and the Bryson/Rowley Imp in 60th ahead of the Large/Dredge Falcon in 63rd and the Kenny/Jackson in 67th, the Fiat ABarth of Waldron/Gregory in 69th and the Smith X2 in 70th. Bringing up the tail were Utber/Kaye in the Vauxhall Cresta in 77th and the Bevan Volvo in 81st.
The Ullrichs were fourth and the first HTC car home in the Late Classic Handicap, ahead of the McClintock/Skinner BM and the Kent/Krawczyk Falcon for the (theoretical) touring car handicap podium. In the Early Classic Handicap tourers not only stood on the real podium but dominated it. The rules with their complex balance of car size, age and category saw the Fiat Abarth 750 of Jack Waldron and Vin Gregory, 69th in Classic Outright, stand on the highest bit of wood, ahead of the Freestone Holden and the White/Yelds Volvo. Fourth and fifth were the Batten Volvo and the Kent Mustang.
Now for the stories I have gleaned from Brian Dermott, just before the fit 70-year old and his ex-champion sprinter 60-year old wife/navigator set off for their post-Targa morning run round Hobart!
First, their own story – they were lucky to stay in the event after they slid off on Cethana as the Sweep Vehicle was just a few hundred metres behind the Recovery vehicle. If the Sweep passes you, that’s it, you’re out. But the Recovery guy was kind and blocked the road as they hauled the Torana out, as the Sweep’s siren ee-awed in frustration. They hared off down the road with the Sweep behind them and although they dropped the stage and were given a 20-minute penalty they were able to work their way up from 50th to 39th. They were 14th outright on the wettest stage, Molesworth, and without the penalty would have finished 18th, their best yet.
And what of the mystery ailment that befell the giant-killing Batten Volvo on Cethana, the first stage on Saturday, which dropped them from 9th to 31st? The Battens, or more specifically father Mike, is a fanatic on car preparation and rally management, including precision fuel consumption estimates so they can carry just enough and save precious weight. On Cethana they’d judged eight litres and it wasn’t enough. Poor Paul had to run a kilometre back to the last spectator point, where he was directed to a nearby farmer who sold him five litres of ‘farmer’s fuel’ in a dirty can for $30. He then ran back to the car (a round trip of some 3-4 kms) carrying the can and they set off again, suitably miffed. But it must have given them some pleasure later in the day to actually top the Classic Outright list on Moubnt Black, ahead of the Broadbent Porsche and finish just behind Walter Roehrl in the works Porsche on the next two stages, Rosebery and Rinadeena. On the final day they were always in the top ten, with the exception of the last stage they slipped to 19th for an unknown reason. All up, to finish 13th was outstanding – who knows where they could have been had things been different…
Mention must go to the Ullrichs who soldiered on after a kindly local re-engineered their back axle and hub carrier after smiting a kerb in a Georgetown display of power, to finish 6th was great. The Freestone Holden finally showed some of its mighty potential although it’s still far from watertight apparently and Paul and Christine had wet feet on the last couple of days. Paul used his helmet air-conditioning system from his Fujitsu Supercar to help demist!
Although not in our category, mention must go to the Cooper/Dann A9X, which finished second to the Broadbent Porsche in Classic Outright – a great performance by Aussie muscle against the Hun hordes!
I am looking forward to taking part in this great motoring adventure next year. Having upgraded to a Perana from the BM (old blokes need a bit more power to get to the corners faster) I was following the results of both marques closely. The Wilson Perana finished in 19th, the McClintock BMW in 20th…
Day 4 – Leg 4
As expected, the serious end of Targa Tasmania turned up the screws as Leg 4 found competitors heading west and south as the weather set in. Andrew Miedecke's Classic Outright leading Perana did not show up again after Cethana, the second of the day's stages after Mole Creek and followed by Gunns Plains, Riana, then the wet Hellyer Gorge, Mount Black, Rosebery and Rinadeena. This will be the second Targa event scoring a DNF for the popular and very quick Andrew, someone showing a great interest in historic touring cars and the efforts of our club.
Cethana was not kind to Brian and Linda Dermott, either, they came upon a 5-right to find themselves on gravel courtesy of corner cutting, had a minor off and were gently ditched by a soft bank giving way and couldn't continue (sounds very familiar to your Editor). They will complete the rally today, but out of contention.
Something unknown happened to the tiny heroic Volvo of the Battens on this stage as well, dropping from 9th to 31st in the standings. But by Gunns Plains they were back in 28th and, fired up, they topped Classic outright on Mt Black and were second only to double World Champion Walter Roehrl on Rosebery and Rinadeena! This amazing effort saw them back in 15th by the end of the day.
So at the end of Leg 4 the Freestone UberHumpy led the Kent Mustang and the Ullrich Jensen in a wedge of HTC cars from 6th-8th, just a minute separating them on the stage and overall. Overall, Broadbent/Randall Porsche is holding out the Cooper/Dann A9X by just over three minutes.
The Kent/Krawczyk Falcon in 14th holds out the Battens with the Wilson Perana steady in 19th and the McClintock/Skinner BMW 2002 in 22nd, with the White/Yelds Volvo Amazon two back in 25th. The Edwards/Wright is next tourer in 35th, and then there's a big gap to the Dermotts in 50th, the Steuart Anglia and Bryson/Rowley Imp in 56th and 57th, the Kenny/Jackson XJ6 in 62nd and the Smith Holden in 64th, the Large/Dredge Falcon in 73rd, the Utber/Kaye Cresta 79th and the Bevan Volvo 81st.
With crews now running on adrenaline, the last day looks to be fine weather. As I'm late with this blog I can tell you that after the first two stages of Leg 5 the trio of Freestone, Ullrich and Kent still hold 6,7 & 8th, the Kent/Krawczyk Falcon 15th and the Battens 16th, split by Roehrl's Porsche. The Dermotts are creeping back (just for fun at the stage) and hold 48th.
Six more stages – and anything can happen.
Day 3 – Leg 3
After three days of intense competition there has been some major action, the battle has raged for the Classic lead – and the rally isn't even halfway through yet! That shows you how the importance of the last two days, and how a sure, steady start is a good strategic move if your eyes are on making it to the finish of this gruelling event.
Day 3 saw the field face another eight stages in the central north of the state, in order: High Plains (plenty of drifters), Dunorlan, Stoodley, Devonport, Paloona, Mt Roland, Deloraine and Quamby Brook (which included Bogan Road…).
At the end of Day 3, Port Macquarie car dealer and ex-touring car driver Andrew Meidecke has muscled the Ford Capri Perana into the outright classic lead – a pre-73 touring car leading the Porsches! But the Broadbent/Randell Porsche are hot on their heels and with Saturday's front coming the sports car could well take them.
Len and Gayle Cattlin's Targa retired with the huge horsepower, huge budget engine blowing into several huge bits, a terrible shame for the front-running HTC.
That means the giant-killing Volvo PV544 of Paul and father Mike Batten in 8th is the second-placed tourer, just 24 seconds ahead of the Freestone's Holden, both of whom lead the Early Classic section. Again, the Batten's performance on dry roads has been outstanding, especially when considering they have to look after their supersoft tyres for the expected rain today and tomorrow as the rally moves west and south.
Still hanging on and nursing their bent diff and axle housing are the Ullrichs in the Jensen who hold 30 seconds over the Kent Mustang in 11th while a minute down the road the Kent/Krawczyk Falcon holds15th.
The Wilson/Wilson Perana is in 22nd just 50 seconds in front Brian and Linda Dermott in the Torana who are now expected to climb up the rankings courtesy of the bad weather looming.
Two minutes back the McClintock/Skinner BMW 2002 holds 29th, ahead of the White/Yelds Volvo Amazon in 32nd, recovering after the mechanical problem on Thursday.
A gap down to 44th finds Edwards/Wright in the big Falcon, a minute and a half behind the Volvo while less than two minutes behind them and seven places down the Imp of Bryson/Rowley holds ten seconds over the Pfingst/Loth 'XU4'.
The Steuart Anglia is in 51st, the Kenny/Jackson XJ6 in 63rd, the Henry/Blake Alfa Guilia 65th and the Smith X2 in 70th. Jack Waldron and Vince Greogy hold 75th in the tiny Fiat Abarth, Utber/Kaye hold 81st in the Cresta ahead of the Devine Mini, the Bevan Volvo PV544 in 87th and the Davison A30 in 90th, 37 minutes behind the lead car but doing well in handicap. The Large/Dredge Falcon GT coupe is listed in 93rd.
Halfway through, the Early Classic Handicap (pre-65) HTC standings read: Freestone, Batten, Kent, Waldron/Gregory, White/ Yelds, Steuart, Bevan, Devine, Utber/Kaye, Davison.
In the Late Classic Handicap (pre-86) the HTC order stands: Ullrich, Meidecke/Willson, Kent/Krawczyk, Cattlin (retired), McClintock/Skinner, Dermott, Edwards/Wright, Wilson, Bryson/Rowley, Pfingst/Loth, Smith, Kenny/Jackson, Large/Dredge.
It will be fascinating to see what the all-important second half turns up – stay tuned! To look at the maps, click here:
Day 2 – Leg 2
Pre-1973 Touring Cars continued to hold their own in Leg 2 as the tour moves into the famous sections of North East Tasmania in perfect picture postcard weather. But rain is on the way…
Eight special stages faced competitors, starting with the famous Sideling, then moving on to Ledgerwood, Moorina, Weldborough, Pyengana, Elephant Pass, Rossarden and Longford. Results in detail here:
Overall results at the end of Longford show the 1970 Capri Perana of Miedecke/Willson has hit the front of the Classic Outright standings, wresting away the lead from the Launceston lads Cooper and Dann in their roaring A9X. After two Porsches and Datsun 240Z the Cattlins Mustang is the next HTC, in 6th, two places ahead of the Ullrichs in the mighty Jensen.
Peter spun the Jensen at Longford, clouted a kerb and bent the diff housing – must have been a helluva thump! With special dispensation teams worked all night to get it straightened and now they’ll be looking for a finish rather than a win. Apparently there’s a great pic on the front page of today’s (Friday) Launceston Examiner.
Another two places further back, the Freestone UberHumpy (fettled by a team of seven) is edging out the Batten/Batten Volvo PV544, doing an even more startling job in the dry to hold this position, which has a three-place gap to the Kent/Krawczyck Falcon GT, besting the family rivalry with the Kent/Kent Mustang by two spots – they’re in 16th, four minutes behind the leaders.
Back in 25th the Wilson Perana heads the Dermott Torana, steady in 28th and just 18 seconds ahead on the McClintock/Skinner BMW. The White/Yelds Volvo Amazon spun the centre out of a pulley, had no water pump or generator but recovered and lie in 38th, the Edwards/Wright Falcon GT in 43rd, and the mighty Bryson/Rowley Imp in 48th ahead of the Pfingst/Loth Torana ‘XU-4’. The Steuart 105E Anglia in 54 heads the legendary Kenny/Jackson XJ6 in 59, the Henry/Blake Giulia Super in 61, and the Smith X2 in 65th. Utber/Kaye Vauxhall Cresta 74, Bevan PV544 79, Davison A30 82, and the Large/Dredge Falcon GT 85th.
Brian reports that a front is coming through tomorrow and the weather is definitely heading for the worse… watch the Batten Volvo climb up the rankings then!
PS the Targa App works a treat on the iPhone with a live update through the day
Day 1 – Leg 1
The event that’s been called the “greatest motorsport adventure” is now underway and results show that historic pre-1973 Touring Cars are well-represented in the results of Leg 1, comprising five stages: Lilydale, Kayena, Howell, Moriarty, Merseylea, Nook and Sheffield.
You can read the Leg 1 results in detail here but it’s clear that the 1970 Capri Perana of Miedecke is making every stage count, while many will be dialing themselves into this motoring marathon more slowly. They’ve already powered into second place on this early stage.
Not far behind, Club members Len and Gayle Cattlin are breathing hot on their heels in third in the monster Mustang, while in 8th, members Peter and Sari Ullrich in the first of the Early Classic cars, the 1963 Jensen CV-8.
The big Chrysler donk blew a hole in the head before the event so they’re in limp mode until they can bung it up with goo and keep the water in it…to hold 8th is a great effort in those circumstances.
In equal 12th are Club members Paul and Christine Freestone in the Humpy supercar and Wayne and Scott Kent in the 65 Mustang, just ahead of Mike and Paul Batten in the 1960 Volvo PV544 in 14th and Drew Kent and Paul Krawczyk in the 71 Ford Falcon GT in 15th.
Bernie and John Wilson in another Perana are 24th; our very own Tarmac Tattle, Brian (and Linda) Dermott are quietly warming up the green Torana in 30th, Andrew White and Ashley Yelds have the 61 Volvo 122S in 32nd, ahead of Steve McClintock and Jann Skinner in 33rd in a 1972 BMW 2002ti while another Club member, Bob Edwards with navigator Craig Wright have the big blue 71 Falcon GT in 39th.
The hilarious Scot, Andy Bryson with nav Jason Rowley holds 44th in the nuts Imp, while down in 62nd and 63rd the 62 Anglia of Ross and Jill Steuart heads Neville and Lorraine Smith’s 66 Holden Premier X2!
The Pfinsgt/Loth Torana is 51st while back in 83rd the George and Virginia Bevan 64 Volvo PV544 holds a small margin over the A30 of Simon and Amanda Davison. With something obviously amiss, the giant 72 Falcon GT Coupe of Ray Large and David Dredge tails out the field in 92nd.
So that’s the first day, easing into this endurance event. Brian Dermott reports on a day of fabulous weather – but who knows what awaits them as the event unfolds…
We’ll try to keep you posted every day on the site or you can follow on the results part of the Targa Website, where you’ll use the drop down menu to look for Classic Outright, and then the handicaps. There’s even an App you can get for your iPhone!