day one summary
DARK HORSE GLENNEY LEADS ALONGSIDE RICHARDS AFTER DAY ONE
South Australian Subaru WRX driver Steve Glenney has today proven that he is the dark horse in this year's 15th Anniversary Targa Tasmania by making a last-minute attack on the drivetravel.com Modern field, and finishing the first day of competition in equal first along side event favourite, Porsche-powered Jim Richards.
With most of the top competitors completing the days early stages under the assigned base time, competition then geared up in Devonport, the fourth stage of the Matthew Flinders Northern Loop, when Victorian Richards and his Tasmanian navigator Barry Oliver assumed the lead in their twin-turbo Porsche GT-2, equal with defending champion Jason White.
"We're very pleased. We had a good day - being in front is where we all want to be," said Glenney who was runner-up in the drivetravel.com Modern Competition in 2003. "The car's going really well, still sorting out a few handling things along the way, but we're very happy with it. It's great to be back at Targa. I just love it."
The 29-year-old Wistow-based 2005 ARC Privateer Championship winner, guided by navigator Bernie Webb in a turbo-charged 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX, was sitting in second place at the end of the 16.04km Devonport stage, then advanced on the two front-runners on the third last stage of the day, Sheffield.
This stage saw Glenney move on Richards and White, beating them both by 5 and 13-seconds respectively - equalling Richards' score by the end of the day.
Glenney's Porsche rival was not surprised by the young rally driver's result today, and also indicated road conditions weren't ideal for his 100-percent commitment behind the wheel.
"There was a lot of blue metal on the road at Sheffield, so we couldn't go as fast as we wanted to, and that's where we lost the time to [Glenney]. I expected him to be right up there," said Richards.
Finishing third was the defending Targa Tasmania champions, Hobart's Jason White and his navigator John White, who carefully piloted his $400,000 V10-engined Lamborghini Gallardo around today's competition leg. Despite initially sharing a lead with Richards earlier in the day, an in-cabin mishap saw the White's lose precious seconds and finished 14-seconds further afield.
"We lost time in Sheffield and Nook with a slipping clutch drama," explained White. "We had a couple of bits fall out from under the dashboard and get caught in my feet under the break pedal. But it has kept us on our toes and I think we've come through alright."
Despite a shaky start to the day, Bathurst master Peter Brock and his navigator Mick Hone finished seventh outright in their 2000 model Daytona Coupe, still managing to impress some crowds along the way. They now sit 35-seconds behind the leaders.
"We didn't do so well in Longford - but, to me, it's all about putting on a show for the crowd. I'm quite happy with today overall. I'd prefer harder tyres, but then again we might get cold weather, as it's been quite hot today," said Brock.
Finishing in fourth today was the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer driven by New South Welshman Warwick Rooklyn and navigated by Linda Long, also from New South Wales. Fifth fastest was shared by factory Subaru Motorsport driver Dean Herridge, from Western Australia, and Queensland Porsche driver Tony Quinn.
Two-time Bathurst winner Tony Longhurst finished an impressive 11th outright today finishing 45-seconds behind the leaders, while Network Ten Commentator Daryl Beattie, despite his inexperience with tarmac rallies, seemed calculated in his approach to today's stages finishing 1-minute 25-seconds afield in 22nd position.
"Our main concern is trying to maintain the tyres. We want to conserve them whenever we can. I made a mistake on Sheffield when we overshot a corner and had to backtrack," explained Beattie. "Other than that it's been pretty smooth."
Making a move in the Shannons Classic Competition, Temco Prologue winner Bill Pye was second to the New South Wales team of Mike Batten and John Doble in their 1961 Volvo PV544. Porsche driver Pye and his navigator Grant Geelan are well-positioned only 2-seconds back from the leaders. Rounding out the top three is Victorian team Peter and Rebecca Eames in their 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera.
Following two incidents on both the Sheffield and Quamby Brook stage the two crews involved were cleared of serious injuries by on-site Targa Tasmania First Intervention Vehicles. On the recommendation of Targa Tasmania FIVs, three competitors, including two navigators and one driver, were transported to hospital for observation.
The Targa Tasmania field will be re-started tomorrow from the Launceston Silverdome and will head down the East Coast of Tasmania via nine competitive stages for what, in 2006, is known as the Captain Nicolas Baudin Eastern Trundle comprising 73.89 competitive kilometres.
To view a full list of entries (updated daily) received for the 15th anniversary Targa Tasmania, including images and crew profiles, click here