Clouds clear for milestone Targa event
After a rainy start, the weather improved for those competing in the Make Smoking History Targa South West.
The event took place on 22 closed road stages over the course of 130km, between the towns of Manjimup, Northcliffe and Pemberton.
While most of the event went smoothly for drivers, car number eight was not so lucky, crashing 400m into the first stage, which resulted in stages SS2, 3 and 4 being cancelled.
Both drivers were flown to Royal Perth Hospital, but are expected to make a full recovery.
In the rest of the event, Mark Greenham and co-driver Stephanie Esterbauer took out the top spot in the modern competition.
The duo won eight of the eighteen stages that were run and were within seconds of winning the others.
Greenham also won the event back in 2016, but this is the first time co-driver Esterbauer has entered with him.
“Steph did a fantastic job all weekend, we’ve been a driver and co-driver team for a number of years, but luck hasn’t always gone our way with mechanical failures and other things at other events, so it’s awesome to get our first rally win together,” Greenham said.
In second place 35 seconds behind was Will White and Bernie Webb and third was Mark Cates and Declan Stafford, who came in 28 seconds behind White and Webb.
In the Classic Category, Tim Wolfe and Richard Harbron won the competition, minutes faster than Kim Stewart and Frank Zanotti, who came in second.
This is Wolfe’s best result to date and he said he was happy to take the win.
“This was only my second rally with Richard and he called the notes impeccably all weekend so I’d like to give credit to him,” Wolfie said.
“We had a lot of fun, it was very enjoyable.”
The Targa 130 class, formerly known as the Challenge Category, has a speed restriction of 130km per hour.
Husband and wife duo Jeffrey and Catherine Foster took out the top spot for this competition in their 2016 Porsche Cayman 981 GTS, which Foster said was a stock standard showroom car.
“We were even running on street tyres, it is hard to drive on the limit on tyres that don’t have as much grip,” he said.
Finishing 26 seconds behind the Foster duo was Steve Turpin and Daniel Gregory and rounding out the top three a further 36 seconds behind was Steve James and Nicholas Bentley.
The races attracted about 350 people into the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton over the course of the event.
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