Nissan beats Porsche in QUIT Targa West
Peter Major has won his first QUIT Targa West, holding off Jim Richards to take the outright rally win in Perth today.
Competing in the Competition Modern class, Major and his co-driver Kim Screaigh (Nissan GTR 35) took top spot on the timing sheets from Richards midway into Leg 1 and continued to stretch their advantage across the final two Leg’s of the tarmac rally, ultimately taking victory by 51 seconds.
Competing in the rally for the third time, Major’s previous best result was seventh outright.
“We’re over the moon the car was fantastic it did everything we wanted it to do,” Major said.
“It was great racing against Jimmy (Richards), you know he’s going to come hard and no matter what he does he’s going to be fast.
“You never know how hard he’s pushing so we just tried to stay on it and stay as quick as we could, luckily we were able to keep that gap we gained in the first leg.”
Richards and Barry Oliver (Porsche GT2) crossed the final stop control in second outright with Peter Rullo and Simon Iseppi (Nissan GTR 35) holding off Ross Hamilton and Tony Robson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) to take third.
Defending Competition Modern Champion Steve Jones, who was hoping to become the first driver to win three QUIT Targa West crowns in a row, was forced to retire from the rally at the end of SS1 due to an engine failure.
QUIT Targa West 2010 concluded in spectacular fashion with the Killarnée City of Perth Super Stage run along the Swan River Foreshore.
It was the first time in the rally’s six-year history that a stage had been run in the heart of the city and more than 6000 spectators converged on the Esplanade to enjoy the action.
After holding a clear advantage over the Competition Classic class for the majority of the rally disaster struck Tolley Challis on the liaison to SS30 – the second last stage – when his Porsche 911 RS caught fire.
“I believe we’ve had a bit of a fuel issue, resulting in the air filter catching fire, hopefully we’ll be ok and we’ll do our best to get back out there,” Challis said at the time.
The crew was able to fix the car in within the required time frame, however, the organisers had already closed the stage which meant they were unable to start and received a derived time for SS30 before rejoining the rally for the final stage, SS31.
Despite the drama Challis and Flood held onto the top spot in the Competition Classic class by more than one minute, his best result at QUIT Targa West.
In the other classes, Mark and Andrew Conacher (Nissan GTR 35) returned to defend their 2009 Challenge Modern crown and proved once again to the crew to beat while the Challenge Classic class was taken out by Robert Buys/Sanja Aksamija (Porsche 911).