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Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge: Report and Results

October 6, 2008 Comments off

An eventful, if wet, weekend of racing on the northwest coast of Tasmania, Australia this has seen the AWD competitors streak ahead of their two wheel drive competitors and dominate the top positions. Good thing for GT-R fans as even the heavy R35 was competitive on the soggy tarmac.

Saturday saw the race begin with rain and it wrapped up on Sunday the same way. Some great early pace saw the Hi Octane and Donut King Nissans in contention for top five spots and looking great doing it.

After SS2 (Hellyer Gorge South) Newman in the Hi Octane GT-R was 4th in class with Alford right behind him in 5th. Driving the GT-R fast in the wet presents a huge learning curve but the guys are having a lot of fun doing it.

A very slight off for Newman in stage 2 however caused the R35’s pedestrian safety airbags to fire raising the bonnet at an angle and reducing visibility. It took another stage to get back into the groove but was making solid top 10’s in every stage until that happened.

Click Read More link to continue reading and see the rest of the photos from the race.

Images & On Scene Reporting: Joel Strickland
Link: Related Stories

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Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge: Media Day Shakedown

October 3, 2008 Comments off

Day 0 of the rally is today and it’s media day which gives us the chance to get up close and personal with the cars and the drivers while they’re not tearing up the tarmac of northwest Tasmania. Teams also get a chance to drive a shakedown session.

During the shakedown sessions teams got their first shot at driving at speed in the slippery conditions. This proved to be “moment” inducing for some of the drivers, even those with 4WD and for one team it meant the end to rally for this year already as their Mitsubishi Evolution met tree rear end in (pic after the jump). Hopefully the guys are ok.

Tony Alfords in the Donut King pink GT-R was the first R35 out and of course they’re running standard runflat tyres. Alfords found that the GT-Rs traction control was making itself useful as it helped them sort out the lack of grip at some sections.

Hi Octane Racing’s GT-R (top photo) with Russ Newman and Ben Wooster driving is looking even better than ever now sporting it’s brand new GTRBlog.com decals (big thanks Russ). The team also went out for a run and found the GT-R was extremely quick. The power and torque overwhelming the grip a touch on some of the still wet sections but overall they found it a great reliable combination for the race.

Link: Tasmanian Tarmac Challange Home Page
Images: Joel Strickland

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GTRBlog Coverage of Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge Begins Tomorrow

October 2, 2008 Comments off

Excitement builds for the action this weekend as the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge kicks off in northwest Tasmania, Australia. GTRBlog is again lucky to be working with Joel Strickland on the scene in Tassie as he works his butt off to deliver us some great action shots. Regular readers will remember Joel from our coverage of the Targa Tasmania 2008 earlier in the year.

GTRBlog will be following the Hi Octane Racing R35 GT-R driven by Russell Newman with co-driver the eminently experienced Ben Wooster. Ben has loads of experience on the roads of Tasmania and should be a huge benefit to the team. We’ll also be getting updates from the Donut King R35 GT-R team driven by targa veteran and Retail Foods Group boss Tony Alford.

Media day is tomorrow so our first update should be some time in the afternoon AEST.

Link: Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge Home Page
Link: Joel Strickland Photographics

Hi Octane Nissan GT-R to Compete at Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge 2008

September 27, 2008 Comments off

Just a week until the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge begins and two Nissan GT-Rs are finalising preparations for the event. Hi Octane Racing, driven by Russel Newman and Ben Wooster and Donut King’s Targa Tasmania veteran R35 driven by Tony Alford.

The Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge (not to be mistaken with Targa Tasmania) is a two day tarmac rally on the North West coast of Tasmania, Australia on from 4th – 5th of October. It annually attracts Australia’s best tarmac rally teams including the usual big name drivers like Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT2.

GTRBlog has been following the Hi Octane GT-R’s tuning and modification keenly since it landed in Australia from Japan in June 2008. Stopping first in Sydney, we got a quick look at it in completely standard form for a few photos before it was picked up by Russell and off up north to Brisbane.

Russell is not the kind of guy who can leave a car standard though and even before the car had landed he was looking at upgrades. At the time, ECU tuning was still in it’s infancy and the choices were limited to ECU exchanges in Japan (Mine’s VX-ROM was considered) or crack the ECU yourself.

Click the Read More link below to keep reading!

Link: Hi Octane Racing Home Page
Link: Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge Home Page
Photos/Details: Russell Newman, Hi Octane Racing

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