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Targa Tasmania 2009: Nissan GT-R of Tony Quinn Wins After Wet Day 5

May 3, 2009 Comments off

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In a dramatic conclusion to a nail biting Targa this year, Tony Quinn has finished in front by six minutes over nearest rivals Jason White in their Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and Jamie Vandenberg in their Evo 9. Kevin Weeks who was battling valiantly with the GT-R in his Lamborghini in second place had a serious accident on TS36. Kevin was airlifted to hospital with co-driver Bec Crunkhorn, injuries were reported thankfully to be non-life threatening. We wish them the very best.

In the morning stages Tony was pushing the GT-R to show why it is the wet weather favourite taking 11 seconds of Week’s day 4 lead to get in front.

Later in the day Jason White reported a brake issue in their Lamborghini and had to back off the pace to get the car over the line.

This victory is Tony Quinn’s first from 11 Targa Tasmania events and one he truly deserves.

“Our strategy was always to keep up with the others and if we got the wet weather over the last day or two, just to have a lunge for it.

“I’ve always been bridesmaid to Jim (Richards) or the Whites or somebody else, and we’re very pleased to finally win it. It hasn’t sunk in yet and it feels like it’s been the toughest and most competitive week there’s every been in Targa.

“The top five or six guys have just been going hard at it. The proof in that is that Jimmy (Richards), for the first time ever, had a crash.”

– Tony Quinn

The win for the Nissan further establishes it in the world of tarmac rallying. As it chalks up wins over established favourites such as the Evo, Lamborghini, and Porsche I can see it becoming a weapon of choice for more teams.

Targa Tasmania 2009 press release after the jump and stay tuned for our photo update soon…

Link: Targa Tasmania 2009 Website – Results
Link: Targa Tasmania – News Website
Photos: Joel Strickland (C) Joel Strickland Photographics

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Targa Tasmania 2009: Drama Filled Day 3 for Nissan GT-R Pilots

May 1, 2009 Comments off

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Day three of Targa Tasmania 2009 was a troublesome one for three of the five Nissan GT-R teams as they battled in early wet conditions. First incident of the day involved Team Donut King’s GT-R driven by Tony Alford when they had an off around 11am on TS19. Front damage included a cracked radiator so he pulled out of the event.

Next was the sad news that Steve Jones, the young Western Australian who had been maintaining a solid top 5 position on days 1 and 2 had also had a more serious off on TS21. Steve was taken to hospital for observation but co-driver Rauri is OK. The car is damaged but witnesses said it could have been worse.

Thirdly, Russel Newman’s GT-R was seen exiting TS20 driving quite slowly. Mechanical dramas may have befallen them but we cannot say for sure. Chances are they will investigate the issue overnight and assess if they will continue in the morning. Fingers crossed.

Tony Quinn who began the day in first position on the other hand, had another top day of racing. No serious troubles except for the serious competition from the Lamborghini teams of Weeks/Crunkhorn (1st) and White/White (2nd) both in 2007 Gallardo Superleggeras. Tony, in third place, is only 4 seconds behind the leader and just 1 second behind 2nd place however as the competition this year is extremely close.

Peter Leemhuis in the second Team Donut King Nissan GT-R had a solid day finishing in 14th spot for day three.

Jim Richards who is always a favourite was also not immune to the dramas that befell teams today. After seemingly misjudging the surface conditions of a second gear corner, not expecting so much loose debris to be on the tarmac, he parked the nose of his Porsche GT2 into an embankment. This was enough to hole the radiator and end the event for him. Jim is in good spirits though even considering this is the first stage of a Targa Tasmania he’s ever entered but not finished.

Two more days of competitive racing ahead, weather is expected to be fine for both of them. Stay tuned for more updates and check out the entire press release from Targa Tasmania 2009 after the jump…

Link: Targa Tasmania 2009 Website – Results
Link: Targa Tasmania – News Website
Photos: Joel Strickland (C) Joel Strickland Photographics

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Targa Tasmania 2009: Nissan GT-R Outright Leader for Day 2 in Fine Conditions

April 30, 2009 Comments off

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An extremely close day of racing sees the VIP Petfoods Nissan GT-R of Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillet maintaining their lead over the field. Equal first / second has had one Lamborghini exchanged for another as the 2007 Gallardo of Kevin weeks has overtaken Jim Richards (Porsche GT2) and the Whites (Gallardo Superleggera) to end the day on par with the GT-R overall.

“I think it’s good for the event that it’s so close. There’s some good cars, some good drivers and a few surprises. The Skelta didn’t last and (last year’s winner, Steve) Glenney is nowhere to be seen.

“It’s the old troopers up the front who are pumping out times that are much quicker than last year. We all made it through and we’re ready to fight another day.”

– Tony Quinn

The top five contenders are within 21 seconds of each other including the fifth place Fabcar Nissan GT-R driven by Western Australian Steven Jones. He’s more than 30 seconds in front of sixth place but just 5 seconds behind 4th so has real potential to move up the ranks.

“We’re doing pretty good. The roads today are very bumpy compared to what I’m used to in WA, particularly in the middle of the corners. The car is just a little bit too low, we just need to adjust the suspension bit and make it suit the bumpier conditions in Tasmania. We’re just trying to keep on the road at moment, as there’s still a long way to go. I’m still getting used to it all. I’m happy with where I am and knew the front runners would go quickly, but I can’t let them get away too much if I want to stay in contention. Because this is my first Targa a lot of it is unknown and I don’t know what to expect next.”

– Steve Jones

Russel Newman is doing better today in his RGM Maintenance Nissan GT-R and has moved his way up to end 7 places better than yesterday for 13th spot in leg 2.

Team Donut King were penalised heavily on day two. Each scoring 20 minute penalties that pushed them right to the back of the pack. Minus the penalties Tony Alford would currently be in 12th place and Peter Leemhuis in about 18th. Instead these guys are towards the end of the field.

Day 3 of the Targa will be wet as it rained in Launceston overnight so the GT-Rs may now begin to really shine. Either way day 3 will be exciting indeed.

Targa Tasmania news release after the jump

Link: Targa Tasmania 2009 Website – Results
Link: Targa Tasmania – News Website

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Targa Tasmania 2009: Nissan GT-R Leading the Pack for Day 1

April 29, 2009 Comments off

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Leg 1 and day 1 of competitive racing for Targa Tasmania 2009 is completed and the results have been tallied and at the end of day 1 the GT-R is king. A fantastic opening day for the the VIP Petfoods Nissan GT-R driven by Tony Quinn as he takes the outright lead 6 seconds in front of the White’s Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera which trails in second.

“The day has been fantastic. Our strategy was to keep with the leaders until the rain comes, and then to see what we can do. If we are within cooee of the leaders, or about 20-25 seconds behind, we’ll be fine, hard to beat. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll just have to press a bit harder.”

– Tony Quinn

He’s managed more than that, in the dry conditions he’s shown the epic Porsche GT2 driven by legend Jim Richards why he should get back into a Nissan after campaigning in the Porsche for too long.

Steve Jones in the Fabcar Nissan GT-R is doing great as well managing 5th position at the end of day one at one stage being equal fourth at the end of TS7.

Tony Alford is also a strong contender in 12th position overall. Peter Leemhuis is in 18th and Russel Newman rounds out the GT-Rs in 20th place.

The racing continues tomorrow as the weather turns colder and, probably, wetter. Showers are expected and even anticipated by the AWD Nissan pilots. Things could get very interesting very quickly.

Update: Photos from day 1 added courtesy of Joel Strickland

Link: Targa Tasmania 2009 Website – Results
Link: Targa Tasmania – News Website
Photos: Joel Strickland (C) Joel Strickland Photographics

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Targa Tasmania 2009: Prologue Results and Photos

April 28, 2009 Comments off

Steven Jones & Ruari Soutar-Dawson - 2007 Nissan GTR

Targa Tasmania 2009 Prologue wrapped up yesterday and the Nissan GT-Rs put up a fight. Many competitors used this leg to bed in new brake pads for the legs to come.

No problems were found by the teams fielding Nissan GT-Rs and overall a good day was had by all.

Steve Jones in his GT-R finished 4th in the overall surrounded by 911 GT2s and Lamorghini Superleggeras. Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT2 took the outright win in this leg.

Today the serious racing begins so we’re keen to begin to see the results roll in.

Video and news release from yesterday after the jump and expect more updates later today.

Nissan GT-R Results – Temco Prologue

  • 4th – Jones – Nissan GT-R
  • 7th – Quinn – Nissan GT-R
  • 9th – Alford – Nissan GT-R
  • 13th – Leemhuis – Nissan GT-R
  • 29th – Newman – Nissan GT-R

Photos: Joel Strickland (C) Joel Strickland Photographics

Russell Newman & Chris Murphy - 2008 Nissan GTR

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Targa Tasmania 2009: Nissan GT-R Entry Preview

April 26, 2009 Comments off

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Well motorsports fans it’s that time of year again, the weather is getting colder and Formula one is heating up, yep it is Targa Tasmania time.

Last year we saw only one R35 Nissan GT-R entered but this year sees that upped to 5 competing in the event. There is a wide variety of experience amongst the field of R35 drivers.

First we have the Russell Newman and Chris Murphy 2008 Nissan GT-R. Newman competed in last year’s Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge and has competed in Dutton Rally events. With 12 months under his belt with the car Newman will be interesting to watch.

Next are Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett driving another 2008 Nissan GT-R. Quinn is coming off a fantastic start to the year with a 2nd place in Targa Wrest Point and outright victory at Rally Tasmania a few weeks later, they will be challenging for another win.

Tony Alford and Karl Farmer in their 2007 Nissan GT-R, part of Donut King racing team. Alford competed in last years event but had suspension problems and retired from the event, he has also competed in last years Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge and both Targa Wrest Point and Rally Tasmania earlier this year. In all those events he was running top 10 and top 5 times. He will be one to watch especially if it gets wet.

Peter Leemhuis and Ben Fitzsimons with another 2008 Nissan GT-R. Leemhuis has competed in only Targa Tasmania in 2008 and Targa Wrest Point this year, unfortunately the Wrest Point event ended early for him down a embankment. The car has been repaired and he is back for this event.

Steven Jones and Ruari Soutar-Dawson in a 2007 Nissan GT-R is the dark horse for this event. After winning Targa West this year on his 3rd attempt, and thus giving the new R35 Nissan GT-R its first motorsports win in Australia, he is favorite for the event. Jones has put a lot of time and effort into his pace notes and is expected to be in the top 10 from the start.

As usual GTRBlog will be covering the results with photos daily, stay tuned for more action from the Targa Tasmania 2009 as it happens this week.

Joel Strickland

Link: Targa Tasmania Website