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Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge: Report and Results

October 6, 2008

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
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The roads were very wet, and learning to drive in the wet was a great learning experience, as well as learning to work with pace notes and know how to read them in your mind when the corner is approaching…

Traction control was used all day as it helps to keep the car tidy and to get a neat line, with so much torque, it can snap over steer very easily.

– Russel Newman

By the end of the day team Hi Octane were very happy to get back in to service in one piece after a full on day of racing in treacherous conditions.

Tony Alford in Donut King’s R35 was again impressed with the performance level of the GT-R

Car is awesome, no other way to describe it, the is no other production car out there that has the capabilities of this car. The only thing that is letting it down at present is the tyres.

Where the condition of the tarmac is good, competitors are making up time but when the quality of the tarmac is poor the tyres aren’t such an issue.

Team Donut King suffered in the wet as well but kept to the black stuff, finding that even though grip is a scarce commodity in the pouring rain that the GT-R is predictable in how it will handle and as a result they were comfortable in switching traction control completely off.

Sunday was another full day of racing. Raining in the morning but by mid afternoon the roads were drying. Both teams kept the GT-Rs out of serious trouble to finish the race, which, considering all the factors was quite an achievement.

The GT-Rs did more than just finish however, Tony Alford and Kelly Handley brought the Donut King GT-R home in amazing 5th position just 1 minute 29 seconds behind the leader. Russell Newman and Ben Wooster just 1 minute behind them again in 9th position.

GREAT work guys, congratulations on not just finishing but doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. I hope you all go on to compete in more such events and bring home another tarmac rally trophy for the GT-R soon!

Final Results – Modern, Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge

=1 Tony Longhurst/ Jahmeil Taylor, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 74 points
=1 Jamie Vandenberg/Simon Vandenberg, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 74 points
=3 Tony Quinn/K Wenn, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 56 points
=3 S Gillet/K Norton, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 56 points

Final Results – Classic, Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge

=1 Cameron Wearing/B Fitzsimons, Ford Capri Perana, 74 points
=1 Brett Kay/Stuart Jack, Mazda RS7, 74 points
3 S Cadden/S Strik, Porsche 911, 60 points

Heat 2 Results – Modern

1. T Longhurst/ J Taylor, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 47:50.0
2. J Vandenberg/S Vandenberg, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, +3.3seconds (diff. to leader)
3. Tony Quinn/K Wenn, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, +29.2
4. S Gillet/K Norton, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +35.2
5. T Alford/K Handley, Nissan GTR 35, +1:29.1
6. P Leemhuis/N Deniese, Nissan GTR32, +1:29.5
7. D Walden/R Ferguson, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 1:48.2
8. B Reeves/R Smyth, Mazda3 MPS, +2:31.3
9. R Newman/B Wooster, Nisssan GTR35, +2:34.0
10. S Bartter/I Wheeler, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +3:12.7

Heat 2 Results – Classic

1. C Wearing/B Fitzsimons, Ford Capri Perana, 52:22.3
2. B Kay/S Jack, Mazda RS7, +7.4 secs (diff to leader)
3. S Cadden/S Strik, Porsche 911, +1:39.8
4. G Tierney/D Carra, Porsche Carrera RS, +2:32.5
5. G Crimp/P Van der Mey, Porsche GTS Rallye, +2:45.6
6. D Todd/D Tighe, Holden Torana A9X, +3:05.6
7. R Lowe/P Lowe, Datsun 240Z, +4:54.3

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