Report and photos by Vince Johnson
The 2012 running of the Supaloc Targa Adelaide Rally was held 22-26 August in South Australia. Modern vehicles were included in the Targa Adelaide competition category for the first time this year, bringing the latest European and Japanese sports and touring cars to the first round of the Australian Targa Championship. Closed road special stages in the city’s surrounding hills provided spectators with close-up vantage points for four days, but the action began in a big way on Wednesday evening.
Parc ferme was in the Goyder Pavilion at the Showgrounds and inside, attracting a lot of attention, was the 1951 Holden 48-215 (FX) of Richard Davison and Gary Poole. Richard was the 1980 Australian Formula 2 Champion, is the father of Aussie V8 Supercar racers Alex & Will Davison, the son of four-time Australian Grand Prix winner Lex Davison and step-son of Australia’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix driver Tony Gaze. In 1953 Tony, Lex and Stan Jones, father of 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan, entered a similar car in the Monte Carlo Rally. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of this entry, Richard and Gary will team up with Craig Lowndes, five-time winner of the Bathurst 1000 touring car race, in this car at the 2013 Monte Carlo Rally, starting from Edinburgh, Scotland as did the 1953 crew. They had chosen Targa Adelaide as an ideal shakedown cruise for the old, but fully rebuilt, Holden. Outside it was standing room only. While the car clubs set up their displays, 24,000 fans filled the spectator areas for the 2-lap prologue against the clock around the car parks and exhibition buildings.
Thursday’s stages were held to the north-east of the capital in the teeth of a blustery cold front. Temperatures plummeted in the wind and rain and while tyre wear was not an issue, getting heat into the rubber and the danger of aquaplaning certainly were. Last year’s winner, event sponsor Kevin Weeks had an off-road excursion in his Lamborghini Gallardo at the end of the day, dropping him to 7th, four minutes off the pace. Jason and John White finished the day with an outright lead of over a minute from the Nissan GT-Rs of Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett and Peter Rullo/Simon Iseppi.
Crews were hoping for a respite the following day but Friday’s weather was no better. Low cloud, strong wind and more rain made conditions just as hazardous. White’s Gallardo developed electrical gremlins with the wipers giving problems and Quinn’s GT-R narrowed the gap. Local driver Matt Selley, with Hamish McKendrick calling the corners, had his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 flying through the fog over Mt Lofty and finished the day in front of the Rullo/Iseppi GT-R. Weeks had retired with Thursday’s incident putting a driveshaft out of action. Bill Brentzell and Karien Heimsohn built a strong lead in their Mustang (Shelby GT350) over the Porsche 911S of Rob Black and Vivek Ponnusamy in the Early Classic Handicap category. It was a close tussle in Late Classic between the Mazda RX7s of Bruce Power/Ray Baker and Barry Faux/ Therezia Mihajlovic while in Early Modern Tim Possingham/Ben Scott (1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R) had almost four minutes over the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 RS of David Welling/Tristan Catford.
The public had another chance to get up close to the cars and crews at the Norwood Parade Street Party east of town on Friday evening. The outdoor temperature was definitely on the winter scale but the samba drummers kept the heat up for the Brazilian-style dancers along the café strip. On Saturday, drivers had running water to contend with on some of the hills roads, but the spectators and hotel patrons at Norton Summit had plenty to cheer about. Nick Streckeisen and Mike Dale’s Porsche 944 Turbo took over the running in Late Classic from the RX7s while the Possingham/Scott Nissan and Brentzell/Heimsohn Mustang maintained their positions. Craig Haysman and Neil Branum continued to lead the Classic Outright category in their well-sorted Triumph TR7 V8.
Sunday consisted of three timed sections as the final Clarendon stage had been withdrawn in a mark of respect to Adam Plate, who died when his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 left the road at Chandlers Hill on Friday. His co-driver Patrick Chan survived the accident with minor injuries.
Conditions had moderated and roads were generally dry but the grippier surfaces gave those on medium rubber plenty to think about. Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett’s Nissan GT-R made up time on the Whites’ Gallardo but not enough to keep victory from the reigning Australian Targa champion. Also in the Modern category, and the only entry to complete the entire event with a ladder bolted to the roof, was the Solar Depot Volkswagen Caddy diesel van of Troy Ryan and Guy Sierp. They finished a creditable 10th. In the Regularity class, where crews have to drive to a nominated speed, John Goodall and Graham Palich were the most consistent in their 2009 Porsche Cayman, from Richard Davis/Bill Best (2008 Holden HSV W427) and Graeme Lowe/ Gordon Elley (1983 Porsche 911 Turbo).
Targa Adelaide 2012 – Photo Gallery
Targa Adelaide 2012 – Race Results
1. Jason White / John White, 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo, 22m24s
2. Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett, 2011 Nissan GT-R, +25s
3. Peter Rullo / Simon Iseppi 2012 Nissan GT-R, +3m30s
4. Andrew Burnard / Tim Magarch, 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, +9m07s
5. Peter Leemhius / Ben Fitzsimons, 2008 Nissan GT-R, +11m50s
SHANNONS CLASSIC OUTRIGHT
1. Craig Haysman / Neil Branum, 1981 Triumph TR7 V8, 34m11s
2. Nick Streckeisen / Mike Dale, 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo, +1m15s
3. Roger Paterson / Paul Whatnell, 1974 Porsche 911 RS, +1m43s
4. Barry Faux / Therezia Mihajlovic, 1979 Mazda RX7, +1m50s
5. Donn Todd / Dean Tighe, 1971 Ford Capri Perana, +2m31s
SHANNONS EARLY CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. Bill Brentzell / Karien Heimsohn, 1965 Shelby GT350, 31m21s
2. Rob Black / Vivek Ponnusamy, 1971 Porsche 911 S, +3m53s
3. Andrew Bryson / Craig Milich, 1964 Hillman Imp Rallye, +4m02s
4. Donn Todd / Dean Tighe, 1971 Ford Capri Perana, +4m11s
3. Richard Woodward / Neil Gibson, 1969 Holden Monaro GTS, +4m21s
SHANNONS LATE CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. Nick Streckeisen / Mike Dale, 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo, 28m39s
2. Barry Faux / Therezia Mihajlovic, 1979 Mazda RX7, +35s
3. Bruce Power / Ray Baker, 1979 Mazda RX7, +59s
4. Roger Paterson / Paul Whatnell, 1974 Porsche 911 RS, +2m24s
5. Craig Haysman / Neil Branum, 1981 Triumph TR7 V8, +2m28s
SUPALOC EARLY MODERN
1. Tim Possingham / Ben Scott, 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R, 30m21s
2. Adam Kaplan / David Kaplan, 1988 Holden Commodore HSV, +5m37s
3. Andre Lukasz / Adam Tillett, 1994 Nissan 200 SX, +5m44s
4. Andrew Booker / Chris Edmonson, 1990 Nissan 180 SX, +8m47s
5. Richard Perini / Chris Perini, 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, +9m31s
SUPALOC SHOWROOM 4WD
1. Greg Burrowes / Rhonda Burrowes, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, 38m20s
2. Michael Flood / Nathan Green, 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, +2m15s
4. Allan Mair / Michelle Mair, 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +9m51s
1. Glyn Crimp / Paul van der Mey, 2010 Ford Focus RS, 45m32s
SUPALOC SHOWROOM SPORTS
1. Neill Ford / Nathalie Ford, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 41m51s
RDA BRAKES REGULARITY
1. John Goodall / Graham Palich, 2009 Porsche Cayman, 308 points
2. Richard Davis / Bill Best, 2008 HSV W427, 366 points
3. Graeme Lowe / Gordon Elley, 1983 Porsche 911, Turbo
For complete results, visit Targa Adelaide Results.
[Source: Vince Johnson]