Leg 3 of Targa Tasmania has seen a day of mixed fortunes for Dean Herridge and Glen Weston in the #993 Subaru Impreza.
Overnight the Maximum Motorsport mechanics put in an incredible effort to rebuild the Subaru’s engine in time for the Friday mornings start, the team replacing the pistons and rings due to a suspected piston failure during Thursdays stages. “It’s as good as new”, Dean confirmed after he completed the final stage of the day. “There’s been no problems with the engine at all today; the guys did a fantastic job”.
But while the engine is back in working order, the condition of Dean’s tyres is still a concern. His pre-race gamble on medium compound tyres was based on the forecast of rain. And so far that rain has failed to eventuate. “We’ve compromised our speed a little bit at times, trying to drive the car straight and preserve the tyres. Any rain will help. The roads were greasy this morning, and it’s been patchy in places this afternoon, which may have caught out some of the other crews”.
And it was retirements, not the weather conditions, that have elevated Dean up 4th place today, with eight-time champion Jim Richards and Nissan driver Steven Jones both forced to retire due to accidents.
Tomorrow the Targa field leaves Launceston for the final time, travelling first to Penguin on Tasmania’s northern coast, then swinging south for Strachan (and hopefully some rain) on the mid-west coast, including seven competitive stages.
Results – After Day 3
1. Weeks / Crunkhorn, Lamborghini Gallardo, +04:24
2. White / White, Lamborghini Gallardo, +04:27
3. Quinn / Tillett, Nissan GTR, +04:28
4. D Herridge / Weston, Subaru Impreza STi, +06:08
5. Close / Reeves, Porsche 911 Turbo, +06:32
16. R Herridge / Chudleigh, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +11:46
29. Furness / Furness, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +17:00
44. Iddles / Hopwood, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, +23:30
Photos from Targa Wrest Point courtesy of Optical Note Productions.