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Grip : GRIP February 2013
TARGA WREST POINT GRIP PODIUM FINISH FOR TASSIE DEALERS CONTACT GRIP Editor SUBARU has broken the dominance of Mitsubishi in this year’s Australian Targa Championship series with a strong performance in round three, the two- day Targa Wrest Point tarmac rally, held recently in the Huon Valley and surrounding districts south of Hobart. In a great result, two Launceston-based Subaru teams finished second and third in the 4WD Showroom competition. The Neil Buckby Subaru team of Ben Newman and Crichton Lewis scored a superb second place – only 16 seconds behind the winners - in their 2010 Subaru WRX STI, with Ralph and Alex Nor ton joining them on the third step of the podium in the same make and model. With both teams missing the first round of the championship, Targa Adelaide, last September, the Targa Wrest Point result has elevated them to fourth and fifth places respectively in the championship series. The final round of the series will be the double -points round, Targa Tasmania, in April. “It was really great to get two Subarus on the podium and beat most of the Mitsubishis,” Ben Newman said. “We’re rapt with our result – we were five minutes faster overall for the same course as last year, so the improvements we made to our Subaru worked a treat,” he said. “Our improvement over the whole event equates to two seconds per kilometre better than last year, and that’s a massive gain in tarmac rallying.” As impressive as the result was, it could have potentially been even better for Newman and Lewis. “We were expecting it to be a bit wet on the first day, so we gambled on a softer compound tyre,” Newman said. “We ended up rotating our five tyres to minimise wear and it was okay in the shorter stages – we won the Pelverata and Longley stages - but the temperature went up in the longer stages and we struggled towards the end of Longley,” he said. “On the second day, with a few shorter stages, we managed to pull back 30 seconds on the leaders, and to finish just 16 seconds down was a great result for us. “We also finished 13th outright, which combined with the second in showroom, makes it our best result ever. “In hindsight, we could have won the event if we’d made a wiser tyre choice – we couldn’t fault the Subaru – it performed brilliantly and it was just our choice of tyres which robbed us of a win.” Both the boys from Neil Buckby Subaru are under no illusions about the final round, the six-day Targa Tasmania, but they are looking forward to the challenge and the chance to knock off more Mitsubishis. Ben Newman and Crichton Lewis on their way to a podium finish inTarga Wrest Point. INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE DEALERSHIPS RETAILER OF THE YEAR 40 YEARS OF SUBARU PRODUCT NEWS AFTERSALES FLEET TRENDS DEALER STATS SPORT
GRIP January 2013
GRIP March 2013