In a marathon fourth day of Targa New Zealand, one in which competitors covered almost 600km of rain-lashed closed special and open touring stages through Taranaki, the King Country and the Manawatu, Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) continued to stamp their dominance on the field.
From New Plymouth to Ohura and back via Whangamomona, the defending series champs eased even further away from Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett (Nissan GT-R35) to end the day just shy of eight minutes ahead, with a further eight minute buffer on third placed 2013 event winners Martin Dippie and Jona Grant (Porsche 911 GT3).
Class-wise the big news today was the retirement of Metalman Classic 2WD front-runners Mark and Chris Kirk-Burnnand (BMW M3). The former class winners from Wellington were locked in a battle for the class lead with Targa Bambina event Classic class winners Bevan Claridge and Campbell Tannock (Holden Commodore V8) but ended up sitting at the side of the road half way through the Ohura stage this morning.
“About 15 kays in the engine just went bang,” said Mark. “There’s now a hole you could put your foot through in the (engine) block) so we borrowed a trailer off Glenn Inkster and towed the car out. There’s no way we can find and fit another engine in the time we have left so we’ll spend the rest of the event supporting the other Kirk-Burnnand cars and come back ourselves next year.”
With the Kirk-Burnnand son-and-father duo out, Bevan Claridge and Campbell Tannock now have a Metalman Classic 2WD class lead of just over 10 minutes over Far North Queensland husband-and-wife pair Keith and Mary-Anne Callinan with a further six minutes over the similar Mark 11 Ford Escort RS1800 of Nelson all-rounder Ashton Wood and Chris Lancaster.
With Wellingtonians Mark and Chris out of the event, the best performing Kirk-Burnnand is now Steven from Auckland who with co-driver Mick Hay is second in Instra.com Modern 2WD and fourth overall in his BMW 318T1 Compact.
The 21st annual Targa NZ event now heads east to Havelock North via Taihape and the Gentle Annie road on Friday before returning west for the finish at Palmerston North (at the city’s Square) on Saturday October 31.
Friday also sees the start of the two-day Targa Regional Rally event-within-an-event.
Information on both is available on the event website www.targa.co.nz or in the latest copy of NZ Classic Car magazine.
Andrew Simms Allcomer 4WD
1. Glenn Inkster/Spencer Winn (2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 04:24:08
2. Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett (2008 Nissan GTR) 04:32:04
3. Brian Green/Fleur Pedersen (2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS) 04:47:35
4. David Rogers/Aidan Kelly (2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS) 04:50:18
5. Graeme Wong/Kim Blatchley (1998 Subaru Impreza Type R) 05:07:38
6. Jeff McCandless/Marcella Mumm (2010 Subaru WRX ST1) 05:14:10
Metalman Classic 2WD
1. Bevan Claridge/Campbell Tannock (1992 Holden Commodore) 04:47:34
2. Keith & Mary Anne Callinan (1977 Ford Escort) 04:57:37
3. Ashton Wood/Chris Lancaster (1976 Ford Escort RS1800) 05:03:28
4. Bruce Farley/Glen Warner (1986 BMW 325 325) 05:04:01
5. Mark & Chris Kirk-Burnnand (1987 BMW M3) 05:06:18
6. Carl Kirk-Burnnand/Scott Hay (1991 BMW 325i) 05:07:12
Instra.com Modern 2WD
1. Martin Dippie/Jona Grant (2007 Porsche GT3 RS) 04:40:11
2. Steven Kirk-Burnnand/Mick Hay (1994 BMW 318ti) 04:43:33
3. Grant Aitken/Caroline Cullimore (2013 Toyota 86 RC) 04:48:38
4. Robert Darrington/David Abetz (2002 BMW M3) 04:48:40
5. Matt Todd/Dan Reichenbach (2008 BMW M3) 04:50:28
6. Chris Lewis/Kieran Anstis (2013 Toyota TR86) 04:53:40
1. Glenn Inkster/Spencer Winn 04:24:08
2. Tony Quinn/Naomi Tillett 04:32:04
3. Martin Dippie/Jona Grant 04:40:11
4. Steven Kirk-Burnnand/Mick Hay 04:43:33
5. Bevan Claridge/Campbell Tannock 04:47:24
6. Brian Green/Fleur Pedersen 04:47:35