INKSTER & WINN TAKE METALMAN TARGA SPRINT EVENT
Glenn Inkster and co-driver Spencer WinnOverall and Allcomers 4WD class winners at the 2015 Metalman Targa Sprint event at Ardmore on Sunday were Glenn Inkster from Patumahoe and co-driver Spencer Winn from Howick in their Ecolight Mitsubishi Evo 8.
Defending Targa New Zealand winners Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) got their 2015 season off to a winning start with overall and class victory in Sunday's one-day Metalman Targa Sprint event in south-east Auckland.
Based at Ardmore Airport and with two short (6.7 & 8.33km) stages repeated three times each for a total distance of just over 60kms, the event attracted a 40-strong
mix of regular Targa specialists like Inkster and Winn and event sponsor Clark Proctor and co-driver Sue 'O'Neill (Ford Escort V6 turbo),and interested first-timers like recently crowned NZV8 Touring Car champion Kevin Williams who leased a Mitsubishi Evo 6.
Inkster and Winn took the overall event honours by 26 seconds from fellow Allcomers 4WD class fast man Leigh Hopper and his co-driver Simon Fitzpatrick (Subaru Impreza WRX) but the winning pair certainly didn’t have it all their own way.
The margin was just one second in two of the stages, and Hopper and Fitzpatrick turned the tables on Inkster & Winn to win the second stage by three seconds.
Clark 'The Metalman' Proctor and co-driver Sue O'NeillWinners of the Modern 2WD class and third overall were event sponsor Clark 'The Metalman' Proctor and co-driver Sue O'Neill (Ford Escort V6 turbo).
Third overall and winner of the Modern 2WD class was event sponsor Clark Proctor (aka 'The Metalman') and co-driver Sue O'Neill in the highly-modified turbocharged Nissan V6-powered Mk 1 Ford Escort re-built after its crash and gearbox issues in last year's Targa South Island event.
Like Inkster and Winn, Proctor and O'Neill spent the best part of the day fighting a pitched battle for the class lead with - in their case - Taranaki ace Ross Graham (Holden Torana V8).
Graham (who used different members of his team as co-drivers during the day) claimed class wins in three of the stages, including the first by five seconds over Proctor and the third - again over Proctor - by just one second.
As he settled into his re-built car Proctor got quicker and quicker and at the same time, the late model BMW M3 V8s of Simon Clark and co-driver Donald Howard, and Aaron Robinson and George Randle (sharing the car owned and usually driven by Tim James), started putting pressure on Graham.
The result was that Graham held on for second in class and sixth overall with the BMWs of Clark and Howard and Robinson and Randle third and fourth respectively in class and an impressive eighth and ninth respectively overall.
Eddie and Tom GrootenWinners of the Classic 2WD class were father-and-son Eddie and Tom Grooten (Porsche 911S).
Early on in the day there was also a battle for class honours in Classic 2WD. But when the Datsun 240Z of early pace-setters, Andy Mygind and Anthony Baker was slowed by a mis-fire then fuel starvation, father-and-son pair Eddie and Tom Grooten eased away to lead home the classic contingent from Ken Northin and his co-driver in Northin's Ford Escort RS 2000 replica.
The Metalman Targa Sprint event was the first of the year's three Targa tarmac rally events with the second, the three-day Targa Bambina from Auckland to Whitianga and on to Rotorua running between May 16 and 18, and the annual six-day Targa New Zealand event which this year will run from the 26th to the 31st of October.
Targa New Zealand events are organised with the support of sponsors Ecolight, Federal tyres, Global Security, Instra Corporation, Kids In Cars, Metalman, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, TeamTalk, TrackIt, VTNZ. and Woolrest Biomag.
2015 Metalman Targa Rally Sprint Ardmore Papakura Auckland Sunday March 08
1. Glenn Inkster/Spencer Winn (2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 00:30:29
2. Leigh Hopper/Simon Kirkpatrick (1995 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) 00:30:55
3. Clark Proctor/Sue O'Neill (Ford Escort Mk 1 V6 Turbo) 00:32:57
4. Nic & Danny de Waal (2002 Subaru Impreza WRX) 00:33:05
5. Brian Green/Fleur Pedersen (2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS) 00:33:44
6. Ross & Carmel Graham (1977 Holden Torana) 00:33:47
7. David Rogers/Aiden Kelly (2009 Mitsubishi Evo X RS) 00:33:58
8. Simon Clark/Donald Howard (2007 BMW M3) 00:34:06
9. Aaron Robinson/ George Randle (2008 BMW M3)00:34:47
10. Cameron Ross/Matthew Buer (2003 Nissan 350Z) 00:34:
3. de Waal/de Waal
4. Green/ Pedersen
6. Chris Lane/Karl Celeste (2004 Audi RS4) 00:35:37
7. Kevin Williams/ -(1999 Mitsubishi Evo 6) 00:37:14
1. Eddie & Tom Grooten (1978 Porsche 911 SC) 00:36:11
2. Ken Northin/- (1975 Ford RS 2000 Replica) 00:37:38
3. Patrick O'Donnell/ - 1983 Isuzu Gemini 00:38:09
4. Linden Bawden/Rhys Bawden (1979 Ford Escort) 00:41:29
5. Gary Ashton/Chris McMurray (1964 Morris Cooper MK 1) 00:45:25
Prepared by Ross MacKay FAST COMPANY on behalf of Targa NZ, photo credit Ben Hughes & Owen de Mooy PROSHOTZ Photography. To find out more about the various Targa events go to the Targa NZ website at www.targa.co.nz
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