TMR takes another Targa title
Arentz takes Showroom 4WD Championship
TMR Mitsubishi Evo X-mounted Clinton Arentz has taken the 4WD Showroom Australian Targa Championship for 2013/14 with a stirring performance at Targa Tasmania.
In the double points decider, held on the most famous tarmac rally roads in Australia, Arentz, along with renowned co-driver and new recruit Dale Moscatt, fought hard with championship rivals Ben Newman and Crichton Lewis in their Subaru Impreza STi throughout the event, with the class leadership see-sawing throughout. Arentz/Moscatt established an early 2sec lead over Newmna/Lewis on the first true test of Targa, the 15km of TS3 Sheffield in Leg One. The held a slender lead of 3sec overnight.
They lost the lead to the Subaru on Leg Two, during the tricky TS10 Elephant Pass, finally ending the day 12sec behind their championship rivals.
Leg 3 promised a better outcome, with an immediate stage win, Arentz leading Newman homw by 3sec on TS17 Mole Creek. Then, in slippery conditions on TS19 Castra, the TMR Evo X lost 9sec to trail the Subaru by 22sec overall. The race was on.
Arentz hit back on TS21 Oldina, taking 12sec out of the lead before tying the times with Newman on TS23 Plimsoll. On the tricky last stage, a 33km run into Strahan known as Rinadeena, Arentz forged ahead to lead by 5sec overnight.
Leg 4 dawned treacherously on Tasmania’s West Coast, the Targa crews needing to contend with streaming water at regular intervals. It proved to be a day were survival was perhaps more important than overall speed. It was on TS25 – the first of the morning, at Reece Dam – where Arentz took charge, winning the stage by 46sec. He ended the day with a lead of 1:31, and was placed in sixth outright, his speed and consistency paying off.
The final stamp of authority was produced on the last day, the highlight coming on the 58km of Mt Arrowsmith, where Arentz beat Newman by 53sec. From there, it was a relatively easy run to the finish, with Showroom 4WD victory, the Australian Targa Championship title for the class… and a resounding third outright in the toughest tarmac test around.
The round victory for Arentz tied him on points with Newman in the four-round championship. However, with victory in the Tasmanian jewel of the series, Arentz has been awarded a thoroughly well-deserved title.
Two other TMR Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Xs also participated at Targa Tasmania. While there was disappointment for Max Williams and Bruce Bush in the outright category (they failed to finish), Barrie Smith and co-driver Jan Smith putting in a solid performance throughout by coming fourth in the Showroom 4WD class. The Smiths were in contention for a class podium for the majority of the event, but were happy to finish what was a sometimes-treacherous event in fourth position.
Proud TMR team leader Alan Heaphy said: “For me, Arentz was the driver of the overall event. With Dale’s co-driving expertise, Clint was able to find another gear and his pace was much improved throughout the event. Even in the changing conditions, particularly in the real wet of Leg Four, they were smooth, consistent and fast.”
As ever, plans are already underway for the next Australian Targa Championship, which will commence with Targa Adelaide on 17-21 September, 2014.