Ma­jor makes it a Targa hat-trick

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport - Bill Buys

NORTH Perth’s Peter Ma­jor claimed his third Targa West win at the week­end, with his cam­ou­flage-painted Mit­subishi Evo VIII, co-driven by Greg Flood, fin­ish­ing the four-day tar­mac rally com­fort­ably ahead of the 67-car pack.

But the event was marred by an in­ci­dent that clouded the out­come of the Clas­sic Chal­lenge di­vi­sion.

The event has four ma­jor cat­e­gories: Mod­ern Com­pe­ti­tion, Clas­sic Com­pe­ti­tion, Mod­ern Chal­lenge and Clas­sic Chal­lenge.

The Tri­umph TR-8 pair­ing of Martin Eyer and Rus­sel Benn had a com­mand­ing lead over the Porsche of Paul Thompson and Vanessa Saun­der­son in Clas­sic Chal­lenge, but were pe­nalised un­der bizarre cir­cum­stances and rel­e­gated to sec­ond place.

“We got robbed,” a dis­ap­pointed Eyer said.

“We were given two-minute penalty for obey­ing an of­fi­cial in­struc­tion that turned out to be wrong and did not af­fect our time in any way.

“We thought there would no prob­lem to over­turn it, es­pe­cially since we have it on video, but we were told it would stand un­less I lodged an ap­peal with the stew­ards.

“But who would want a tro­phy once the cham­pagne had been spilled?”

The charis­matic Gwelup mo­tor sports­man, a Targa vet­eran of 10 years, did not at­tend the prize­giv­ing din­ner.

Peter Ma­jor and Greg Flood had some luck in win­ning Mod­ern Com­pe­ti­tion, with me­chan­i­cal both­ers stop­ping the charges of ri­vals Brett Wilkin­son (Evo IX) and Peter Rullo (Nissan GTR 35).

Ma­jor and Flood ended up at the spec­ta­tor-packed Perth fore­shore tak­ing the che­quered flag 1.23 min­utes ahead of Matt O’Neill, of Jane Brook, and Mandy Lis­ter in a Subaru WRX STI with Wan­neroo fa­ther-and-daugh­ter Stewart and Carly Liddle third in their Evo X.

Floreat’s Paul Moltoni and co-driver Lisa White brought their Porsche 911 RS smoothly home to claim first place in Clas­sic Com­pe­ti­tion af­ter 2014 win­ners Si­mon Gun­son, of Bi­bra Lake and Jur­gen Lunsmann had me­chan­i­cal mal­adies in their fiery Capri Per­ana to fin­ish sec­ond, 2.35 min­utes be­hind.

David Moir brought his Dat­sun 240Z home in third spot.

Can­ning Vale driver Sharon Gun­son and He­len Lunsmann had another cracker run in Mod­ern Clas­sic in their pink Evo VII and were very lucky to win with their car ex­pir­ing im­me­di­ately af­ter the last stage with a blown dif­fer­en­tial.

Ge­orge and Kerry Watts, of Ocean Reef, ran sec­ond in their Evo X, with the Mercedes A45 AMG of Michael Broughton, of Swan­bourne, and Fre­man­tle’s David Watkin in third place.

The de­mand­ing event, now in its 11th year, took in spe­cial stages at Barba­gallo Race­way, a night stage on the streets of Malaga, a sec­tion of White­man Park, Kala­munda’s in­fa­mous Zig-Zag and Mun­dar­ing Road, Toodyay, Chit­ter­ing and Bulls­brook be­fore fin­ish­ing at Langley Park.

Pic­tures: Travis Barnes

Top: Peter Ma­jor and Greg Flood en route to a third out­right win in Targa West. Above: Martin Eyer and Rus­sel Benn in their dis­tinc­tive blue TR-8.

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