Final twist gifts Targa win to Kirk-Burnnand and Hay
In a third and final day of high drama, Auckland pair Steve Kirk-Burnnand and co-driver Mike Hay (BMW 318ti) were gifted the win in the Targa Hawke’s Bay tarmac motor rally which finished in Havelock North on Sunday May 20.
Heading into the last 37.34km Argyle Rd/ Raukawa Rd stage of the day Martin Dippie and co-driver Jona Grant (Porsche 991 GT3 RS) from Dunedin enjoyed a 3 min 20.7 lead over KirkBurnnand and Hay.
On the first two days of the event Nic De Waal and Shane Reynolds from Auckland had set the pace in De Waal’s Subaru Impreza WRX though at the start of the final day their margin over Dippie and Grant Porsche was just 17.5 seconds.
That was halved after Sunday’s first stage, and reduced again as the De Waal Subaru’s engine went off song, and Dippie and Grant assumed a lead it looked like they would never lose in the third stage.
For their part Steven Kirk-Burnnand and Mike Hay brought both speed and consistency to the event and though they only won one stage outright they were in the right place at the right time when Dippie ran off the road in the final stage.
To their credit Dippie and Grant still had enough of a time buffer to end up second overall and retain their Class 6 (2WD) lead despite earning a maximum time for the final ill-fated stage.
The Dunedin duo were not the only high profile pair to end their event off the road either.
Top local entry, Ivan Knauf and Trevor Corbin (Subaru Impreza WRX), crashed out of fourth place on the very first stage on Sunday morning, while later in the day Simon and Sita Clark (BMW M3) from Tauranga lost what looked like a sure spot in the top six with a similar car-bending, event-ending off in the fourth stage.
One of the pre-event favourites, Mitsubishi Evo 9
Steven Kirk-Burnnand and co-driver Mike Hay (BMW 318ti #756) from Auckland won this year’s three-day Targa Hawke’s Bay event.
Second overall, after leading most of the final day, were Porsche 991 GT3 RS pair Martin Dippie and Jona Grant.
Nic De Waal and Shane Reynlds were early event pace-setters in De Waal’s Subaru Impeza WRX.