By Alex Molocznyk.
Two crews from LCQ competed in Targa Tasmania 2021. Tony and Sandra Seymour in their first Targa Tas. Patrick Mewing being an experienced campaigner in a beautiful 1967 Elan with Nav Gezim Bashi. I navigated for a NSW club member Jury Wowk in his first Targa Tasmania.
A total of eleven Lotus crews competed comprising a team of eight with service support from Simply Sports Cars and three “privateers” with their own separate service arrangements. SSC did a magnificent support job for car and crew preparations leading up to the event including dealing with the ever changing requirements for Covid and providing service during the event for both the competitors and the tour.
|Entries in the Simply Sports Cars Lotus Team|
|451||Martin Duursma (NSW) – Richard Wodhams (NSW)||2018 Exige Cup 430||GT Sports Trophy|
|457||Matthew Gibbens (NSW) – Tim Jurd (NSW)||2020 Exige 410||GT Sports Trophy|
|466||Rob Bryden (NSW) – Ian Noble (NSW)||2020 Exige Sport 410||GT Sports Trophy|
|477||Peter Taylor (NSW) – Tristan Taylor (NSW)||2015 Exige Sports 350||GT Sports Trophy|
|483||Steven Sher (NSW) – Fergal Murphy (NSW)||2016 Exige S||GT Sports Trophy|
|709||Tony Seymour (QLD) – Sandra Seymour (QLD)||2013 Exige Sport 350||Rookie Rallye|
|910||Jury Wowk (NSW) – Alex Molocznyk (QLD)||2019 Exige Sport 430||GT Outright|
|918||Josh Hilton ((NSW) – Rodney Vanderpoel (NSW)||2020 Exige Targa GT||GT Outright|
|Lotus Privateer Entries|
|563||Patrick Mewing (QLD) – Gezim Bashi (QLD)||1967 Elan||Classic|
|901||Peter Rullo (WA) – Dennis Sims (SA)||2020 Exige Targa GT||GT Outright|
|914||Neil Cuthbert (VIC) – Susan Cuthbert (VIC)||2017 Exige Sport 350||GT Outright|
Some crews arrived prior to the event for reconnaissance and a get together dinner was arranged on the Saturday beforehand. Cars that were transported separately, some crews and SSC support were on the Saturday overnight Spirit of Tasmania. The next morning we discovered the ferry departure was delayed and arrival in Devonport was expected to be late on Sunday morning. That meant cars and crews on the ferry could miss Sunday scrutineering. After some frantic phone calls to Targa officials documentation and scrutineering times were extended to allow for the late arrivals.
With scrutineering completed the Lotus welcome dinner on Sunday night was an opportunity to catch up with the old friends and meet newcomers for the competition and the tour.
Day 1 of the competition saw Lotus show their advantage with newcomers Rullo & Sims finishing 3rd overall. In the GT Sports Trophy category Gibbens & Jurd, Bryden & Noble and Sher & Murphy finished 1st, 3rd and 5th respectively. Mewing & Bashi came a very respectable 5th in the Classic Handicap. In the Rookie Rallye Seymour & Seymour went straight to first position in the first two stages and finished in the lead after an exciting day swapping 1st and 2nd places with a Tasmanian based WRX that had a home state local knowledge advantage.
Day 2 saw a wet day for all stages with difficult slippery conditions. The conditions suited the all wheel drives pushing Rullo & Sims back to 5th overall. However in GT Sports Trophy Gibbens & Jurd maintained their lead and Sher & Murphy and Bryden & Noble rose to 2nd and 3rd respectively. Mewing and Bashi did well in the conditions gaining a place for 4th in their category. Seymour & Seymour consolidated their first place after leading every stage except for one that went to the WRX.
Day 3 was dry for most of the day except for the last stage that was wet. Recent road resurfacing on the favourite Hellyer Gorge stage made it too dangerous and the stage was downgraded. Rullo & Sims had a bad day with an accumulation of penalties that ruined their run finishing 11th overall but maintaining the fastest Lotus placing. In GT Sports Trophy Gibbens & Jurd, Sher & Murphy and Bryden & Noble maintained their 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings. Mewing & Bashi had a hole in the radiator on the second last stage of the day that put an end to their creditable run holding onto 4th place and ultimately ended their event. Seymour & Seymour again led every stage for the day to maintain their first position with the WRX hot on their tail.
Day 4 was another wet day with conditions ranging from good to extremely poor. Due to the roadworks in Hellyer Gorge two stages were shortened to eliminate the dangerous sections. Rullo & Sims struggled over the day but held onto 11th overall and fastest Lotus. The Gibbens & Jurd, Sher & Murphy and Bryden & Noble triumvirate maintained their grip on the first three placings while increasing the gap to 4th. Over the day Seymour & Seymour swapped positions with the WRX to end up still leading.
Day 5 another wet day with atrocious conditions on the Queenstown and Mt Arrowsmith stages. The Mt Arrowsmith stage saw the end of Rullo & Sims dominance and Hilton & Vanderpoel taking over as the fastest Lotus by a margin of 2 secs to Cuthbert & Cuthbert. The Gibbens & Jurd, Sher & Murphy and Bryden & Noble threesome were still hard at it in the first three places. The close race between Seymour & Seymour and the WRX continued with the positions swapping at each stage and the day going to the WRX by 8 secs.
Day 6 was a dry day which made a pleasant change from the previous wet. Cuthbert & Cuthbert gained 4 sec on Hilton and Vanderpoel to take the Lotus lead and maintained the position for the remaining stages. The three battlers Gibbens & Jurd, Sher & Murphy and Bryden & Noble maintained their positions for a well earned Lotus lockout of first, second and third podium positions in GT Sports Trophy. The Seymour & Seymour and WRX place swapping continued with the WRX ultimately taking out 1st place by 8 secs. Cancellation of the last three stages shortened the event and unfortunately took out the possibility of a win for the Seymours.
The event was rounded off that night with another great dinner where the Lotus family of SCC, the competitors and the tour shared their experiences of the event before the following day’s trophies collection, checkouts and homeward-bound journeys.
|914||Neil Cuthbert (VIC) – Susan Cuthbert (VIC)||2017 Exige Sport 350||GTO||53:54|
|918||Josh Hilton (NSW) – Rodney Vanderpoel (NSW)||2020 Exige Targa GT||GTO||54:14|
|709||Tony Seymour (QLD) – Sandra Seymour (QLD)||2013 Exige Sport 350||ROOKIE||56:40|
|457||Matthew Gibbens (NSW) – Tim Jurd (NSW)||2020 Exige 410||GTST||1:01:57|
|483||Steven Sher (NSW) – Fergal Murphy (NSW)||2016 Exige S||GTST||1:02:10|
|466||Rob Bryden (NSW) – Ian Noble (NSW)||2020 Exige Sport 410||GTST||1:03:12|
|910||Jury Wowk (NSW) – Alex Molocznyk (QLD)||2019 Exige Sport 430||GTO||1:15:40|
|451||Martin Duursma (NSW) – Richard Wodhams (NSW)||2018 Exige Cup 430||GTST||1:20:31|
|477||Peter Taylor (NSW) – Tristan Taylor (NSW)||2015 Exige Sports 350||GTST||1:28:45|
|901||Peter Rullo (WA) – Dennis Sims (SA)||2020 Exige Targa GT||GTO||2:28:15|
|563||Patrick Mewing (QLD) – Gezim Bashi (QLD)||1967 Elan||CLASSIC||DNF|