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Mr. Embargo
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Steve Hoinville and Ruth Williams have completed the competition debut of the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo with an outstanding 10th place at the Targa Tasmania production car road rally.

In a field of 267 entries, Hoinville and Williams steered their Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo through 44 timed stages totalling 2,299km (464km competitive).

The second Falcon XR6 Turbo entry of MOTOR editor Michael Taylor and Bronwyn Humphrey also completed the event.

Targa Tasmania’s reputation as the ultimate tarmac rally was certainly true this year with heavy rain on occasions bringing out the best in the crews and the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo.

Competing in the Modified Specification (MS) class in a Ford Racing prepared Falcon XR6 Turbo, Hoinville and Williams climbed as high as eighth place midway through the event.

Heavy rain over the final two days of the Targa Tasmania proved the toughest challenge for the Ford entry.

Hoinville and Williams held their own over the long stages as others made mistakes and slid off the road.

“To finish in the top 10 at Targa Tasmania and to do it in an all-new car is a very satisfying result,” said the Ford Racing engineer and lead driver.

“Considering the distance, the weather and the competition, the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo has really showed its strength this week in Tasmania.

“Inside the car we had a very good week with no mistakes; that was despite giving it everything out on the stages.

“The Falcon XR6 Turbo has a big future in these types of events and with the lessons learnt this year put into practice in 2004, I’m sure an even stronger result is very much achievable.”

Co-driver Ruth Williams acknowledged the team effort in the result.

“We’ve had 15 other people on the road in Tasmania this week and it’s been that combined effort that gained this result,” said Williams.

“Everyone has pulled together and it’s made our job in the car all that more enjoyable.

“Steve’s driving was first class, especially in the tougher conditions. I have really enjoyed the competition this week and I’m keen to have another crack in the future”.

Michael Taylor and Bronwyn Humphrey in the showroom standard Falcon XR6 Turbo ran as high as 16th, including a stunning 11th outright on the daunting 38 km Cethana stage, before dropping back to 67th after power-steering dramas at the end of the second last leg.

Repairs were quickly completed by the service crew, but Taylor and Humphrey overrun their late time and subsequently dropped down the order.

“That’s a tough motor. The power steering issue meant we had to run it for more than 30 km without a water pump and it finished the rally producing as much power as it had at the start. Although we finished 67th, that was not a true indication of how were running,” said Taylor.

“We were constantly the fastest car in our category and a top 15 would have been just reward for the efforts the crew put in.

“The conditions throughout were pretty tough. Even when it wasn’t raining the stages were never 100 percent dry. It meant I had to drive with total concentration and commitment to Bronwyn’s notes.

“I wanted to drive Targa Tasmania in a standard version of the Falcon XR6 Turbo to really see what it could do and it didn’t disappoint me”.

The toughness of the event was not lost on Humprhey.

“We had a lot of challenging stages and considering the number of cars we saw off the road it’s been satisfying to get to the end,” said Humphrey.

“There was some very wet weather this week and I know the crew was always pleased to see us at the end of the stages.

“The Ford Racing crew were fantastic to work with and the whole team environment has been a big highlight.”

Following the strong result this year, Ford is considering an ongoing commitment to Targa Tasmania in the coming years.

“This is a great event and a great way to prove just how good the Falcon XR6 Turbo is,” said Falcon Brand Marketing Manager Andrew Birkic.

“We’ve gained a whole lot of information on the car and the event this week. Although we have to go away and look at our future plans in terms of Targa competition, I would have to say it looks very bright”.

Jim Richards and Barry Oliver won their seventh Targa Tasmania title ahead of Steve Glenney and Clayton Lang, with Rex Broadbent and Michael Goedheer third.
 

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BSR Twin System (tm)
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4,751 Posts
Congratulations and well done to the Ford Team.
:bowd:
 

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Phantom XR6T
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111 Posts
I think they beat Richards but not Brock.

Was the XR6 as heavily modified as brocks Monaro which is the same sort of thing they raced last year isn't it?
 

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In a blue Galaxy
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Great! How modified is this XR6 Turbo? Considering some of the other entrants it would have to be modified. Theres no way it could be that good a stock car to finish that high.
 

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BSR Twin System (tm)
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Cobra said:
Great! How modified is this XR6 Turbo? Considering some of the other entrants it would have to be modified. Theres no way it could be that good a stock car to finish that high.
Handycapping has a lot to do with the finishing order, not just power and skill.
 

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Registered
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26 Posts
Handicapping?? In the outright classes im sure there is no handicapp system. The XR6 Turbo driven by Steve Hoinville was entered in the modified class, the same class as Brocky and Richards Monaro. So they did very well to come 10th outright.
 

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Evil Holden Overlord
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920 Posts
Scary thing is that in amoungst all the big $$$ boys are one CV8 (6th), one XR6T (10th), and one Astra SRi Turbo (13th)!!!
 

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How bloody Hot is it ??!!
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264 Posts
Was it just me but all the TV specials on the Targa showed a 4 second shot of the XR on a foggy day and that was all we saw of it... I mean fair enough with Jimmy and the Skyline battling it out as well as the Monaro' as Brocky is always news and the Toyota got plenty but the Fords got nada.. interesting
 
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