Driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane during one leg of Targa Tasmania. Photo Perfect Prints
Driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane during one leg of Targa Tasmania. Photo Perfect Prints Contributed

Team Betta starts Targa Adelaide day 3 in 2nd spot

WARWICK Team Betta started day 3 of Targa Adelaide in 2nd place in class and 1 minute and 53 seconds behind the early modern class leader and 11th overall.

The roads were still wet and greasy even though it was not raining. The schedule showed that there were eight competitive stages to be run in the hills of Adelaide.

The first stage of the day claimed six teams from all classes, but the Team Warwick Betta Mitsubishi Evo banked a solid time and after the completion of the stage was the fastest time in class.

Driver Rob Balint continued to put in a solid driving effort for the next stages, posting the fastest time in all stages in the early modern class.

This was achieved despite some dodgy calls from navigator Peter Lane who claimed that the pace notes were wrong and that there were corners in the notes that just weren't on the road.

The last three stages were conducted on dry roads, the first for the event, and Team Warwick Betta managed no lower than third on the score sheet in the early modern class, with only seconds separating the teams in these stages.

At the completion of all competitive stages for the day the time sheets showed that Warwick Team Betta had closed the gap to 1st place to 1 minute 26 seconds.

Lane contested some times hoping to be credited with another 46 seconds.

This will left the team us some 40 seconds in arrears of the class leader.

"We had also extended our lead over 3rd place in class by another minute and had moved up the overall ladder to position 9," the team said.

"As a result of this at the team briefing Saturday night, it was decided, yes the service crew have a say, that we should consolidate 2nd place in class and take no risks on the last day.

"The points for the Australian Targa Championship need to be taken in mind." 

Before day 2, a team meeting was held in the morning and it was decided by all that the day would be steady as she goes and to make sure that the team completed all stages because of the continuing rain. 

"Stage one of the day saw us top the charts in our class with the fastest time over the stage even with a moment where Rob thought the call was seven left and park beside the creek to have a picnic amongst the trees," Lane said.

"The water running across the road was terrible on this stage and this is what caused us to aquaplane into the parklands.

"Rob was quick to grab reverse and then first to get back on to course.  Surprisingly no other competitors overtook us on that stage despite the 30 seconds driving around in the mud."

The next couple of stages was situation normal with the Warwick Team Betta Mitsubishi Evo handling the wet roads like it was on rails.  Lane did manage to lose himself in the pace notes which is rather scary at 180 to 200 km/h when the driver yells what is next and he is looking at a crest in the road. 

"But all good and we banked some solid times," Lane said.

"Day 2 finished much the same as it started still wet and very slippery and after two days of the same our team's eyes are wide open and minds at full alert."



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