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Targa Wrest Point rally took place on 28-29 January. It saw Mazda notch up podium success with a win in the Showroom Category and an outright third position.
The husband and wife team of Simon and Sue Evans were comfortable winners in the Showroom category while Victorian-based siblings, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth showed their championship colours with a third outright in their first ever outing in the Mazda Motorsport RX-8 SP.
The two-day rally consisted of seven stages on both Saturday and Sunday, covering over 200 kilometres of competitive driving. Extreme heat was a factor over the weekend with both Evans and Reeves driving conservatively on the Sunday in order to maintain their tyres.@Reeves had already set a fastest stage time on the first day of competition and in addition to a couple of second place stage finishes also consistently achieved top four stage times across the weekend. Reeves was not deterred by stiff competition and managed to cross the finish line with a top three finish behind Tasmanian Jason White in his Lamborghini Gallardo and Matt Close his Audi TT RS both of which feature engines with a significantly larger capacity than the 1.3 litre RX-8 SP.
Brendan Reeves was thrilled with the result. The RX-8 SP was a dream to drive. It ran perfectly all weekend and is extremely reliable. The Mazda team has done a fantastic job which makes both Rhianon and myself very optimistic that the car will be ready for a high endurance event like Targa Tasmania in April.
We are very proud to be able to stand on the podium for Mazda again said Evans. The Mazda3 MPS was again nothing short of a dream to drive and it is really rewarding to be a part of the Mazda Motorsport team.
A proud Mazda Motorsport manager, Allan Horsely commented on the team's performance over the weekend. To have secured a class win and a third outright position really proves that we have chosen the right drivers to fly the Mazda flag. I am very pleased with the performance of both cars and the whole team deserves credit for this. Our achievements augur positively for Targa Tasmania in April.
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