Team Betta Warwick driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane at the start of one Targa Tasmania rally. Photo Mark Lewis
Team Betta Warwick driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane at the start of one Targa Tasmania rally. Photo Mark Lewis Contributed

Team Betta Warwick keep going despite radiator problems in Targa Tasmania

DAY 3 REPORT from Targa Tasmania - contributed by the Team Betta Warwick team.

Rob Balint is the driver and Peter Lane the navigator for the Team Betta Warwick team in its fifth Targa Tasmania.

REPORT: Well Wednesday saw us leave Launceston and travel in a north westerly direction for lunch in Sheffield and then overnight in Burnie.

 The first stage of the day was High Plains and this stage really gets the blood pumping with its tricky crests with tight corners towards the end the stage. The stage is only 5.65km long and a time of two minutes, 47 seconds, was posted.

A little slower than what we would have liked but at least it was under trophy time and the Betta Evo was still motoring. Then to Moriarty for a short blast along some long straights with tight corners at the end. This year saw Moriarty reversed for the first time, so it was all new for the entire field.

A really solid time of 3:17 was posted and both Robert and Peter were satisfied that nothing was left on the stage. Paloona was next and again we recorded a time that we felt was fast.

After lunch in Sheffield, we headed to one of the signature stages of Targa Tasmania, Sheffield. This stage winds over two mountain ranges with a mix of tight technical sections and some long straights.

There are a couple of steep downhill sections leading into slow corners, lurking and waiting to catch out the unwary. 

Things were going great until about half-way through the 14km stage until Robert decided that one of the intersections really needed to have a roundabout and proceeded to show all the fans there was enough room to have one installed. 

Peter was yelling at him the instruction TURN 3 LEFT however he managed to complete a full circle in the middle of the intersection first. All good though and not too much time was lost.

On to the next stage, Cethana. Now at 37km in length, this is one of the longest stages of Targa Tasmania and it is renowned for its challenge for both car and crew.

Both Robert and Peter loved this stage last year and it showed on the split times at about the half-way point. 

We were faster, by a fair bit, but it was at this point that the car decided to start spewing water out of the radiator and ultimately ending up on the windscreen in from of Robert.

As a result we had to slow a little to keep the engine from overheating and we lost some time to the leaders. After the stage a quick inspection by pit crew Mark, Rod and Gub found that the top radiator tank had a split in it and was spraying water out. 

More water was added and after a temporary fix, we kept the car moving and with low revs the radiator seemed to settle down and not leak.

Next to Castra and then Gunns Plains. Luckily both these stages were relatively short at about 15km each and the car behaved itself and not too much water was lost.

The last stage of the day was Riana, 36km of of road that traverses the rolling hills of Tasmania rich north west farming land.

Rolling it certainly was. Riana is a roller coaster ride that you will never forget, especially in a race car at race speed. 

At about the two thirds mark of the stage the radiator again decided that enough was enough and started spraying water out under the bonnet and then up on the windscreen. Again we were forced to slow down and take some revs from the motor to get us home.

The time reflected this and we gave away some more valuable time to those that we are chasing. We then transported into Burnie, where Richard and Troy were able to locate a brand new radiator. We fitted a new radiator last night so it is good for today.

Today sees the Targa Tasmania field travel even further north west to Stanley for lunch and then down to Strahan for the overnight stop.