Redbackracing’s launch attack for 2017 championship
Redbackracing, past winners of the showroom category in the Australian Targa Championship, are now eyeing the onlyTarmac Rally championship currently in operation in Australia – the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship, run by Mountain Motorsports, Victoria.
The teamplans to complete in the final two rounds of the 2016 season, comprising of Snowy Mountain Sprint on Sept 24th & 25th and then in final round, the Great Tarmac Rallyon December 10th & 11th.The team’s focus will then turn to competing in all four rounds of the 2017 Championship.
Competing in the Carbon Revolution, Carbon Fibre Wheeled 2011 Nissan GTR will be long time friends and founding members of the team, Driver, Adam Spence and Navigator, Lee Challoner-Miles.
Team principle and driver Adam Spence said, “I am very excited about the coming events and the championship challenge ahead. Having Lee in the car beside me and with each of the rounds run over a weekend, the racing will beboth manageable and enjoyable. I’m also pleased to see how strong the competition looks, I think we are in for some fun times”.
The team at Redbackracing would, once again, like to take this opportunity to thank all of their support crew and sponsors – Corporate ImpressionsAustralia, Cyara, AlbinsPerformance transmissions, Hi-Tec Batteries, Carbon Revolution, Dirrawong, Oracle Creative and Motul. “Without their valuable and unwavering support we’d be unable to compete in the forthcoming championship” said, Adam Spence.
The big question as the two car Redback Racing Team started a very wet Targa Adelaide back in August was could we score one and two in the 2013/14 Australian Targa Championship. We are excited to report that not only did the two car team get one and two but interestingly, a mid season driver change saw them also clinch third.
We started our quest in the picturesque Adelaide Hills. Targa Adelaide although a long running event, saw both crews competing here for this first time and the conditions thrown at us were challenging to say the least. The roads were wet, windy and slippery (with one stage aptly named the Corkscrew). Driver, Bunjamin Noor and co-driver, Lee Challoner-Miles were pushing hard and had a couple of near misses in the tricky competition sections where they luckily avoided any serious damage to the car. Some crews weren’t so lucky with many crashing out of the event. Some would say it was carnage out there. Fortunately both Redback Racing crews survived the four day event with driver, Adam Spence and co-driver, Erin Kelly claiming first place and maximum championship points with team mates Noor and Challoner-Miles coming a close second.
Next, we made our way to Mount Buller in the heart of the breathtaking Victorian High Country. Being November, you would expect the snow to be long gone however at an altitude of 1,804 metres the conditions on the mountain were freezing with snow still falling and the fireplaces in the alpine lodges burning bright. Thankfully, it was a little warmer once we had raced down the mountain and enjoyed the roads of the Victorian High Country in the lovely sunshine. One of the favourite events of the championship sees us race up the iconic Mount Buller stage. This year, we saw 4 seasons in the 18km climb. The sunshine and dry conditions at the bottom of the mountain gave the crews confidence to push hard however conditions quickly changed to rain, to sleet then to snow catching some out and ending their event. The team of Spence and Kelly won their second showroom win in a row and their second victory at Targa High Country. It was also very exciting to see the team of Noor and Challoner-Miles step up to the second step of the podium for the first time at this event but also for the second time this season.
In February, we competed at Targa Wrest Point in the rolling hills and mountain roads to the south of Hobart, Tasmania and the scenic Huon Valley. We welcomed a new driver to the Redback Racing Team, Andrew Bollom (former Redback Racing Service Crew Manager and competitor), replacing Noor who disappointingly couldn’t commit to the remainder of the season. This event last year saw Adam and Erin lose their wheel on the Airwalk stage putting them out of contention however this year, nuts were checked and then checked again with no chance of history repeating. Both teams thrived in the perfect conditions again, finishing one and two with Spence and Kelly on the top step and Bollom and Challoner-Miles second, making it a hat trick of one and twos for the team.
The last and most grueling event of the championship was the world famous Targa Tasmania, the ultimate tarmac rally. The six day marathon event sees crews travel from Launceston to Strahan then down to Hobart. It is a true test of man and machine. Unfortunately on day one Spence and Kelly came off the road and had to be recovered by their service crew. As a result they incurred a hefty time penalty of 40 minutes meaning their hopes of a clean sweep were dashed. The car suffered some mechanical damage however was still able to be driven meaning they could get to the end in Hobart to score championship points, albeit in third place. Bollom and Challoner-Miles very nearly suffered the same fate on the very same corner with a hair raising moment however kept it on the road and drove their way to Hobart, holding first place for the duration of the event. Bollom and Challoner-Miles set an impressive top 20 outright result, a testament to driver, co-driver and the Renault Megane.
We had moments of joy and sheer frustration over the season however we knew it was never going to be easy. Like a well-oiled machine, drivers, co-drivers and service crew worked hard in their roles, each with their own strengths, and came together to rise above the challenges they were faced. The hard work and determination paid off and we were ultimately successful.
Final championship point scores
2013 Renault Megane RS265
2011 Renault Megane RS250
2011 Renault Megane RS250
Justin Hocevar, Managing Director Renault Australia, said: “I’d like to personally extend my congratulations on behalf of Renault Australia to Adam Spence and the team at Red Back Racing. It has been thrilling to see the dynamic Renault Sport Megane dominant throughout the championship and this sensational effort has been rewarded with a convincing series win.”
As a team, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our many sponsors, supporters, family and friends. You are what make this journey such a thrilling and special one to be a part of and couldn’t do it without you.
As for our plans for next season – watch this space. You won’t be disappointed!
After 5 days of Tarmac Rallying throughout Tasmania, the team crossed the finish line on Sunday afternoon. The showroom category finished with Andrew and Lee coming in 1st place, Adam and Erin in 3rd and a Mini cooper works finishing in 2nd place.
Day 5 had very similar conditions to that of day 4 with rain on all but the last stage making it a very challenging last day to the event. The Megane’s handled the conditions very well including the grueling Mount Arrowsmith stage which is nearly 60km’s long, especially in such wet conditions, the cars and teams did really well not to join the numerous other competitors whom encountered accidents or mechanical failure.
Andrew and Lee also were able to finish the race in the top 20 outright which is a fantastic result when looking at the cars in and around that position.
The championship gala dinner is on Monday night, we will put up another post after that to wrap up the 2013/2014 championship and include some more photos in our gallery section in the website, but here’s a few pictures from the final day of Targa Tasmamia 2014 until that time.
Day 4 was a challenging day for all of the Targa field, the conditions were cold, wet and very slippery. The test proved to be more and more difficult for some with more than 30 cars failing to complete all of the day’s stages. The two car team of Redback Racing survived the conditions with Andrew and Lee continuing to dominate the Showroom class. Adam and Erin, after suffering a significant time penalty on day one after an off are in third place. Tomorrow is the last day of the gruelling 5 day event where crews drive the 60km Mount Arrowsmith stage after having left the west coast of Tasmania en route to Hobart.
Day three of Targa Tasmania saw the team drive from Launceston up to the North Coast passed Devonport, then down the West coast to finish at Strahan, going through the Rinadena stage where Adam and Erin unfortunately finished their Targa Tasmania 2013. This year the day went well for both cars with Andrew and Lee increasing their lead in the Showroom catergory – their times would place them 4th in 4 wheel drive showroom and 7th in early modern, which is fantastic result thus far comparing the differences between the cars competing in these categories. Adam and Erin also had a good run through day three making up time on the 2nd placed Mini in the showroom category.
Both cars got through the day with little difficulty, Adam and Erin had a close encounter on a corner with the inside dirt bank, with Andrew and Lee also being chased by other competitors due to water pouring out of their car, thankfully it was only the windscreen washer bottle that had leaked (see photos).
The team will use Strahan as their base for two days with the teams again heading north up to Burnie tomorrow with some long and difficult stages which will again test their skills.
Today the roads of Targa Tasmania were all dry and unlike the drama’s of yesterday the service crew had a relatively quite day. The morning stages were a little slippery with the temperatures on the first few stages not going over 5 degrees celsius.
The final stages finished with the world famous Sidling stage which is one of the best tarmac rally stages in the world.
The team of Andrew and Lee now have a commanding lead in the category and Adam and Erin are trying to both nurse their car home after the damage yesterday as well as try their best at trying to bridge the gap to second position.
Tomorrow the circus which is Targa Tasmania will move from its base in Launceston to Strahan on the state’s West Coast where the crews will most likely have to compete in the first wet stages of the event.
The team from Redbackracing headed West today to the Central Western tablelands of Tasmania. Both cars were performing very well through the initial two stages. Moving into the longer more technical stages both Renaults were heading up the category with only seconds separating the times of the two cars.
At the sixth stage of the day – Merseylea, the two teams had interesting moments. With car 933 of Andrew and Lee entering the stage first they were aware of their sister car following the into the stage, they pushed the car through the stage and were twice on the wrong side of the edge. Once getting airborne at high speed (see the below video) and later into the stage coming off the tarmac into the gravel and grass. Having been through this the car still completed the stage. However car 922 of Adam and Erin entered the stage chasing after car 933, they too were pushing hard and on the same corner where Andrew and Lee left the tarmac, Adam and Erin did the exact same feat on the same corner however going a little further off course subsequently getting stuck.
As always the redbackracing service crew were on hand to get the car out and make minor repairs to get Adam and Erin back into the race for the last two stages of the day.
With Andrew and Lee in first place for Targa showroom and Adam and Erin still in a good position that they can build on over the next four days its going to continue to be an amazing event and live up its name as The Ultimate Tarmac Rally.