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Mike Batten's Volvo PV544 Targa Tasmania Rally 2007

Photo: Targa Tasmania 2007

Some details of our run at Targa Tasmania 2007 are:

1.  Car 272 – 1961 Volvo PV544. Crew Mike Batten and John Doble. This was Mike’s 10th Targa, John’s 3rd and the car’s 9th.

2.  Vehicle Preparation by Kari Dirickx, Seldom Seen Vehicles and Engineering.

3.  Engine Preparation by Gary Comerford, Volpro.

4.  Refer to the great photo (above) taken at the George Town Prologue showing the new Performance mag wheels

5.  On Days 1 and 2 of the 5 day rally we were 2nd in the Classic handicap event, out of 110 starters and behind eventual winners Pye/Geelan in a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera.

6.  We missed 8 stages with the U/S differential crown wheel and pinion on Day 3 and 3 stages on Day 4 when the head gasket blew. However these were all repaired and we continued to the finish. We were 86th out of 110 starters!

7.  In the Classic Handicap Event I worked out the results over the stages we completed. Up to lunch on Day 5 we were 2nd but fell back to 3rd by 2 seconds at the finish. Have a look at the attached spreadsheet for details.

8.On the Prologue we came 36/110 Classic Cars and 70/102 in the Moderns. That placed us exactly mid field 106/212. Not bad for a 1961 car with a 4 cylinder engine.

9.  In the Handicap Event stage results we placed from 1st to 12th. 

10.  Our highlight was winning Cethana (Handicap) over 37.5 km and voted the “Best Stage” of the event. No Modern car cleaned Cethana so we have the honour of being the only car to do so.

11.  We had 5 equal firsts when “clean sheeting” with from 3 to 11 others. I have ignored the easy stages. We also had one 2nd, three 3rds and three 4ths.

12.  In Classic handicap we were equal 1st with 9 on Day 1 after the first competitive stage (SS4). Another highlight was being equal 1st after SS 5 equal with Faux and leading Pye. After SS6 Pye took the lead and the 2 Volvos of White and Batten were equal 2nd. From SS 7 we held a clear 2nd till we stopped on SS 19.

13.  In Classic Outright we placed from 15th to 37th. It is very competitive now with a lot of high powered modified cars and Category 7 cars up to 1989 in the field.

14.  In Classic Outright after SS18 after Day 2 we were 25/109. Including the Modern Competition we were 84/205.

15.  Our best Outright stage was Tarraleah (SS 42). In Classics we were 15/88 and including Moderns were 59/172.

16.  Another highlight was starting Cethana 30 seconds behind the 2007 Porsche GT3 RS (Car 990) of Williams/Bush. We nearly caught them but they speed up towards the end maybe worried at what their Porsche mates would say if the PV544 overtook them. Anyway we beat them by 18 seconds finishing only 12 seconds behind.

17.  On Mt Arrowsmith (SS 41) we started in front of the White/Yelds Volvo 122. They drove very well and beat us by 18 seconds. Glen Ridge started behind both of us and now has a high regard for both the Volvo crews. He said it “took forever” to catch each of us. He even came up and complimented me at the finish for being very courteous in getting out of his way so he was uninterrupted when overtaking around the 40km mark.

18.  You can find the Targa results on the web site: 

Mike, May 2007

Targa Tasmania Results 1999 - 2011:

1999 Classic Competition 4th 15 seconds behind third
2000 Classic Competition. 21st  fuel problem when in line for a top three place
2001 Classic Competition 95th gear box failure and missed 8 stages on Day 2
2002 Classic Competition. 4th 13 seconds behind third
2003 Classic Competition. DNF upper wish bone mount broke.
2004 Classic Competition 4th 4 seconds behind third.
2005 Classic Competition DNF gear box and head gasket problems.
2006 Classic Competition DNF dropped a connecting rod
2007 Classic Handicap 86th Stripped crown wheel and pinion
2008 Shannons Early Classic 2nd Classic outright 14th
2009 Shannons Early Classic 1st Classic Outright 5th
2010 Shannons Early Classic 1st Classic Outright 2nd
2011 Shannons Early Classic Handicap 5th Classic Outright 14th

Mike Batten, Australia © 1999 - 2013