|Son and father crew Paul and Mike Batten have had an excellent Targa Tasmania, winning the Early Classic competition in their 1961 Volvo PV544. The team also managed fifth Outright Classic, finishing the non-handicap competition amongst some fast machinery with 102 cars entered.
Paul (L) and Mike Batten won the Early Classic category.
The Early Classic competition saw Batten/Batten take the win from Ullrich/Ullrich in their Jenson CV8 and White/Yelds in their Volvo 122S, over 470 competitive kilometres that took crews across Tasmania facing many extremes of weather. The Classic Outright competition saw the 1961 Volvo PV544 finishing fifth behind three Porsche 911 Carreras and a Nissan Skyline GTS-t in a competition that spans 1946 to 1990.
"We had a really enjoyable but challenging event. The Volvo is tricky to drive in the dry so the wet took some getting used to, but it was good fun in the end,â€ť Paul said. â€śThe plan was to enjoy ourselves and not take any risks; we managed to do both so we are really happy with the result and we met some great people along the way.
â€śThanks to Dad for the opportunity to drive, and for the good job in the navigatorâ€™s seat."
The Volpro team service crew did a great job to keep the high maintenance Volvo running at full speed over the event. The distributor, head gasket, and front suspension were all fixed after different days and didn't cost the team any time.
Mike commented: "Paul said he was only cruising but I believe his drive showed exceptional talent. It felt very fast to me, but as we didn't have any moments it shows how well he handled the conditions.
â€śThe car was well prepared, but the crew were busy dealing with the problems that came up. Thanks to Kari Dirickx from Seldom Seen Vehicles and Engineering and Gary Comerford our engine builder from Volpro Automotive, with his son Ashley, who serviced the car. Thanks also to Russell from Stuckey's Tyres.
â€śI have been bringing the car down for 11 years and this is our first handicap win. I am amazed with our fifth Classic Outright place in a 1961 Limited Modified Volvo. The result definitely exceeds my expectations."
EARLY CLASSIC (Provisional)â€¨â€¨
The Battens in action in Targa Tasmania.
1. Paul Batten (VIC), Mike Batten (NSW), 1961 Volvo PV544, 16.09â€¨2. Peter Ullrich (NSW), Sari Ullrich (NSW), 1963 Jensen CV8, 25.55â€¨3. Andrew White (NT), Ashley Yelds (USA), 1961 Volvo 122S, 30.03
CLASSIC OUTRIGHT (Provisional)â€¨â€¨
1. Rex Broadbent, Michael Goedheer, Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 21.20â€¨2. Bill Pye (NSW), Grant Geelan (NSW), Porsche 911 RS, 23.14â€¨3. Ben Wooster (QLD), Tim Kulhanek (QLD), Nissan Skyline GTS-t, 23.32â€¨4. John Ireland, Micheal Ribot, Porsche 911 Carrera 3, 33.14â€¨5. Paul Batten, Mike Batten, 1961 Volvo PV544, 38.19