Quinn, Tillett second in Targa High Country
- 7th November 2011, 2:52pm
Driving a brand new Nissan GT-R, Quinn and Tillett finished 10 seconds behind Jason and John White in their Lamborghini Gallardo Super Tropheo Stadale after two days and 188km of tarmac rallying in Victoria’s Mansfield-Mt Buller region.
It wasn’t a trouble-free debut for V.I.P. Petfoods’ 2011-spec GT-R, which replaced the dual Targa Tasmania-winning 2009 model.
The updated 390kW all-wheel-drive Japanese supercar’s engine overheated several times during the event, forcing Quinn to slow until the temperature returned to normal.
Despite the handicap, the Scottish-born Queenslander and his South Australian navigator led several times during both days.
They set the fastest or equal-fastest time on six of the 16 competitive stages.
“Our new car was strong on the fast flowing flat stuff, but it got hot going up the hills,” Quinn said.
“The ambient temperature was 32 degrees yesterday and 28 degrees today, and the water temperature just kept going up.
“When it hit 110 degrees the computer went into ‘limp home’ mode, and I had to back off until it cooled down. It happened on at least four stages, including the one up Mt Buller.
“We caught three cars on the last stage, and passed the first one without too much trouble. But by the time we caught the other two our car was in limp mode, so we couldn’t do much about them.
“Funnily enough, our two original GT-R R35s didn’t have that problem.
“But second was a good result for a new car, especially considering the first time I’d driven it was the recce on Tuesday.
“We learned a lot about the operating parameters and other aspects that will make it more competitive in future.”
Quinn added that he was disappointed that the Whites’ Lamborghini was allowed to run in Super Tropheo Stadale specification.
“That’s a racing car, not a road car that the Modern category in Targas is supposed to be for.
“The Super Tropheo Stadale was built for a one-make race series in Europe, and the road car was shown for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
“They’re only building 150 of them. I’ve heard that Australia’s getting maybe one or two, and they’ve already been bought.
“There’s no way that anyone could have one here yet.
“The Whites’ car isn’t a genuine Super Tropheo Stadale anyway – John White built it up from a regular Gallardo in his garage.
“They won Targa Tasmania with it in 2010, and the organisers told him not to bring it back. But he turned up here with it, so obviously the Whites have a lot of influence.
“If you have the money you can buy a Nissan GT-R, Porsche GT2, Audi TTRS, Evo X or Impreza Sti from your local dealer. You might have to wait a few months for it to arrive, but at least you know your name is on it.
“With these limited edition Lamborghinis, though, you need to be a sheik with a couple of dozen oil wells to get near the front of the queue. Even if you put your deposit down, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get one.
“Jason White is quick enough not to need a car like that to be competitive. The other drivers don’t respect someone who wins in a car that no-one else can buy.
“We were taking a few seconds off the Whites this weekend when our car was running properly, so it’ll be on for young and old at the next Targa.
“I’ll have to drive at eleven-tenths to keep up with Jason driving at nine-tenths, which is a bit unfair in my opinion, but I’ll have a go – as usual!”
1. Jason White-John White (Delta Hydraulics / Lamborghini Gallardo) 1hr 34min. 58sec.
2. Tony Quinn-Naomi Tillett (V.I.P. Petfoods / Nissan GT-R R35) 1hr 35min. 08sec.
3. Matthew Sims-Dennis Sims (Burns for Blinds / Nissan GT-R R35) 1hr 26min. 14sec.
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