White blitzes Mt Buller stage to take lead
- 5th November 2011, 6:18pm
Tasmanian driver Jason White has produced a remarkable drive up Mt Buller to snatch the lead from Queenslander Tony Quinn on the last stage of the opening day at Targa High Country, to take a handy 11-second buffer into the final day on Sunday.
White, driving a brand new Lamborghini finished less than 24 hours before the rally started, trailed Quinn in a Nissan GT-R by 19 seconds going into the final stage, an 18 kilometre sprint up the hill to the ski resort.
That margin was due to an error on the day’s sixth stage that left White stranded on the start line for around 20 seconds before he could get his Italian supercar going. He was back in fourth place with a victory tomorrow looking unlikely.
As he took off from the base of the mountain for the final stage of the day, it was almost unthinkable that White could take well over a second a kilometre off every other driver in the field. But he did just that with an effort that left competitors and officials gobsmacked.
"We've had a pretty eventful day, but I got used to the new car quicker than what I thought I would," White said.
"I stalled the car on the start line of the second stage this afternoon, and we lost a heap of time while I got the car restarted again. That dropped us from a second off the lead to about 20 seconds from the lead.
"We then had a pretty good run up the mountain on the final stage of the day which put us back into the lead,” said White, understating his performance.
“But our consistency needs to be better over tomorrow's final eight stages so that we can retain our lead and bring it home on the podium."
Queenslander Donn Todd has also produced a superb performance on the opening day to open up a handy lead over his nearest rival in the Classic Outright competition.
Driving a 1971 Ford Capri Perana, Todd is one minute 20 seconds in front of Nick Ellis in a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.
In third place, another 28 seconds back, is Targa veteran Jon Siddins, driving a 1970 Datsun 240Z.
With a day to go Todd and co-driver, Dean Tighe, are well placed in the Classic Outright competition.
“We had a good day today and hopefully we can have another one tomorrow,” Tighe said.
“We’ve made a few modifications since Adelaide and we were pretty quick there, so we should be quicker.
“We thought tomorrow was actually going to suit us better than today, so we’ll see how it works out.”
Four-time Australian Rally Champion, Simon Evans, has dominated the Showroom class in his Mazda3 MPS, and looks set to add a tarmac title to the many he’s won on dirt.
"Today was absolutely fantastic,” Evans said. “I think the key for us was being able to adapt to the changing conditions.
"The Mazda was fantastic, it's a great little car and that shows with us leading the Showroom category.
"To be honest we were conserving tyres today so that we can save them for tomorrow. I could brake a little bit later, but I spent the day getting to know the car - there's a little bit left, but I wouldn't say there's much more."
Sunday sees the 160-strong field tackle a further eight stages and 129 competitive kilometres from Mt Buller down to Jamieson and back, with the winners crowned on the in what is round two of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship.
Follow Targa High Country on the official live site.
Round 2 CAMS Australian Targa Championship
Targa High Country, Mt Buller, end of Day 1 of 2 (Provisional)
DBA BRAKES MODERN
1. Jason White / John White, Lamborghini Gallardo
2. Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett, Nissan GT-R, +11s
3. Matt Close / Casey Close, Audi TT RS, +24s
4. Matt Sims / Denis Sims, Nissan GT-R, +35s
5. Greg Garwood / John Allen, Porsche 911 GT2 CS, +1m26s
6. Jim Richards / Barry Oliver, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, +1m29s
SHANNONS CLASSIC OUTRIGHT
1. Donn Todd / Dean Tighe, 1971 Ford Capri Perana
2. Nic Ellis / Travis Lacey, 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +1m20s
3. Jon Siddins / Darren Ferguson, 1970 Datsun 240Z, +1m48s
4. Steve McClintock / Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX7, +2m01s
5. Bernie Wilson / John Wilson, 1971 Ford Capri Perana, +2m42s
6. Tolley Challis / Greg Flood, 1974 Porsche 911 RS, +2m52s
1. Simon Evans / Sue Evans, Mazda3 MPS
2. Kym De Britt / David Percy, 2003 Holden Astra, +1m19s
3. Adam Spence / Tracey Button, BMW 130i, +2m15s
4. Andrew Mckay / Alex Hailstone, Mazda MX5, +2m41s
5. Adam Dodd / Lee Challoner-Miles, Mazda MX5, +2m52s
TMR PERFORMANCE 4WD SHOWROOM
1. Dean Evans / Simone Bachmann, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2. Ric Shaw / James Parish, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +49s
3. Scott Millar / Christopher Dean, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +1m02s
4. Ben Newman / Crichton Lewis, Subaru WRX STI, +2m37s
5. Dean Coutts / Brett Portbury, Volkswagen Golf R, +3m28s
DBA BRAKES EARLY MODERN
1. Matthew Turnbull / Andrew Hobson, 2000 Porsche GT3 CS
2. Tim Hendy / Joanne Sibley, 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R, +1m25s
3. Adam Kaplan / David Kaplan, 1988 Holden Commodore HSV SS, +1m42s
4. Richard Perini / Chris Perini, 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, +1m57s
5. Paul Stephenson / Eketerina Glebova, 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R, +2m12s
6. Steve Spada / Jessica Nicholson, 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, +2m13s
SHANNONS LATE CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. Nic Ellis / Travis Lacey, 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3
2. Steve McClintock / Jann Skinner, 1985 Mazda RX7, +12s
3. Paul Stuart / Mike Herrod, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, +1m20s
4. Greg Sutton / Paul Kelly, 1979 Mazda RX9, +1m33s
5. Greg Cook / Jenny Cole, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, +1m34s
SHANNONS EARLY CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. Donn Todd / Dean Tighe, 1971 Ford Capri Perana
2. Jon Siddins / Darren Ferguson, 1970 Datsun 240Z, +1s
3. Paul Freestone / Christine Freestone, 1948 Holden 215, +30s
4. Scott Kent / Wayne Kent, 1965 Ford Mustang, +48s
5. Colin Byrne / Paul Stoopman, 1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000, +1m26s
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