White eyes championship after TWP win
- 29th January 2012, 4:02pm
White, who also took his Lamborghini Gallardo to top points at the opening round of the series, Targa High Country in November, started the final day with an eight second deficit to Matt Close’s Audi TT RS. But victory on six of the day’s seven stages gave him and co-driver John White a commanding 41-second victory.
Close took his first podium of the series to move to second place on the leader board with 440 points. White sits on top with the maximum possible score of 500 points.
Mazda driver, Brendan Reeves, took third place at Targa Wrest Point in his first outing in the factory-backed RX8 SP, while Targa legend Jim Richards was fourth in his Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Tasmanian drivers dominated the round of the national championship. Launceston’s David Cooper produced a brilliant drive to win the Classic Outright competition in his 1977 Holden Torana A9X, while Hobart’s Eddie Maguire took a surprise victory in the highly competitive TMR Performance 4WD Showroom category.
Hobart’s Matthew Rickards was one of the sensations of the event in his 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer, winning the Early Modern class and finishing as the fourth fastest car in the event – more than half a minute ahead of Jim Richards’ Porsche on overall times.
The final day of Targa Wrest Point was held in almost perfect conditions, with fine weather and a temperature nudging 30 degrees. While this was great for fans lining the route, it made it hot work for the drivers.
White seemed unaffected. He beat Close by 16 seconds on the opening stage and then gradually extended his lead.
"It was extreme pressure out there, because we knew Closey was going really fast. All we could do was go ballistic and hope for the best, and I think the stage records on the last three stages of the day will stand for a long time because we've got no intentions whatsoever of going any faster than that again," White said.
"On the last stage we scared every single guide post, bank and gum tree. There was not an ounce of road left and it was 100 per cent everywhere through the stage. It was a pretty rewarding drive.
"The lead in the championship is great going into Targa Tasmania, and as far as the development of the car goes it hasn't missed a beat, so we'll go right over it before the next event and pray that our reliability continues, because with over 600 kilometres of stages it's going to be one of the most extreme challenges we've ever set out to accomplish."
Despite dropping to second place, Close was thrilled with his result in a car that is getting faster at every event. The result leaves him well within striking distance of White, with 500 points still on offer in the final round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship.
Mazda’s Brendan Reeves drove conservatively into third place on his first event in the powerful rear-wheel drive car. With a gap to second place, and one back to fourth, he maintained his position throughout the day to take his best outright finish in a Targa event.
After the Ford Capris of George Miedecke (accident) and Donn Todd (fuel problems) struck trouble, David Cooper took the Classic Outright win by nearly a minute and a half over John Ireland’s Porsche, which also won the Late Classic Handicap class.
Todd recovered some ground on day two to finish third and gain valuable championship points to take a 200 point buffer into April’s Targa Tasmania.
Simon Evans was the dominant driver in the Showroom class, taking a six minute win in his Mazda3 MPS, Eddie Maguire (Mitsubishi Lancer) won 4WD Showroom, while yet another local, Geoff Duggan, was at the head of the pack in the Early Classic Handicap class, driving his 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports.
John Ireland and Michael Ribot have taken top honours in the Late Classic handicap event. The pair, driving a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3 have finished 27 seconds clear of the Stuarts, Paul and Lachie, in their 1973 Porsche Carrera RS.
The final round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship is the gruelling Targa Tasmania, which takes place from April 17 to 22.
Results – Round 2 of Australian Targa Champion ship – Targa Wrest Point (Provisional)
1. Jason White / John White, 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stadale
2. Matt Close / Casey Close, 2010 Audi TT RS, +41s
3. Brendan Reeves / Rhianon Smyth, 2010 Mazda RX7 SP, +1m25s
4. Jim Richards / Barry Oliver, 2011 Porsche GT2 RS, +3m14s
5. Neill Ford / Neill Ford, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, +6m39s
6. Michael Pritchard / Timothy Stevens, 2004 Porsche GT3 CS, +8m19s
SHANNONS CLASSIC OUTRIGHT
1. David Cooper / Jason Dann, 1977 Holden Torana A9X
2. John Ireland / Michael Ribot, 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +1m27s
3. Don Todd / Dean Tighe, 1971 Ford Capri Perana, +3m16s
4. Robert Devenish / Karien Heimsohn, 1971 Datsun 240Z, +3m41s
5. Paul Stuart / Lachie Stuart, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +2m18s
1. Matthew Rickards / Damien Grimwood, 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII RS
2. Tony Warren / Natasha Deniese, 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, +1m28s
3. Peter O'Keefe / Julie Winton-Monet, 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI TME, +3m04s
1. Simon Evans / Sue Evans, 2009 Mazda3 MPS
2. Adam Dodd / Lee Challoner-Miles, 2006 Mazda MX5, +6m05s
=3. James Hallett / Stuart Hallett, 2005 Holden HSV Clubsport DTS, +9m49s
=3. Hartley Sutcliffe / Peta Davies, 2006 Mazda MX5, +9m49s
TMR PERFORMANCE 4WD SHOWROOM
1. Eddie Maguire / Steve Glenney, 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
2. Dean Evans / Zoey Gillis, 2007 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, 58s
3. Scott Millar / Christopher Dean, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +3m40s
SHANNONS EARLY CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. Geoff Duggan / Leon Duggan, 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports
2. Rob Devenish / Karien Heimsohn, 1971 Datsun 240Z, +3m48s
3. Peter Killick / Roslyn Killick, 1965 Ford Cortina, +4m27s
SHANNONS LATE CLASSIC HANDICAP
1. John Ireland / Michael Ribot, 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3
2. Paul Stuart / Lachie Stuart, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +27s
3. Robert Gambino / Paul Hibberd, 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB, +1m04s
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