Reigning Targa Tasmania champion, Jason White, has powered his Lamborghini to a two second advantage over the Porsche of motorsport veteran Jim Richards after the first day of the inaugural Targa High Country in Victoria's north east.

Kevin Weeks, also in a Lamborghini, is just one second further back in third, setting the stage for the fascinating finale to the opening round of the Australian Targa Championship.

Veteran Rex Broadbent holds the Shannons Classic Outright lead in his Porsche 911, while the Mazda3 MPS of Brendan Reeves has a commanding advantage in the Showroom contest.

Day one of the event took the competitors from the event base at Mt Buller, over the Whitfield ranges to Wangaratta and return, with fine and dry conditions proving perfect for some hot competition.

South Australian Steve Glenney was the early leader in his Mazda RX-8 SP and by the time he reached the lunchbreak in Wangaratta, he held a three second lead over Jim Richards and Dean Herridge's Subaru WRX STI.

But it all went wrong for Glenney in the afternoon stages when a split oil tank forced him to end his charge early, dashing Mazda's hopes of their first major tarmac rally title.

That left Richards with the lead on stages that suited his rear-wheel drive Porsche down to the ground. He maintained that lead right to the end of the penultimate day, before White charged to the front on the final 16-kilometre sprint up Mt Buller.

White was amazed to find himself in front after a troubled opening day.

"We had quite a few issues early on," White said.

"We had to do the first two stages in fourth gear. It is amazing how you can drive when the adrenalin is running.

"Then immediately after that we had a fire caused by fuel vapours, and then the ignition barrel failed and we had to start the car with a screwdriver. All in all it's been the most interesting, drama filled day of my rallying life."

Richards was also content with his day.

"We've had a faultless day and we're really happy with our position at the end of the first day," Richards, a seven-times Bathurst winner said.

"I don't think we try as hard as the rally guys, but I wouldn't want to go much faster.

"Today's stages probably suited our car better than the stages tomorrow will, but we'll just continue at a similar pace and see how we end up."

South Australian Kevin Weeks and his Queensland co-driver, John Allen, have put in an impressive drive in their Lamborghini and remain in the running with a real victory chance.

Dean Herridge is fourth in his Subaru, followed by the Audi TTRS of Matt Close. Both still consider themselves an outside chance of victory over the tight and twisty stages to come on Sunday.

Former Targa Tasmania winner, Tony Quinn, was on the pace early on, but the engine management system in his Nissan GT-R went into limp mode for two stages, costing him several minutes and ruining his chances.

Day two of Targa High Country heads from Mt Buller to Eildon and back again, with competitors set to tackle eight stages and 122 competitive kilometres.

The winning drivers will be presented with the trophies at the podium finish on Mt Buller on Sunday afternoon.

1. Jason White (TAS) / John White (TAS), 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
2. Jim Richards (VIC) / Barry Oliver (TAS), 2009 Porsche 911 GT2, +2secs
3. Kevin Weeks (SA) / John Allen (QLD), 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, +3s
4. Dean Herridge (WA) / Glenn Weston (QLD), 2008 Subaru WRX STI, +24s
5. Matt Close (VIC) / Casey Close (VIC), 2010 Audi TT RS, +32s
6. Angus Kennard (NSW) / Damien Grimwood (TAS), 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi C‐Spec, +1min08secs
=7. Dean Evans (NSW) / Simone Bachman (VIC), 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, +1:14s
=7. Max Williams (ACT) / Bruce Bush (ACT), 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, +1:14s
9. Craig Dean (VIC) / Graham Bell (VIC), 2008 Saleen Mustang S302 Extreme, +1:19s
10. Neill Ford (QLD) / Colin Maher (QLD), 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, +1:35s

1. Adam Newton (VIC) / Daniel Lemish (VIC), 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV RS
2. Paul Dowie / Nicole Bryan, 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, +28secs
3. Andrew Richmond (VIC) / Matt James (VIC), 2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II N1, +32s
4. Matt Walsh (VIC) / Anthony Denahy (VIC), 1996 BMW M3R, +33s
=5. Samantha Stevens (NSW) / Claire Ryan (SA), 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, +1min13secs
=5. Richard Perini (NSW) / Chris Perini (NSW), 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, 1m13s
7. Blaise Paris (WA)/ Raechel Krause (WA), 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI TME, +1m24s
8. Gavin James (VIC) / Tim Kulhanek (VIC), 1989 Porsche 944 S2, +1m26s
9. Adam Spence (NSW) / Tracey Button (QLD), 1994 Mazda RX7, +1m27s
10. Adam Kaplan (NSW)/ David Kaplan (NSW), 1988 HSV Commodore SS Group A, +1m42s

1. Brendan Reeves (VIC) / Rhianon Smyth (VIC), 2010 Mazda3 MPS
2. Peter Brown (NSW) / Stewart Gamble (NSW), 2007 Mazda3 Diesel, +3mins38secs
3. Andrew McKay (VIC) / Alex Hailstone (NSW), 2008 Mazda MX-5, +5m25s
4. Geoff Kennedy (NSW) / Kelly Handley (NSW), 2008 Mazda MX-5, +7m37s

1. Tony Warren (TAS) / Natasha Deniese (VIC), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
2. Ralph Merkel (NSW) / Murray Slana (NSW), 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IIX, +1min43secs
3. Mark Connelly (VIC) / Ann Connolly (VIC), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +3m19s
4. Dave Watson (VIC) / Stewart Lister (VIC), VW Golf R32, +3m53s
5. Norm Sutton (ACT) / Sue Hanley (ACT), 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, +4m17s

1. Peter Ullrich (NSW) / Sari Ullrich (NSW), 1963 Jensen CV8
2. Paul Freestone (VIC)/ Christine Freestone (VIC), 1948 Holden 48/215, +1min52secs
3. Jack Waldron (VIC) / Vin Gregory (VIC), 1955 FIAT Abarth 750, +1m55s
4. Simon Hughes (VIC) / Della Watson (VIC), 1962 Austin Healey Sprite, +2m28s
5. Peter Killick (TAS) / Roslyn Killick (TAS), 1965 Ford Cortina, +3m34s

1. Barry Faux (ACT) / Therezia Mihajlovic (ACT), 1979 Mazda RX7
2. Andrew Miedecke (NSW) / Daniel Willson (TAS), 1970 Ford Capri Perana, +1sec
3. Daniel Callinan (QLD) / Greg Fitzgerald (QLD), 1979 Holden Commodore VC Brock, +38s
4. Jon Siddins (QLD) / Darren Ferguson (QLD), 1970 Datsun 240Z, +44s
5. Rex Broadbent (VIC) / Chris Randell (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera, +58s

1. Rex Broadbent (VIC) / Chris Randell (VIC), 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera
2. Andrew Miedecke (NSW) / Daniel Willson (TAS), 1970 Ford Capri Perana, +3secs
3. Daniel Callinan (QLD) / Greg Fitzgerald (QLD), 1979 Holden Commodore VC Brock, +15s
4. Keith Callinan (QLD) / Mary-Anne Callinan (QLD), 1972 DeTomaso Pantera, +45s
5. Barry Faux (ACT) / Therezia Mihajlovic (ACT), 1979 Mazda RX7, +56
6. Len Cattlin (VIC) / Gayle Cattlin (VIC), 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302, +1min4secs
7. David Cooper (TAS) / Jason Dann (TAS), 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +1m22s
=8. Peter Ullrich (NSW) / Sari Ullrich (NSW), 1963 Jensen CV8, +1m24s
=8. Jon Siddins (QLD) / Darren Ferguson (QLD), 1970 Datsun 240Z, +1m24s
10. John Ireland (NSW) / Michael Ribot (NSW), 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, +1m48s

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