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After a devastating week where he lost both his father and grandfather, reigning champion Jason White has bounced back to set the fastest time in the official Temco Prologue in George Town on the opening day of Targa Tasmania.

It’s been a tough year for White, whose $600,000 Lamborghini was burnt to the ground at Targa Wrest Point in February. But the local hope looked at home in his replacement Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, finishing the 4.8 kilometre stage 2.8 seconds quicker than the man considered his greatest rival for the modern crown, Steve Glenney.

Glenney’s Nissan GT-R was 3.8 seconds clear of another former winner, Tony Quinn, the Queenslander also in a GT-R.

Victorian Matt Close, in an Audi TT RS, rounded out the top modern contenders in fourth place, with all four expected to fight it out when the real action begins on Wednesday morning.

“Winning the prologue was always important for my father,” White said. “The old man always loved a prologue victory and would have a tear in his eye, so we couldn’t really ease into it – we had to go for broke right from the start.”

“I was impressed with our run today – we were only two seconds slower than the Lamborghini.”

“It was probably a bit irresponsible as far as tyre-wear goes and there’s no way we will be able to maintain that pace all the way to Hobart.”

Glenney was happy with his opening effort at Targa Tasmania.

“I’d love to go hard early and break their hearts, but Targa is a long event so you’ve got to manage tyres and car and components, so it’s a bit of a balancing act between that and speed,” Glenney said.

“We’ve got a couple of stages in mind where that we think will really suit the car, so we’ll press on there and see if we can gain some time in those.”

In the battle of the classics, Peter Ullrich set the pace, in his magnificent 1963 Jensen CV8, finishing 4.7 seconds quicker than Ted Banks’1971 Porsche 916.

Andrew Miedecke is expected to be the pace setter on the opening leg north of Launceston tomorrow, but he was more conservative in his approach on the opening day.

“We’re fairly confident in the car’s reliability and I’ve just got to make sure I don’t make any mistakes,” Miedecke said.

“This is a very testing and arduous event and anybody who finishes without a problem has done a very, very good job.”

Keeping the local fans happy was Launceston’s Ben Newman, fastest in Showroom 4WD in his Subaru WRX STI.

“We love Targa Tasmania just like everyone else – it’s the pinnacle, the grand final and it’s all about winning this event.”

“But it’s a long rally and there are a couple of thousand corners between here and Hobart, so we plan to enjoy it foremost and just see where we end up.

Another crowd favourite was the 1934 Ford Indy Car Special of Graham Copeland, the official Flag Car that led the field away from the official start at Country Club Tasmania on Tuesday morning.

“I’m glad Targa has recognised it is a genuine historic car and given us the honour of being official flag car,” Copeland said.

“I love these old jiggers and I used to love watching them and numbers are falling away, so I wanted to show my support.”

The two Vintage cars in the field tied in the Prologue. The 1938 Dodge Speedster Special driven by Wayne Clark looks set to push Copeland all the way.

But Copeland and Clark, like the rest of the 180-stong field, face an epic drive across Tasmania before finishing in Hobart on Sunday.

TARGA TASMANIA 2014 PROLOGUE RESULTS (Provisional)

RDA Brakes Modern

1. Jason White/John White, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX,
2. Steve Glenney/Bernie Webb, 2009 Nissan GT-R Spec-V, +02.84s
3. Tony Quinn/Kate Catford, 2011 Nissan GT-R Spec-V, +06634s
4. Matt Close/Gary Mourant, 2010 Audi TT RS, +09:18s
5. Jamie Vandenberg/Dennis Sims, 2009 Nissan GT-R, +11.26s

RDA Brakes Early Modern

1. Stephen Thatcher/Kelly Handley, Nissan ATTKD Select R SP
2. Robert Balint/Peter Lane, Mitsubishi Evo TME 6.5, +03.70s
3. Ben Manion/Julie Winton-Monet, 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-t, +06.19s
4. Richard Perini/Chris Perini, 2000 Porsche 911 GT3, +07.84s
5. Paul Henry/Kathy Henry, 1993 Porsche 968 CS, +10.79s

RDA Brakes Modern Muscle

1. Neill Ford /Colin Maher , 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1,
2. Daniel Ford/Nathalie Ford, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, +0.58s
3. Craig Dean / Jenny Cole, 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500,+ 0.73s
4. Andrew Clingeleffer/David Rust, 2013 Daytona Coupe, +55.22s
5. Barry Cuneo/Charles Martin, 2011 Holden Commodore SS Ute, +57.90s

RDA Brakes Showroom

1. Andrew Bollom/Lee Challoner-Miles, 2011 Renault Megane RS 250
2. Adam Spence/Erin Kelly, 2013 Renault Megane RS 265, +06.64s
3. Andrew Robinson/Thomas Browell, 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, +08.39s

RDA Brakes 4WD Showroom

1. Ben Newman/Crichton Lewis, 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2. Barrie Smith/Jan Smith, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +09.16s
3. Clinton Arentz/Dale Moscatt, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +10.59s
4. Angus Kennard/Ian Wheeler, 2009 Subaru Impreza STi, +11.52s
5. David Mathias/Kajeera Jenkins, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, +13.41s

RDA Brakes Showroom Sports

1. Jim Richards/Barry Oliver, 2014 Porsche Cayman S
2. Glyn Crimp/Paul van der Mey, 2012 Audi TTRS, +0.64s
3. Michael Minshall/Kirrilee Gentleman, 2011 Audi TTRS, 12.25s

Shannons Classic Outright

1. Peter Ullrich/Sari Ullrich, 1963 Jensen CV8
2. Ted Banks/Bruce Douglas, 1971 Porsche 916, +04.77s
3. Paul Freestone/Christine Freestone, 1948 Holden 215, +08.77s
4. Nik Prieston/Dylan Braithwaite, 1975 FIAT 131 Abarth Rallye, +09.15s
5. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +09.48s

Shannons Late Classic Handicap

1. Nik Prieston/Dylan Braithwaite, 1975 FIAT 131 Abarth Rallye,
2. Barry Faux/Therezia Mihajilovic, 1985 Mazda RX-7, +0.33s
3. Craig Haysman/Neil Branum, 1981 Triumph TR7 V8, +0.56s
4. Roger Paterson/Richard Geue, 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, +0.92s
5. Bruce Power/Ray Baker, 1979 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE, +01.33s

Shannons Classic Florio handicap

1. Drew Kent/Ella Kent, 1971 Ford Falcon GT
2. Wayne Gerlach/Dianne Gerlach, 1974 Porsche 911, +07.44s
3. Mac Russell/Marjorie Russell, 1976 Morgan Plus 8, +22.96s
4. Glenn Rees/Richard Bullard, 1985 Porsche 944, +25.72s
5. Philip Blake/John Blake, 1964 Fiat-Abarth OT 1600, +30.59

Regularity

1. Patrick Kearon/Tyson Kearon, 2001 Mazda RX7
2. Philip Frith/David Frith, Porsche Boxter S
3. Shane Navin/Ashley Navin, Porsche 944 Turbo
4. Martin Duursma/Marc Sobbel, Lotus Exige X
5. Richard Davis/Bill Best, HSV W427

Rookie Rallye

1. Tim O’Connor/Gareth Sutcliffe, 2006 Subaru WRX STi Spec C
2. Dave Thompson/Christopher Dean, 1990 Nissan R32 GTR, +13.31s
3. Brett Wilson/Terese Cartwright, 1982 Holden Gemini +38.89s
4. Sam Livesley/James Goodchap, 1972 Holden Torana, +42.78s

Shannons Vintage Rallye

=1 Graham Copeland/Josh Herbert, 1934 Ford Indy Car Special
=1 Wayne Clark/Trevor Berriman, 1938 Dodge Speedster Special

 

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