Whites out to resurrect Targa title defence
- 31st January 2013, 11:57am
The Southern Tasmanian-based event is the second round of the four-round championship series, with the Tasmanian nephew and uncle team currently sitting in eighth place after failing to finish the second round, Targa High Country, in Victoria in November, after winning the opening round at Targa Adelaide in September.
However, despite gaining no points from round two, the pair still believes that their championship is very much alive.
“We are allowed to drop our worst round, so it’s a no-brainer which one it will be for us, but it’s critical that we get good results in Targa Wrest Point and the final double-points round at Targa Tasmania in April,” Jason White said.
“If we can finish in the top six at Targa Wrest Point, then it’s game on at Targa Tasmania,” he said.
White said the differential dramas with the team’s Lamborghini at Targa High Country would not re-occur at Targa Wrest Point.
“Thee bolts holding the crown-wheel in the diff are small and we eventually found their use-by date,” he said.
“It’s been like that with our Lambo for a few years now – we’ve had to find out the hard way how long you can push different components for how long.
“We’ll be changing the diffs from now on long before they get to that stage again.
However, the White Hot Motorsport Team isn’t the only championship contender with reliability problems, according to White.
All the top-running teams have been having various issues at different stages – it’s inevitable when you push the cars to the limit,” he said.
White said the team also had another reason to want to do well at Targa Wrest Point.
“We’re the defending champions in this event too and we’ve won it for the last three years in a row, so we don’t want to spoil our winning run,” he said.
Although the Whites have form on the board as far as Targa Wrest Point is concerned, victory is anything but a foregone conclusion, especially with a majority of the top 10 placed teams in the modern competition competing.
Championship leaders Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett, in a Nissan GTR, come fresh from a solid victory in Targa High Country and a second place at Targa Adelaide, and would be aiming for another podium result to consolidate their championship lead.
Melbourne-based former Tasmanians Matt and Casey Close missed Targa Adelaide, but a close second in Targa High Country showed they will also be a serious threat in their Audi TT RS.
West Australian team Peter Rullo and Simon Iseppi are currently second in the championship in a Nissan GTR, with a second at Targa High Country and an eighth place in Targa Adelaide, with another top five result at Targa Wrest Point sure to boost their championship chances.
Eight-times Targa Tasmania champions Jim Richards and Barry Oliver also missed Targa Adelaide, but a solid third place in Targa High Country proved the veterans still had the ability to mix it with the top-runners in their reliable Porsche 911 GT2 RS, while South Australian combination Matthew and Dennis Sims could also prove a dark horse in their Nissan GTR Spec-V.
Targa Wrest Point is the third round of the four-round Australian Targa Championship series and will be held on roads in the Huon Valley and surrounding areas, South of Hobart, on February 2 and 3.
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