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Jason and John White have driven the perfect event to win the Overall competition at Targa Tasmania, their sixth victory at the rally classic, and they are now just two titles shy of all-time Targa greats Jim Richards and Barry Oliver.

Having led for all but one of the event’s 35 stages, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme crew gave their rivals a masterclass, and while they lost some time on the final day, they eventually run out winners by 34 seconds over the Dodge Viper of Michael Pritchard and Gary Mourant.

Day six of the tarmac marathon saw competitors tackle six stages in dry conditions south of Hobart, with a competitive distance of 66.34km.

While White was pushed hard on the final day by Pritchard, he had enough of a buffer from the opening five days to conserve his car and tyres to the finish line.

Last year’s Targa champions, Matt Close and Cameron Reeves, couldn’t quite match the overall speed of the Dodges this year and had to settle for third place overall in their Porsche GT3, one minute 16 seconds behind the Whites.

White, Pritchard and Close also filled the GT2 competition podium.

“We were just so lucky with the way it all played out – it was just incredible,” White said.

“We had to replace a diff after day one – you only get one opportunity to work on your car and we used ours up very early, but we were just so lucky it happened after the George Town street stage, otherwise we would have been stranded somewhere in the wilderness with a broken diff.

“You have good luck and bad and I’d like to say you make your own luck – we work hard for just about everything we do in life, so it’s nice to get a reward every now and then.

“I’ve done Targa 20 times and we’ve won it six times and had it taken away from us when we were leading as many times, so luck does play a part and you can never feel like you’ve got it in the bag.

“We’re well aware of how cruel Targa can be, so you never count your chickens until you’re at the finish, so it’s a great feeling this year, I can tell you.

“John (co-driver) is keen to keep going until he turns 70, but I think he’d like to equal Jim Richards’ record of eight wins and maybe go one more.

“It’s a year at a time for now, but these are the type of things which definitely spur you on to come back for more.”

Angus Kennard and Ian Wheeler led the RDA Brakes GT4 competition from mid-way through day three in their 2015 Nissan GTR to finish four minutes and 38 seconds in front of Josh Hilton and Rodney Vanderpoel in another GTR.

They led home Barrie Smith’s Audi TT RS in third, after Crichton Lewis crashed his Subaru with just three stages left in the event.

“I’ve won my category a couple of times before, but this is certainly the most enjoyable one,” Kennard said.

“This has been my biggest winning margin, but we didn’t want to push it on the last day just to move up the outright placings. For us it’s more important to win GT4.”

An incredible drive from Queenslanders Jon and Gina Siddins has seen them win the Shannons Classic GT competition in their 1970 Datsun 240Z, and perhaps even more impressively, finishing ninth in the overall standings.

The Siddins’ led home South Australian Craig Haysman and Julie Boorman in the
 much-travelled 1979 Triumph TR7 V8 by nine minutes and 25 seconds, with Western Australian Michael and Daniel Bray in third place in a Holden Torana.

“We can’t believe how well we’ve done overall – the car’s had a few issues, but we’ve still had a great event,” Siddins said.

“We never worry about what the other crews are doing – our aim is just to get through the stages as well as we can.

“The only difference this year has been that it was Gina’s second event and she was just brilliant calling the corners compared to her first time last year. Our teamwork was just so good, which enabled us to win Classic GT by the margin we did.”

In Shannons Classic handicap, Peter and Sari Ullrich dominated the event in his 1963 Jensen CV8, taking the victory by six mintes from the Ferrari of David Gilliver and Nigel Shellshear with Richard Woodward and Neil Gibson’s Holden Monaro third.

Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney produced a start to finish win in Duttons Garage Early Modern, three and a half minutes ahead Jon Mitchell and Joshua Sutcliffe (Subaru), with Guy and John Lilleyman third in a Mitsubishi, a further three minutes back.

In the other categories, Jeff Morton and Dennis Neagle won Country Club GT Sports Trophy in a Lotus Exige, and brothers Darryl and Peter Marshall made it consecutive TSD Trophy wins in their Ford Falcon Ute.

2017 Targa Tasmania, provisional results

1. Jason White / John White, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme
2. Michael Pritchard / Gary Mourant, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, +34s
3. Matt Close / Cameron Reeves, 2015 Porsche GT3, +1m16s
4. Paul Stokell / Jenny Cole, 2014 Lotus Exige, +7m54s
5. Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett, Porsche GT3, +8m43s
6. Craig Dean / Kate Catford, 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT, +8m48s
7. Tim Hendy / Julie Winton-Monet, 2016 Porsche GT4, +10m28s
8. Angus Kennard / Ian Wheeler, 2015 Nissan GTR, +11m05s
9. Jon Siddins / Gina Siddins, 1970 Datsun 240Z, +11m45s
10. Adam Kaplan/Aleshia Penney, 2004 BMW M3 CSL, +12m37s

1. Jason White / John White, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme
2. Michael Pritchard / Gary Mourant, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, +34s
3. Matt Close / Cameron Reeves, 2015 Porsche GT3, +1m16s

1. Angus Kennard / Ian Wheeler, 2015 Nissan GTR
2. Joshua Hilton / Rodney Vanderpoel, 2016 Nissan GTR R35, +4m38s
3. Barrie Smith / Jan Smith, 2010 Audi TT RS, +6m48s

1. Peter Ullrich / Sari Ullrich, 1963 Jensen CV8
2. David Gilliver / Nigel Shellshear, 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS, +6m18s
3. Richard Woodward / Neil Gibson, 1969 Holden Monaro GTS, +6m33s

1. Jon Siddins / Gina Siddins, 1970 Datsun 240Z,
2. Craig Haysman / Julie Boorman, 1979 Triumph TR7 V8, +9m25s
3. Michael Bray / Daniel Bray, 1975 Holden Torana, +13m07s

1. Adam Kaplan / Aleshia Penney, 2004 BMW M3 CSL
2. Jon Mitchell / Joshua Sutclife, 2006 Subaru S204, +3m32s
3. Guy Lilleyman / John Lilleyman, 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, +6m44s

1. Jeff Morton / Dennis Neagle, 2017 Lotus Exige
2. Jeff Beable / Nerida Beable, 2000 Nissan Skyline, +10m28s
3. Martin Duursma / Richard Wodhams, 2013 Lotus Exige S V6, +13m56s

1. Darryl Marshall / Peter Marshall, 2002 Ford Falcon Ute Pursuit 250, 85 points
=2. Christopher Waldock / Christine Kirby, 2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR AWD, 191 points
=2. Peter Lucas / Angela Coradine, 1984 Porsche Carrera, 191 points

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