White poised for second Targa Tasmania victory Burnie's Jason White is poised to win his second Targa Tasmania tarmac rally crown with a commanding one minute and nine second lead heading into the final day of the six-day classic. Driving a...
White poised for second Targa Tasmania victory
Burnie's Jason White is poised to win his second Targa Tasmania tarmac rally crown with a commanding one minute and nine second lead heading into the final day of the six-day classic.
Driving a 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Strada, White used his local knowledge to advantage, taking a stranglehold on the event. He demonstrated his skills in the tricky conditions down the west coast of the state, moving further ahead of Ray Vandersee in a Skelta G-Force and 2009 winner Tony Quinn's Nissan GT-R.
Victorian Rex Broadbent is set to take back-to-back Classic titles in his Porsche 911 RS, while Tasmanian Tony Warren still leads the Showroom class and looks set for his second win.
White, who last won Targa Tasmania in 2005 at the wheel of a Nissan Skyline GT-R, was happy with his day, but predictably, he wasn't claiming victory just yet, knowing that tomorrows seven stages across 120 competitive kilometres will prove to be a real test of man and machine.
"There's probably a good 10 or 12 kilometres of road that I haven't seen in competition before, or made pacenotes for, so hopefully we'll have enough of a buffer to not really have to take too many risks in the last few stages," White said.
"Our tyres are quite hard so we don't have a tyre wear issue."
Vandersee and his rear-wheel drive Skelta set a scorching pace throughout the day, but failed to make in-roads into White's lead.
"We'll just continue to drive as hard as we can tomorrow, but our tyres are in such good condition still that we won't even use our fifth and sixth tyres, which does suggest that they're probably a little bit too hard for the conditions we've been experiencing," he explained.
"Tomorrow's stages are a lot faster, so I think we'll do alright there, even if it is wet."
Third placed Tony Quinn could have been closer to the lead had it not been for some computer issues in his Nissan GT-R, yet he still lies a third, ahead of Steve Jones (Nissan) and Jamie Vandenberg (Mitsubishi).
Broadbent came under pressure early in the day from Datsun 240Z driver Jon Siddins, who narrowed the lead to under a minute and a half mid-way through the day. But Siddins crashed on the Hellyer Gorge stage, leaving the Porsche driver well clear of the pack.
"We've got a good break, so we are going to take it a little easy and I'm not going to take any risks," he said. "You don't change the recipe if it's working right."
In second place is fellow Porsche driver Peter Eames, with Paul Batten an incredible third in his 1961 Volvo PV544.
Warren looks all but assured of a second Showroom victory as he enters the final day with a lead over 90 seconds. The Lancer driver pulled further ahead of fellow Mitsubishi driver Dean Evans, who struck problems on the day's final stage.
The front-wheel drive Mazda3 MPS of Brendan Reeves continues to impress in and is now up to second place.
"I'm very happy with the lead we've got at the moment," Warren said. "Maybe we can afford to knock the speed back a little bit through some of the longer stages and hopefully coast into Hobart.
"We've had no problems with the car at all. The tyres have hung on really well. We can put some more on tonight, so it will be all good for tomorrow."
Leading the Early Modern competition is Gavin James in a 1989 Porsche 944.
The highlights of the final day will be the events longest stage, the 56 kilometre Arrowsmith, and the final spectator stage near the Hobart Airport where a big crowd is expected.
The winners will spray the champagne at Hobart's Wrest Point on 4pm tomorrow afternoon.
-source: targa tasmania