WHITE HOT LOCALS WIN AT TARGA TASMANIA -- RICHARDS THIRD The final day of competition in the 2005 Tasmanian tarmac rally came to a stunning finale today with Hobart-based Jason White securing outright honours in the gruelling five-day ...
WHITE HOT LOCALS WIN AT TARGA TASMANIA -- RICHARDS THIRD
The final day of competition in the 2005 Tasmanian tarmac rally came to a stunning finale today with Hobart-based Jason White securing outright honours in the gruelling five-day challenge, dissolving hopes of a title reclaim for seven-time champion Jim Richards.
Ending a 12-year drought of a local win at the Targa Tasmania rally, 32-year-old White and his forceful 4WD Nissan Skyline GT-R powered home in the drivetravel.com Modern Competition, with a total penalty time of 17mins-14 seconds.
The battle for top spot in the 2100km rally was hard-fought as Richards' 2WD Porsche 911 GT3 struggled to keep up with the White's pace in the inclement conditions throughout the nine stages of the final leg from Burnie to Hobart.
The journey towards a Targa Tasmania victory has spanned over six years for the uncle/nephew duo and Hobart-based Jason said their win is mainly attributed to his handle over the GT-R in today's torrent weather.
"It was a sweet relief and I am all out of adrenalin. We knew we couldn't relax too much today but we had enough of a lead not to take any risks and let the others eat into it a bit," said White.
"The crew is ecstatic; they have worked as hard as we have. Had it been a dry last day, the results would have been different- that's why we trust our Nissan to do the job. There is no other car you'd rather be in, in conditions like today."
Changing the order of the day, separate incidents involving two top contenders on the treacherous Queenstown and Mt Arrowsmith stages, dropped Tony Quinn and Warwick Rooklyn from contention. No parties involved incurred any serious injuries.
With the White's dominating the field throughout the day, Tasmania's Greg Garwood and his navigator John Allen were following by 6-seconds in a turbo-charged 4WD Porsche 911, with 'Gentleman' Jim Richards a further 33-seconds behind.
"It's great to finish behind Jason and in front of Jim," said Garwood. "We left our dash a bit late - we thought we might be quicker in the rain. We're a new team and it's a new car, but we worked together, particularly in the last two days when we had the quickest times on quite a few stages."
Failing to reclaim his Targa Tasmania title, Richards still showed marvellous sportsmanship and reflected upon his choice of vehicle.
"We are very happy. Over 45 stages, our losing margin only equates to a second a stage. We knew if it was wet we would struggle, but to be only four seconds off the lead at the start of the last stage was terrific," said Richards.
"If it was dry we would have been a chance. You definitely need a 4WD, we've tried two years in a row with a 2WD and we've been close. Conditions vary so much and we've never had a completely dry Targa Tasmania."
With Rooklyn and Quinn out of contention, Victorian Rex Broadbent moved up the field to finish fourth in a Daytona Coupe, with Kevin Weeks 1-minute 19-seconds behind him in a Porsche 911 GT2.
From the circuit to the treacherous tarmac, veteran V8 Supercar driver Tony Longhurst was ecstatic when he finished in ninth position in his Subaru Impreza WRX.
"I didn't know what to expect - the event is tougher than I expected, I was hopeful of a top 10 finish, and for us as rally rookies in a stock standard car is a fantastic result," Longhurst said.
Rounding out the top ten, celebrity driver Stuart Appleby displayed his outstanding ability behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Gallardo in the car's international motorsport debut. This is an amazing achievement for the Targa Tasmania rookie, in light of the challenge posed by today's precarious conditions.
"It's been a fantastic event for me," said Appleby. "At the start of the week we would have never dreamed of a top 10 finish, so this is awesome. The car was unbelievable and my navigator Peter Burrey was great."
Tony Quinn, guided by Tasmania's Keith Wenn, was third leading into today's leg, when their 4WD turbo-charged Porsche went off 4km into the Queenstown stage. Fifth at the time, Rooklyn's Mitsubishi Evo Lancer came off 4.5km into the winding 47.24km stage. Rooklyn's navigator, Linda Long required some medical attention on the scene but later refused any further treatment.
A last minute 10-minute speeding penalty dropped Bill Pye and Grant Geelan from the top position they had maintained throughout the event. Victorians Michel Conway and Simon Gardiner in a 1977 Ford Escort clocked a total penalty time of 20-minutes 8-seconds to take victory in the Shannons Classic Competition. Obtaining outright honours in the Targa Tasmania Historic Competition was Tasmanian husband and wife combo Graham and Pat Kent in their 1936 Ford Coupe.
<pre> PROVISIONAL END OF DAY RESULTS
DRIVETRAVEL.COM MODERN COMPETITION
POS CREWS MODEL PENALTY TIME 1 John White, TAS, Jason White, TAS Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec II 17:14 2 Greg Garwood, TAS, John Allen, QLD Porsche 911 Turbo 17:20 3 Jim Richards, VIC, Barry Oliver, TAS Porsche 911 GT3 CS 17:53 4 Rex Broadbent, VIC, Michael Goedheer, VIC Daytona Coupe 26:24 5 Kevin Weeks,SA, Jahmeil Taylor SA Porsche 911 GT2 27:43 6 Scott Juniper,QLD, Dan Bowden, QLD Porsche 911 Turbo 28:39 7 Jeff Beable, VIC, Nerida Beable, VIC Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II 29:25 8 Ric Shaw, NSW, James Parish, NSW Mazda RX7 Series 8 RS 29:33 9 Tony Longhurst, NSW, Michael De Vere, QLD Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 29:36 10 Stuart Appleby, VIC, Peter Burrey, NSW Lamborghini Gallardo 30:37
SHANNONS CLASSIC COMPETITION
POS CREWS MODEL PENALTY TIME 1 Michael Conway,VIC, Simon Gardiner,VIC 1977 Ford Escort MK2 RS2000 20:28 2 Graham Copeland, QLD, Jon Siddins, QLD 1970 Datsun 240Z 22:32 3 Geoff Taylor, VIC, Lee Harper, VIC 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 23:45 4 Ian Morris, VIC, Alex Molocznyk, QLD 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6 24:10 5 Greg Cook, VIC, Roy Baumgarth, VIC 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 27:50
POS CREWS MODEL PENALTY TIME 1 Graham Kent,TAS, Pat Kent,TAS 1936 Ford Coupe 55:34 2 John Felder,VIC, Mark Burns,VIC 1930 Oakland 8-101 01:04:02 3 John Lawson,VIC, Paul Lawson,VIC 1926 AC Amilcar Grand Sport 04:01:41
TOURING CLASSIC COMPETITION
POS CREWS MODEL PENALTY TIME 1 James Powell-Davies,TAS, Nick McShane,TAS 1977 BMW Alpina 00:27:08 2 Steve Bruce, WA, Terri Bruce, WA 1969 Morris Mini Cooper S 00:27:26 3 Duncan Matheson,NSW, Bronwyn Matheson, NSW 1968 Porsche 912 00:30:45 4 Philip Blake,TAS, Tony Gray, TAS 1965 Fiat Abarth 850 TC Corsa 00:41:35 5 David Currow, SA, Biji Thomas, SA 1965 Steyr Puch TR Europa 00:48:44