Fire can’t stop White at Targa High Country

  • Sunday 6th November, 2011 4:48pm
  • Author: SpeedCafe ©

Jason White on fire at the finish. Photo: Perfect Prints

Jason White has won Targa High Country in dramatic fasion.

The Tasmanian, at the wheel of a brand-new Lamborghini, needed to set a blistering time on the final run up Mt Bulla, but spectators and fellow competitors were stunned to see the flames from the rear of the Gallardo Super Trofeo Stadale over the final kilometres up to the top of the ski resort.

White headed into the final stage trailing Tony Quinn in a Nissan GT-R by four seconds. He not only won the stage, but incredibly the event by 10 seconds.

“It was on fire since around the halfway mark of the stage,” said White after he completed the stage and had the fire extinguished.

“With a win at stake we kept on it – which wasn’t easy with a fireball out the back!

“Man o man what a dramatic finish.

“We had some type of fuel issue which could have been related to the fire, but I think with all that happened we only lost a handful of seconds.”

White took a 10 second lead into the final day after a blistering sprint up Mt Buller late yesterday saw him take 30 seconds off his rivals.

But he threw that advantage away on the first stage off the mountain, when he misjudged the base time and lost 25 seconds to Quinn, who suddenly was 10 seconds clear in his Nissan GT-R with seven stages remaining.

The top two then swapped fastest times on the run to Eildon and back, arriving at the base of the mountain for the final run to the resort village just four seconds apart – the Nissan with the slight advantage.

Quinn finished the Mt Buller sprint in 9 minutes 44 seconds. White followed up, but half way up the 18-kilometre stage the rear of the car was on fire. But he charged on regardless, crossing the line with a time of nine minutes 30 seconds, handing him a 10-second victory and top points in the series opener.

He finished, ironically, outside the Mt Buller fire station, with extinguishers at the ready to avoid the disaster of seeing his $600,000 Lamborghini going up in smoke.

Matt Sims finished third in his Nissan GTR, with Matt Close fourth in his Audi TT RS.

Four-time Australian Rally Champion, Simon Evans, driving a Mazda3 MPS, was without peer in the Showroom class, adding this class tarmac title to his many victories on dirt.

The TMR Performance Showroom 4WD class victory went to Ric Shaw in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, winning by just one second over fellow Mitsubishi driver Dean Evans, who had lead from the start on Saturday only to be piped on the post after suffering a puncture on the penultimate stage.

Queenslander Donn Todd took the Classic honours in his 1971 Ford Capri Perana, finishing two minutes 49 seconds clear of Jon Siddins in his 1970 Datsun 240Z.

Siddins was compensated with a victory in the Shannons Early Classic Handicap competition. Bruce Power won the late Classic battle.

The series continues in January, with the running of round 3, Targa Wrest Point in Hobart.

Check out the videos of White in the closing kilometres

RESULTS: – Australian Targa Championship


Targa High Country (Provisional)


1Jason White / John WhiteLamborghini Gallardo
2Tony Quinn / Naomi TillettNissan GT-R+0:10
3Matt Sims / Denis SimsNissan GT-R+1:16
4Matt Close / Casey CloseAudi TT RS+1:32
5Greg Garwood / John AllenPorsche 911 GT2 CS+2:29
6Jim Richards / Barry OliverPorsche 911 GT2 RS+3:24


1Simon Evans / Sue EvansMazda3 MPS
2Kym De Britt / David Percy2003 Holden Astra+3:07
3Adam Spence / Tracey ButtonBMW 130i+3:53
4Adam Dodd / Lee Challoner-MilesMazda MX5+5:44
5Andrew Mckay / Alex HailstoneMazda MX5+6:06


1Ric Shaw / James ParishMitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2Dean Evans / Simone BachmannMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+0:01
3Scott Millar / Christopher DeanMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+2:08
4Ben Newman / Crichton LewisSubaru WRX STI+4:28
5Peter Wrench / Liam DunnMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+5:34


1Donn Todd / Dean Tighe1971 Ford Capri Perana
2Jon Siddins / Darren Ferguson1970 Datsun 240Z+2:49
3Tolley Challis / Greg Flood1974 Porsche 911 RS+3:09
4Bernie Wilson / John Wilson1971 Ford Capri Perana+4:57
5Craig Haysman / Neil Branum1981 Triumph TR7 V8+5:16


1Matthew Turnbull / Andrew Hobson2000 Porsche GT3 CS
2Tim Hendy / Joanne Sibley1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R+3:00
3Steve Spada / Jessica Nicholson1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+3:01
4Samantha Stevens / Claire Ryan1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+3:13
3Adam Kaplan / David Kaplan1988 Holden Commodore HSV SS+3:24


1Bruce Power / Greg Hannay1979 Mazda RX7
2Paul Stuart / Mike Herrod1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS+0:01
3Greg Cook / Jenny Cole1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS+1:33
4John Ireland / Michael Ribot1977 Porsche 911 Carrera S+2:02
5Greg Hutley / Craig Laird1972 Datsun 240Z+2:28


1Jon Siddins / Darren Ferguson1970 Datsun 240Z
2Donn Todd / Dean Tighe1971 Ford Capri Perana+1:37
3Robin Lowe / Peter Lowe1971 Datsun 240Z+2:50
4Colin Byrne / Paul Stoopman1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000+2:53
5Scott Kent / Wayne Kent1965 Ford Mustang+2:59


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