White wash on day one of Targa Adelaide
Reigning Australian Targa Champion, Jason White, has mastered the treacherous conditions on the first day of Supaloc Targa Adelaide to open up a handy lead with three days remaining.
Driving his Lamborghini Gallardo, the Tasmanian was the dominant force over the opening eight closed road Targa stages and holds a commanding one minute and 16 second lead over Tony Quinn’s Nissan GT-R.
South Australian driver, Matt Sims, had been in second place in another Nissan GT-R, but he went off the road 2.7 kilometres into the final stage of the day.
In the Shannons Classic Outright competition, Canberra’s Barry Faux holds a handy 23-second advantage in his 1979 Mazda RX7, with local driver, Roger Paterson, making a good start in his 1974 Porsche 911, holding second place.
After last night’s successful Intercontinental Night Stage that attracted 24,000 South Australians, the field of over 150 cars headed into the Adelaide Hills for the first day’s action.
White had broken a driveshaft on the first corner of last night’s stage, but with that repaired he quickly set about the task of defending his championship title.
He was untouchable for most of the day in conditions that were similar to his native Tasmania, although he wasn’t without his own problems.
“The conditions were terrible – probably the least amount of grip I’ve driven with,” White said.
“The Sideling stage in Targa Tasmania was horrible, and the whole of today was equivalent to that.
“It always felt like we were going too slow and out braking ourselves, but then you look at the times and everyone else is going slower too, so that was just the way the conditions were.
“On the final stage it looked like a big storm had hit as there were branches and rocks on the road. There was a lot of standing water on the road and the car was aquaplaning quite a lot.”
Despite a lead over over a minute, White still says there’s a long way to go, or has he put it, “a lot of chickens still to be hatched”.
“We need the rain to keep coming, otherwise somebody could catch us,” he said.
“We’re on medium compound tyres and they worked really well in these conditions. But if it dries out, the tables could turn on us quickly and those on hard tyre could quickly make up the time.”
Second placed Quinn is well placed should White hit trouble over the final three days, while West Australian, Peter Rullo, is third in his Nissan GT-R, albeit only three seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX of Matt Selley.
Former South Australian, Steve Glenney, set the fastest time on the opening night stage, but electrical problems in his 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX slowed his progress through the day and he is languishing in fifth place, nearly three minutes off the pace.
Also hitting trouble was, Kevin Weeks, who had a minor off-road excursion in his Lamborghini on the day’s final test. He is nearly four minutes from the lead, in seventh place.
In the Classics, Tolley Challis looked likely to head into the overnight halt back in Adelaide as the leader, but on a treacherous final stage the Western Australian struggled to get any heat into his car’s tyres, and he dropped 45 seconds, and from first to fourth place.
“The conditions were horrendous – some of the worst I’ve driven in,” Challis said. “I’m not sure what the forecast is for tomorrow, but hopefully we get some dry patches so that driving is a little more enjoyable.”
His last-minute hiccup gave Canberra’s Faux the lead, ahead of Paterson and another local driver, Nick Streckeisen in a Porsche 944 Turbo.
Streckeisen had led the event until the seventh stage, but dropped two places late in the day and is now 25 seconds from the lead in third position.
Two of the early favourites, Craig Haysman (Triumph TR7 V8) and Donn Todd (Ford Capri Perana), are nearly a minute off the pace in fifth and sixth.
Tim Possingham was another local to have a good day. He leads Early Modern in his 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R by 13 seconds from Andrew Booker’s 1990 Nissan 180 SX.
The Shannons Early Classic Handicap competition is lead by the Porsche 911 S of Rob Black, just three seconds clear of Bill Brentzell’s Shelby350, while Barry Faux also leads the Late Classic Handicap class, nine seconds ahead of Nick Streckeisen.
Mark Rundle (4WD), Glyn Crimp (2WD) and Neill Ford (Sports) lead the Showroom classes. John Goodall leads Regularity in his Porsche Cayman.
Supaloc Targa Adelaide – Results after Day 1
|1||Jason White / John White||Lamborghini Gallardo,||7:31|
|2||Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett||Nissan GT-R||+1:01|
|3||Peter Rullo / Simon Iseppi||Nissan GT-R||+1:54|
|4||Matt Selley / Hamish McKendrick||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||+1:57|
|5||Steve Glenney / Bernie Webb||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||+2:52|
SHANNONS CLASSIC OUTRIGHT
|1||Barry Faux / Therezia Mihajlovic||Mazda RX7||12:04|
|2||Roger Paterson / Paul Whatnell,||Porsche 911 RS||+0:23|
|3||Nick Streckeisen / Mike Dale||Porsche 944 Turbo||+0:25|
|4||Tolley Challis / Greg Flood||Porsche 911 Carrera RS||+0:29|
|5||Craig Haysman / Neil Branum||Triumph TR7 V8||+0:52|