A dominant drive on Day 2 of Targa Wrest Point has seen Tasmanian driver Jason White win the event – the second year in-a-row he has become the champion.
The win also extends his lead in the CAMS Australian Targa Championship to 60 points with just one round remaining.
White, who also took his Lamborghini Gallardo to top points at the opening round of the series, Targa High Country in November, started the final day with an eight second deficit to Matt Close’s Audi TT RS. But victory on six of the day’s seven stages gave him and co-driver John White a commanding 41-second victory.
Close took his first podium of the series to move to second place on the leader board.
Mazda driver Brendan Reeves took third place in his first outing in the factory-backed RX8 SP, while Targa legend Jim Richards was fourth in his Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Tasmanian drivers dominated the round of the national championship. Launceston’s David Cooper produced a brilliant drive to win the Classic Outright competition in his 1977 Holden Torana A9X, while Hobart’s Eddie Maguire took a surprise victory in the highly competitive TMR Performance 4WD Showroom category.
Hobart’s Matthew Rickards was one of the sensations of the event in his 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer, winning the Early Modern class and finishing as the fourth fastest car in the event – more than half a minute ahead of Jim Richards’ Porsche on overall times. ”It was extreme pressure out there, because we knew Closey was going really fast,” White said.
“All we could do was go ballistic and hope for the best, and I think the stage records on the last three stages of the day will stand for a long time because we’ve got no intentions whatsoever of going any faster than that again.
“On the last stage we scared every single guide post, bank and gum tree. There was not an ounce of road left and it was 100 per cent everywhere through the stage. It was a pretty rewarding drive.”
After the Ford Capris of George Miedecke (accident) and Donn Todd (fuel problems) struck trouble, David Cooper took the Classic Outright win by nearly a minute and a half over John Ireland’s Porsche, which also won the Late Classic Handicap class.
Simon Evans was the dominant driver in the Showroom class, taking a six minute win in his Mazda3 MPS. Eddie Maguire (Mitsubishi Lancer) won 4WD Showroom, while another local, Geoff Duggan, was at the head of the pack in the Early Classic Handicap class, driving his 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports.
John Ireland and Michael Ribot have taken top honours in the Late Classic handicap event. The pair, driving a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3 have finished 27 seconds clear of the Stuarts, Paul and Lachie, in their 1973 Porsche Carrera RS.
The final round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship is the gruelling Targa Tasmania, which takes place from April 17 to 22.