CAMS_blade   FIA_Member Logo

WHITE EYES CHAMPIONSHIP WIN AFTER WREST POINT

Targa Wrest PointA dominant drive on day two has seen Tasmanian driver Jason White take back-to-back victories in Targa Wrest Point, extending 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.

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.

Mazda driver, Brendan Reeves, took third place at Targa Wrest Point 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.

The final day of Targa Wrest Point was held in almost perfect conditions, with fine weather and a temperature nudging 30 degrees. While this was great for fans lining the route, it made it hot work for the drivers.

White seemed unaffected. He beat Close by 16 seconds on the opening stage and then gradually extended his lead.

"It was extreme pressure out there, because we knew Closey was going really fast. 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," White said.

"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.

"The lead in the championship is great going into Targa Tasmania, and as far as the development of the car goes it hasn't missed a beat, so we'll go right over it before the next event and pray that our reliability continues, because with over 600 kilometres of stages it's going to be one of the most extreme challenges we've ever set out to accomplish."

Despite dropping to second place, Close was thrilled with his result in a car that is getting faster at every event. The result leaves him well within striking distance of White, with 500 points still on offer in the final round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship.

Mazda’s Brendan Reeves drove conservatively into third place on his first event in the powerful rear-wheel drive car. With a gap to second place, and one back to fourth, he maintained his position throughout the day to take his best outright finish in a Targa event.

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.

Todd recovered some ground on day two to finish third and gain valuable championship points to take a 200 point buffer into April’s Targa Tasmania.

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 yet 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.