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White edges closer to sixth Targa Tasmania win

Devonport’s Jason White looks set to take a sixth Targa Tasmania crown after he stamped his authority on the event on the stages from Strahan to Hobart.
Driving his Dodge Viper ACR Extreme, White finished the day with a sizeable lead in the Overall competition, one minute and seven seconds clear after the fifth day’s six stages.

The fight for second place Overall is gripping, with Michael Pritchard putting in an incredible drive in his Dodge Viper to move ahead of Matt Close’s Porsche GT2. The pair are separated by just 17 seconds.

Day five of Targa Tasmania saw competitors leave Strahan and embark on the gruelling 33km stage out of Strahan. That was followed by the event’s longest stage, the 53 kilometres of Mt Arrowsmith, before crews headed to Hobart for the overnight halt.

White grabbed the Dodge by the horns on the opening stage of the day out of Strahan, extending his lead by a massive 25 seconds and disheartening his rivals.

Michael Pritchard responded on the run over Mt Arrowsmith, clawing back 53 seconds and moving into second place ahead of Cloase, but with three short stages following on the run into Hobart, White was able to conserve his car, and preserve his lead.

“It’s good to have a lead of over a minute going into the last day. We may have to watch out for the battle behind us with Matt and Mike – they’re going like cut cats,” White said.

“We’ll still have to maintain a bit of pace, but a minute is a good gap.

“I thought we were going fast on Mount Arrowsmith and doing enough to keep Matt Close at bay, but we were astonished to hear Mike Pritchard was 40 seconds faster. I had no idea Mike had that in him - that’s the drive of the event in my book.

“We’ve been worrying about our tyre wear all week, but our tyres are okay, so we can pretty much push hard to the finish if we need to.”
 
Things have remained unchanged in the RDA Brakes GT4 competition for modern four-wheel drive cars, with Nissan driver Angus Kennard more than doubling his lead, finishing the day over six and a half minutes in front.

It is a lot tighter in the battle for second place, with Josh Hilton (Nissan GTR) still in front of Crichton Lewis’ Subaru WRX, but the gap has now reduced to 23 seconds as the Launceston driver now eyes second place.

“With the lead we’ve got we can pretty much relax tomorrow and take it a little bit easier,” Kennard admitted.

“It’s not going to be wet, so we’re going to try and de-risk our drive tomorrow. We didn’t go flat out today and it probably felt faster than it really was.”

Jon Siddins’ incredible drive continued. The Queenslander has a stranglehold on the Shannons Classic GT competition in his 1970 Datsun 240Z, but also sits 10th in the overall competition.

Former Classic winner, Craig Haysman, in a 1979 Triumph TR7 V8 , has been no match for Siddins and now trails by nearly eight minutes, with Western Australian Michael Bray in third place in a Holden Torana.

“I’ve been cruising today – we had a little issue with a diff bolt breaking on the first stage at Strahan this morning, so I had to nurse it through to the lunch stop at New Norfolk,” Siddins said.

“We fixed that, so now we’re just going to cruise home – I think everyone’s cruising. We’re all happy to be in the positions we’re in, I think.”

In Shannons Classic handicap, Peter Ullrich once again dominated the day in his 1963 Jensen CV8 and holds more than a six minute advantage over the Ferrari of David Gilliver, who has moved ahead of Richard Woodward’s Holden Monaro in the race for second place.

As he’s done since the first day, Adam Kaplan finished in the lead in Duttons Garage Early Modern, two and a half minutes ahead Jon Mitchell (Subaru), with Guy Lilleyman’s Mitsubishi a further four minutes back.

In the other categories, Jeff Morton leads Country Club GT Sports Trophy in his Lotus Exige, and brothers Darryl and Peter Marshall continue to head the TSD Trophy in a Ford Falcon Ute.

The final day of Targa Tasmania is a short one, with just 66 kilometres across six competitive stages, however, with challenging stages such as Pelverata, Cygnet and Longley still to come, the final placings are far from decided.

The event finishes with a podium presentation and champagne spray at Princess Wharf No. 1 from 1.00pm onwards.

2017 Targa Tasmania, provisional results after Day 5

OVERALL
1. Jason White / John White, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme
2. Michael Pritchard / Gary Mourant, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, +1m07s
3. Matt Close / Cameron Reeves, 2015 Porsche GT3, +1m24s
4. Paul Stokell / Jenny Cole, 2014 Lotus Exige, +6m35s
5. Angus Kennard / Ian Wheeler, 2015 Nissan GTR, +7m41s
6. Tony Quinn / Naomi Tillett, Porsche GT3, +7m51s
7. Craig Dean / Kate Catford, 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT, +8m02s
8. Tim Hendy / Julie Winton-Monet, 2016 Porsche GT4, +9m24s
9. Jon Siddins / Gina Siddins, 1970 Datsun 240Z, +10m36s
10.Adam Kaplan/Aleshia Penney, 2004 BMW M3 CSL, +10m40s

WREST POINT GT2
1. Jason White / John White, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme
2. Michael Pritchard / Gary Mourant, 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, +1m07s
3. Matt Close / Cameron Reeves, 2015 Porsche GT3, +1m24s

RDA BRAKES GT4
1. Angus Kennard / Ian Wheeler, 2015 Nissan GTR
2. Joshua Hilton / Rodney Vanderpoel, 2016 Nissan GTR R35, +6m31s
3. Crichton Lewis / Adam Kudra, 2010 Subaru Sti, +6m54s

SHANNONS CLASSIC
1. Peter Ullrich / Sari Ullrich, 1963 Jensen CV8
2. David Gilliver / Nigel Shellshear, 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS, +6m24s
3. Richard Woodward / Neil Gibson, 1969 Holden Monaro GTS, +6m32s

SHANNONS CLASSIC GT
1. Jon Siddins / Gina Siddins, 1970 Datsun 240Z,
2. Craig Haysman / Julie Boorman, 1979 Triumph TR7 V8, +7m41s
3. Michael Bray / Daniel Bray, 1975 Holden Torana, +10m06s

DUTTONS GARAGE EARLY MODERN
1. Adam Kaplan / Aleshia Penney, 2004 BMW M3 CSL
2. Jon Mitchell / Joshua Sutclife, 2006 Subaru S204, +2m23s
3. Guy Lilleyman / John Lilleyman, 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, +6m34s

COUNTRY CLUB GT SPORTS TROPHY
1. Jeff Morton / Dennis Neagle, 2017 Lotus Exige,
2. Jeff Beable / Nerida Beable, 2000 Nissan Skyline, +8m04s
3. Martin Duursma / Richard Wodhams, 2013 Lotus Exige S V6, +11m11s


TSD TROPHY
1. Darryl Marshall / Peter Marshall, 2002 Ford Falcon Ute Pursuit 250, 82 points
2. Christopher Waldock / Christine Kirby, 2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR AWD, 174 points
3. Peter Lucas / Angela Coradine, 1984 Porsche Carrera, 178 points

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At 14 years of age, Heather Brumby will most likely be one of the youngest ever people to contest a competitive category of a Targa Australia event. 

The Year Nine MacKillop College student from Wattle Flat, north of Bathurst will be navigating her father’s 1999 Alfa Romeo GTV in November’s Targa High Country, which is conducted in and around the Victorian ski resort town of Mt Buller. 


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