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What the drivers said

The Targa media team caught up with some of the competitors after three awesome days of competition.

Credit: Angryman Photography

Quotes from some of the Targa Great Barrier Reef competitors.


Jason White (outright winner, GT2 winner): “We were lucky enough to increase our lead in little chunks today.

The last two stages were downgraded so it was a bit of an anti-climax and not the most exciting finish we’ve had for a Targa event. We’re happy all the same.

This was a really good event to challenge ourselves as it was a real level playing field.

Events like Targa Tasmania we’ve done over 20 times so you get a bit for familiar with the roads.

Whereas no-one was familiar the roads up here, so it was a very good equaliser and very close competition as well.

We didn’t win any stages by a large amount. It was just one second here and two seconds there so it was a really good close battle.

The comfort levels in the car weren’t what we’re used to. 

We were trying to make the most or the air conditioning and trying to find shady spots when we stopped.

Out on the stages, the car was getting hot, the cabin was getting hot and the tyres were also out of their comfort zone.

We’re happy with the win and we always want to win each event on its merits, so try not to think about the championship too much.

I think even if we won Targa High Country and Paul Stokell was to have a drama, he would only need to finish fifth or sixth to win the championship.” 

Paul Stokell (2nd outright, 2nd GT2): “We had a good battle with Jason (White), but we were really up against it in the horsepower stakes. We’ve taken over outright lead in the Championship, so we’ve had a good weekend.

The car was great and I had a new navigator on board and Malcolm (Read) I gelled very quickly and I never had any hesitation in his calls.

It was a good event, but it could do with a bit of fine tuning to make it an awesome."

Jeff Morton (3rd outright, 3rd GT2): “To finish on the podium in what is only my second tarmac rally in open competition has totally exceeded my wildest dreams.

When I came here I had a goal of maybe top five in GT2 and top 10 overall, but I ended up doing way better than I was expecting.

Given my relative inexperience, to be mixing it with the guys at the top of the sport is just awesome.

We had a dream run without any mistakes or dramas, but it’s a shame the last two stages were dropped.

We were second going into what was eventually the last stage, but Paul (Stokell) just jumped ahead of us.

It was a ding dong battle and I’ve already ticked off a few huge milestones in this rally. 

It gives me something to aim for next time.”

Michael Bray (Shannons GT Classic winner): “We’re really stoked and the whole event was an awesome experience for us.

The roads suited us early in the event, but we struggled today in the winding stuff and we made a poor tyre choice this morning, but lucky for us the final two stages got cancelled.

We had a minute and four seconds lead at the start of the day and by the time we got to lunch today it was down to 29 seconds.

We probably took it easy a little bit because we’ve got the lead in the championship, but we had Mick Downey pushing us all the way and it would have been tight if the last two stages weren’t downgraded."

Ashley Yelds (Shannons Classic Handicap winner):  “We really thought we didn’t have a chance in this event, so we’re a little bit overwhelmed by it.

It was a challenging event and a lot of the stages were very technical.

There was a mix of endurance stages in there, but it was more like a three-day sprint.

Some of the stages were an event in themselves.

We thought we would be good in the twisty stuff, of which there was plenty.

We didn’t think we’d go as well in the higher speed stuff on day three, so we just set our mind to it and I think we surprised ourselves a bit.

We had a four second lead at the start of the day and we were able to get six seconds more on the Kuranda stage and it was enough to give us the win as it turned out.”

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