The Lamborghini of Jason and John White has again topped the scoreboards at the Targa Wrest Point rally, held on the tarmac roads south of Hobart, Tasmania on January 28 – 29.
The second round of the Australian Targa Championship saw 130 cars and crews fight for honours in both modern and classic categories, with the twisted and sometimes rough asphalt whittling away at the numbers though the weekend’s 200km of competitive stages.
It wasn’t an easy victory for the Championship-leading nephew-uncle crew, trailing the Audi TTRS of Matt and Casey Close by six seconds by the end of day one. But Matt Close and wife Casey happily settled for second in both the event and on the Championship leaderboard – their first podium in the diminutive Audi.
Young Tasmanian Eddie Maguire has taken a surprise victory on his tarmac debut in the TMR Performance 4WD Showroom category. Bolting out of the blocks and matching the outright times in his aging Mitsubishi Evo 8, Maguire being guided by Steve Glenney in the co-drivers seat, headed home Showroom category regulars Dean Evans and Scott Millar both in Evo 10’s.
Hobart’s Matthew Rickards also wowed the crowds as he blasted the Early Modern field in an Evo VII – finishing a full 30 seconds ahead of Richard’s GT2 to sit fourth outright in the overall standings. Completing a local whitewash in the remaining categories was Launceston’s David Cooper in his 1977 Holden Torana A9X securing the Classic Outright win.
ARC champions Simon and Sue Evans won the 2WD Showroom class; John Ireland and Michael Ribot took the Late Classic handicap in a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3, and Geoff and Leon Duggan claimed the Early Classic Handicap in their 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports.
Notable DNF’s included Targa Tasmania winner Tony Quinn, who lost ABS and plunged into the forest of Tahune, escaping with a dented door only to retire later with gearbox problems. Showroom 4WD championship leader Ric Shaw also nosed his EVO X into the forest.
But the most spectacular exit was that of George Miedecke in father Andrew’s 1970 Ford Capri Perana. The American UTRA series driver was gifted the ride with two instructions: “Don’t crash, and don’t come second”. Unfortunately, a tightening right-hander on the shoreline of Dover caught Miedecke and codriver Daniel Willson out, sending them nose-first into the water and landing right next to the already inverted Subaru STI of father-son team of Ralph and Alex Norton. All miraculously escaped serious injury.