Targa’s tight at the top

PUTTING ON THE PRESSURE: The leading Tasmanian team of Jason and John White chase hard, in their Nissan Skyline, in yesterday’s Northern section. The pair led the field after the opening day’s competiAfter yesterday’s opening day’s competition, the Tasmanian team of Jason and John White, in their Nissan Skyline, just led seven-time winner Jim Richards, in his Porsche 911 GT3, with Tony Quinn and Keith Wenn third in their Porsche.
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White yesterday took the race right up to Richards early on, taking out an early stage win in his Nissan Skyline GT-R and pushing both seasoned drivers Richards and Paul Stokell hard over the eight stages.

It was an outstanding competition after the Devonport lunch break when the charge began.

White, a local favourite, made his intentions clear from the outset, driving hard and winning the short Nook stage after lunch by four seconds from Richards.

“We’re a little bit surprised to be where we are at this stage – I didn’t think we would clean those stages, and then to miss out on Nook by only one second was great,” White said.

“We thought Jim (Richards) would be more of a threat than he was. We’re extremely happy with our event at this stage.”

Richards and his Tasmanian navigator, Barry Oliver, had no intention of making it easy for the Tasmanian, taking victory on the next stage, but he was obviously worried by White’s pace.

“We lost time on Nook and Sheffield stages – we were just too slow compared to Jason (White),” Richards said.

Celebrity Lamborghini driver and in-form Australian golfer Stuart Appleby was delighted with his performance yesterday, finishing 30th in the field, in a Lamborghini Gallardo.

“I am just trying to get my rhythm and getting used to the calls and reacting to them. It makes it much easier when we work as a team,” Appleby said.

Today’s second leg comprises nine stages, starting in Launceston and finishing in Hobart with a total competitive distance of 72.86km.

THE TARGA LEADERS J. White, J. White, Nissan Skyline 00:00 J.Richards, B.Oliver Porsche 911 00:16 T. Quinn, K. Wenn, Porsche 911 00:17 P. Stokell, P. Roberts, Lamborghini 00:18 W.Rooklyn, L.Long, Mitsubishi 00:24 G. Garwood, J. Allen, Porsche 911 00:50 R. Gott, F. Gocentas, Porsche 01:05 R. Kempnich, G. McWhinney, Por 01:05 K. Weeks, J. Taylor Porsche 911 01:05

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