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Whites squeeze out advantage after Day 2

Jason and John White have put on a dynamic display to increase their edge over the field in the overall battle after the second day of Targa Tasmania.
Jason White on Moriarty

Starting the day with a five second lead, the Whites guided their 2016 Dodge Viper to a 16 second advantage over his rivals.

The pair are eyeing a seventh victory in the celebrated tarmac rally which would see them move to just one less than Targa Tasmania record-holders Jim Richards and Barry Oliver who have crossed the line first on eight occasions.

After a challenging day encompassing six special stages, the Whites set TS8 Paloona, alight, pulling 10 seconds to build a buffer.

Trading places was the order of the day for second and third placings, with Matt Close and Cameron Reeves eventually holding down second outright in their Porsche GT3 RS.

The pair had an epic battle with Steve Glenney and Andy Sarandis who go into the third day just four seconds behind Close. They also lead the GT4 class.

There were some strong performances from fourth-placed Angus Kennard and Ian Wheeler in the 2015 Nissan GT-R R35.

White enjoyed attacking the stages, but knows he will have to change his style sooner or later.

“We had an exciting stage at Paloona,” Jason White said. “I hit the brakes on the first corner and had a drink bottle submarine down in between the brake pedals.

“It was a distraction for the first few kays. It made me crabby, but the crabbiness fed through the steering wheel and into the wheels and it ended up being a very good time.

“We’ll have to start conserving tyres soon, the only trouble is that it’s too much fun.”

Close was pleased with his day. 

“We came here to win and we’re competitive so far,” Close said. “We’ve got a great car and a great package, so we can tick that box off.”

Glenney knows he lacks the top speed of his rivals.

“We were going as fast as we could go, but they have a bit more grunt than us on the straight bits,” Glenney said. “We’re not too far away, but we’re hanging in there.”

Joshua Sutcliffe and Jon Mitchell who were also big movers on the second day in their 2006 Subaru STI, are sitting in seventh overall and first in the Early Modern class.

In other classes, the Shannons Classic GT has seen the 1975 Holden Torana of Michael Bray and Daniel Bray in an intense battle with the 1970 Datsun 240Z of Jon and Gina Siddons, with just six seconds separating the two cars. Graham Copeland and Josh Herbert have a clear two-minute buffer in the Classic handicap in their 1941 GMC Jimmy Special.

In the Rookie GT, Jeff Morton and Steve Fisher hold the upper hand following the completion of Day 2. The pairing guided their 2017 Lotus Exige to a 27 second lead after nine stages over Anthony Moss and Julie Hunter in their 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

The Country Club GT Sports Trophy is led by Duursma and Richard Wodhams in a Lotus Exige SV6 at the end of Day 2 at Targa Tasmania. Duursma set the pace across the day and has opened up a handy 43 second lead over the Subaru Impreza WRX STI of Kristian Downing and Clayton Webber. The TSD Trophy is led by Brian and Justin Marshal in a VW Polo GTi.

The third day sees the field head to St Helens on the east coast for six competitive stages ahead of returning to the Launceston base.

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