Talkin’ Targa High Country
The Targa High Country took place from the 4th to the 6th of November, letting a field of nearly 200 Targa rally cars - everything from a 1948 Holden 215 to Porsche GT3 and GT2s – loose on the tarmac around Mount Buller over the course of sixteen stages of competitive rallying.
The Autohaus team thoroughly enjoyed Darren Williamson, John Ireland and Kingsley Wallman giving their Porsches the beans up and down the mountain over the weekend.
It was Darren and Rex Williamson’s first rally in their 996 GT2, which took to the rigours of competitive rallying with aplomb. The pair had great fun familiarising themselves with the car and pushing harder each time they went out. They brought it home 14th in the highly competitive ‘Early Modern’ class and thoroughly enjoyed the event; “There’s still plenty to learn and explore in the car, but we really enjoyed it.”
John Ireland and co-driver Michael Ribot spent the weekend dicing in the Porsche-dominated pointy end of the Late Classic class in their gorgeous ’77 911 Carrera 3. They achieved an excellent fourth place behind two 1973 Carrera RSs driven by Paul Stuart and Greg Cook.
Engine problems may have added a few minutes to Kingsley Wallman and Genevieve Lilley’s times, but could not dampen the pair’s enthusiasm for both the event and their car; “The roads are spectacular, the Victorian countryside is beautiful, the community support is fantastic and the social atmosphere from the whole circus staying together in Mount Buller is something special.”
It was the first time out for the pair in their lovely ’73 RS replica after previously running a BMW M3, and Wallman loved the experience: “The 911 is torquier down low, has no power steering, no power brakes. It’s a very raw mechanical experience.”
“It’s more challenging and physically demanding to drive. It’s much more rewarding to drive.”
Overall winner Jason White went into the second day of competition with a ten second lead ahead of Tony Quinn. The pair traded stage wins throughout the second day in an intense battle for victory.
When his 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stadale caught fire half way up the Mount Buller during the final stage of the rally, White carried on. He finished outside the Mount Buller fire station, his Lamborghini rescued and outright win secured.