White's Targa drive of honour

TARGA champion Jason White is hoping to race on Wednesday as a tribute to his father Dennis, who died last month after a 21-month battle with cancer.

Jason White with his new car, a 2006  Mitsubishi EVO9. White will race in Targa as a tribute to his father who died recently.   Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

Jason White with his new car, a 2006 Mitsubishi EVO9. White will race in Targa as a tribute to his father who died recently. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

However, the sudden death of his grandfather the day after his father's burial means he may be unable to compete in Wednesday's Targa event due to funeral commitments.

The 41-year-old was planning to take a third consecutive win and fifth Targa win at this week's iconic event with his navigator and uncle, John, in their beloved Lamborghini Gallardo supercar. 

But an engine mishap at the Targa Wrest Point rally saw their beloved Lamborghini catch fire, sustaining $200,000 worth of damage.

White said the fire and his father's death brought about a new personal goal for the race, which he will now run in a 2006 Mitsubishi EVO9.

``We aspire to finish strongly but the big thing, if nothing else, is to get a gold trophy,'' Mr White said.

``Dad and I always joked about it and he always stirred me up, that I have the bigger trophies but that he has the gold trophy. It is the one thing that we said we would definitely try and get this year.''

The Golden Targa Trophy is hotly desired amongst Targa racing circles, awarded when driver and navigator complete every Targa stage within a set time, three years running.

Dennis won such a trophy in 1995, the same year his son got behind the wheel of a Targa race for the very first time.

White said his lifetime career in car racing began at age 10, with his father. 

``We started off with motorbikes but I crashed too often and Mum put a stop to it.  Dad went out and found the next best avenue, which was go-kart racing, and organised to take me for a run.  

``That was the end of that - we were hooked.

``Dad had a passion for motorsport in general, but go-karting was a great thing that father and son could do . . . he took me all over the countryside racing cars, it was one of the best things that a kid could ever get the opportunity to do.''

While the White duo will not be racing in the lamborghini this year, they plan to start a three-month rebuild after Targa.

``It is a bit of a daunting process because the car was so badly damaged but once you cut it all away and start applying the new parts it should be okay,'' White said.

Despite racing this year in the downgraded Mitsubishi, White believes that winning is always achievable.

``The thing for Dad is the most important.'' 

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