Electrifying Quit Targa West starts tomorrow

Starting tomorrow (Thursday 10 August 2017), Western Australia’s premier tarmac rally, Quit Targa West, will rev excitement into Perth into until 13th August 2017.


The 13th Quit Targa West has attracted 64 rally teams in a mix of performance, classic, exotic vehicles and even an electric rally car, ready to race the clock on some of Perth’s most iconic roads.


Participating in the new Targa Tour category, is Gemtek Automation’s electric rally car, a converted 2004 BMW i3.


Gemtek Commercial Director Florian Popp said that his electric car has a top speed of 240 kilometres per hour and a range of 130 kilometres.


“This year, our new car is purely electric. There’s no need for us to take a generator around with us like we did last year,” Popp said.


“In Germany, car manufacturers will be producing electric cars in the next five years and the German government has announced that no petrol cars will be registered from 2030. We’ve got a bit of catching up to do in Australia, and that’s why we’ve entered our electric car into Targa West, to promote the future of the automotive industry.


“We want to raise awareness that infrastructure for electric cars is required in the city, that apprentices need to be trained up on how to service electric cars – there’s a giant opportunity ahead and I’m excited to help showcase that this weekend,” Popp said.


The Gemtek BMW i3 will be piloted by Jurgen Lunsmann with co-driver Jon Edwards as they participate in the Targa Tour on Sunday.


The Targa Tour, which runs alongside the main competition of Quit Targa West, is new in 2017 and designed to be a fun and cost effective introduction to Targa events – it’s a spirited drive behind a lead car at 15-second intervals. All that is required is a helmet and a road car.


Jurgen Lunsmann said he’s looking forward to driving a different car and putting on a spritely display.


“The electric car has remarkably quick straight-line acceleration and it handles surprisingly well for a city car – whilst it’s not a performance racing car, we’re looking to hold our own amongst the field of other competitors,” Jurgen Lunsmann said.


“The Targa Tour isn’t timed, so I won’t be racing per se, but putting on a spritely display to raise the profile of electric cars – after all, they’re coming in the not too distant future,” the 52-year-old said.


Quit Targa West main competition is divided into Competition and Challenge categories with classes for Modern and Classic cars in each. There’s also an award for the Quit Targa West Rookie (first timer). The Challenge category is for showroom style or non-roll caged vehicles. Vehicles manufactured earlier than 1985 are classed as Classic and the Modern class for vehicles manufacture from 1986 onwards.


Winner of last year’s Competition Classic category, Simon Gunson, is this year is driving a 1971 Ford Capri, the same car that came second in Targa West in 2015.


“We won Targa in another Ford Capri last year, but we’re hoping for this car to get a win this year. So I can even up my score with the wife,” Simon Gunson said.


Simon’s wife Sharon Gunson is also a rally driver, competing in the Challenge Modern category in a 2001 Mitsubishi Evo 7 with co-driver Helen Lunsmann. The pair makes up Targa West’s only all-female crew.


“Sharon has won her category three times and I’ve only won twice, so the stakes are high!” quipped Simon Gunson, who is about to compete in his ninth Targa West event.


Sharon Gunson’s co-driver Helen Lunsmann is the wife of Jurgen Lunsmann who’ll be driving the event’s only electric car.


Targa West gets underway tomorrow with the Ceremonial Start in the heart of the CBD from 11am to 1.30pm at Forrest Place, after which competitors will head to stages in Wanneroo and Malaga.


On Friday 11th August, the rally action takes place in the Perth Hills before returning to the City of Perth where pride will be paramount as shiny cars including classics like the Mustang, Holden Torana, Porsche 911, Datsun 240z and Ford Escort line up alongside modern machines including Lotus Elise, Holden HSV, Mitsubishi Evo, Porsche 996 and Subaru WRX at the Northbridge Show and Shine on James Street from 6pm to 9pm.


The Malaga Stage on Sunday morning [13th August] will have added entertainment for motorsport fans – drift cars will put on a smoking showcase of sideways action in between runs of the rally cars.


Racing for the fastest time over 242 competitive kilometres, stages will be held at Barbagallo Raceway and in Malaga, Whiteman Park, Kalamunda and the infamous Zig Zag as well as the picturesque open country roads of Toodyay, Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook, before the grand finale City of Perth Super Stage held at Langley Park on Sunday from 12pm.


Spectating is free and all 34 stages feature a number of locations where the public can witness prime motorsport action.


For more information visit www.targawest.com.au and www.facebook.com/targawest.


Full details of spectator points can be found in the Spectator Guide – download it here.


Quit Targa West Highlights

Thursday, 10th August: 11am to 1.30pm – Ceremonial Start, Forrest Place, Perth CBD (Rally action can be seen in Wanneroo and Malaga between 2pm to 8pm)

Friday, 11th August: 6pm to 9pm – Northbridge Car Display, James St, Northbridge (Rally action can be seen in Whiteman Park & Kalamunda between 9am to 5pm)

Saturday, 12th August: 9am to 5pm – Rally action can be seen in Toodyay, Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook

Sunday, 13th August: 9am to 3:30pm – Shannons Classics in the Park, Langley Park (Rally action can be seen in Malaga and Langley between 9:00am to 3:00pm)