Ross Tapper awarded Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in 2021 Australia Day Honours List

Rally supremo Ross Tapper awarded Order of Australia Medal

 Ross Tapper, owner of Targa West Events, has been awarded an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to motorsport in the Australia Day Honours.

Mr Tapper’s career in motorsport administration spans close to 45 years.

He has been Clerk of Course in over 250 events including motorkhana, autocross, rallysprint, and national, state and club rallies including the Forest Rally, Rally of Melbourne, Rally Tasmania, Rally Calder and Australasian Safari.

In 1988, Mr Tapper was Assistant Clerk of Course for Safety in the country’s first round of the World Rally Championship, Rally Australia, a role he performed until 1994.

He has been a Clerk of Course for at least one round of the WA State Rally Championship or Australian Rally Championship every year since 1978, and in May he will be Clerk of Course for WA’s round of the ARC Forest Rally held in Bunbury and Nannup, for the 32nd time.

Mr Tapper has run tarmac rally Targa West in Perth for 16 years, has been chairman of the WA Rally Advisory Panel for 12 years, President of the WA Car Club for 20 years in three separate stints, was named WA State Official of the Year in 2015 and in that same year inducted into the Australia Rally Hall of Fame and given Lifetime Membership to Motorsport Australia (previously CAMS).

Mr Tapper said that the OAM has taken him by surprise.

“I feel very humbled and equally very pleased that someone from a non-mainstream sport can be recognised for their contribution to a sport they love,” Mr Tapper said.

“Running rallies is not a one-man-show and I certainly couldn’t have done any of this without the friendship and support of many officials, competitors and service crews, and especially my number one supporter, my wife Jan.

L-R: Alan Tapper, Max & Linda Chesterfield, Jan & Ross Tapper

“My love of rallying doesn’t come from liking cars, in fact, it’s the opposite – I don’t pop open a bonnet and get excited at the shiny bits.

“What makes it so rewarding are the friendships formed, many that have lasted decades and continue on to this day. That, and bringing together a gazillion moving parts that make up a motorsport event – approvals, competitors, officials, all of it, and overseeing everything so events run safely and smoothly.

“I am so fortunate that I’ve been able to turn a hobby into a long and fulfilling career, it’s been amazing.

“When I reflect back, I feel truly grateful to do what I love and love what I do, every day I’m surrounded by friends and good people.

“I’m living proof that motorsport is addictive, whether you’re behind the wheel or not, before one event is over, I’m already planning the next.”

There’s no talk of retirement or slowing down, Mr Tapper, 63, is deep in the throes of planning the next rally, the Auto One Targa Albany Sprint on February 28 and March 1, which he has expanded from one event last year into three events this year.

Introduced to motorsport by his father in the 1950s, Mr Tapper joined the WA Car Club in 1975 and the following year started rally driving in a Galant. His first foray organising a rally was three years later in 1978 for which he received the Director of the Year Award.

Ross in his Galant during the 1984 Rock Inn Rally

Mr Tapper was sent overseas by the FIA to officiate and train in Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and his long list of awards and accolades includes Lifetime Membership of the WA Car Club.

The WA Rally Community congratulates Mr Tapper on an outstanding career and the much-deserved Order of Australia Medal.


UPDATE ON OUR 2020 PLANS (as at 6/4/2020)

Firstly, we hope that you, your family, and your loved ones are all healthy, and remain so.

Aside from the funny memes circulating, there is one other thing that the Corona Virus has shown us and that is that planning for the future is difficult.  The rules are going to change…often.

We all need to remain flexible, but we thought we would give you an update on our plans as they currently sit to allow you to do some future planning of your own.

Saturday – 8th August 2020

Obviously we have no idea what restrictions, if any, will still be in place in August, however we have decided to plan for a ONE DAY Targa South West, on Saturday 8th August 2020.

  • The Shire of Manjimup cancelled all events for 6 months (now 5 months) so we may just be lucky running in August
  • No activities on the Friday, allowing people to finish work then travel to Pemberton and be ready for a Saturday morning Driver’s briefing
  • 125km Competitive (only 5km less than the 2019 total)
  • No Manjimup town stage, and no Kurandra either
  • Instead, 3 x Pump Hill and 2 x Gloucester Short (replaces Diamond Tree) will be added to Saturday’s normal itinerary
  • Dinner – to be decided depending on restrictions in place at the time
  • A one day event allows for teams to make a leisurely trip home Sunday and be back in Perth for work on Monday…presuming we all have work to got to!

POSTPONED until late 2020. Date to be confirmed.

The City of Bunbury have cancelled all events for the next 6 months meaning our June event is postponed.  Given we are running Targa West in October it is likely the Targa Bunbury Sprint will run in November or December.

The advantage of course is that it is unlikely that rain will be an issue 🙂 Hands up who would prefer a balmy summers afternoon in Bunbury instead of cold and rain?

Obviously heat could be a consideration, however to mitigate that we are investigating whether we start on Saturday afternoon and run into the evening, with the final runs being in the dark.  We may need to put up a couple of lighting towers on selected corners to complement the existing street lighting, but running at night would bring a fresh new element to what is already a very popular event.

We would be interested in your thoughts on running in the afternoon/evening.

22nd – 25th October 2020

We have received verbal approval from our stakeholders to run Targa West from the 22nd – 25th October and planning is well under way for the new dates.

Additions for 2020 being planned include a new stage at Wanneroo after Whiteman Park and before Ellenbrook, however this means Muchea will not run.  On Friday morning we will do two runs over the popular Parkerville stage and the Kalamunda Service Park returns to Haynes Street albeit only once, but for a slightly longer lunch break.

Timberden makes a return for 2020, at the expense of Coondle Highlands, and a number of the Saturday stages will be run in the reverse direction (eg Harvester) or will have a new layout (eg Maryville).  On Sunday, Malaga will also be rejigged just for something different before the grand finale in the City of Perth.

Maps and Itinerary are available now on and the DRAFT Road Books will be available soon.

The Celebration of Motorsport and Shannons Classics on the Park will hopefully be bigger than ever with many dusting off their cars for their first post COVID outing.

Without wanting to jinx ourselves, the October date should ensure we have a dry event.

As frustrating as the current restrictions are the seriousness of this pandemic, not only medically but economically, will be felt for many years to come and we encourage you all to do the right thing.  Practice good social distancing, wash your hands and stay at home…in your garage preparing your car for August or October!

So, there you have it, that’s our plans as of this afternoon, naturally subject to movement restrictions being lifted, and we hope to see many of you at some stage in the future once the world returns to our new “normal”.

Stay Safe and healthy!

Ross, Jan and David
6th April 2020


Perth to celebrate all things motorsport

The Celebration of Motorsport will come to Langley Park on Sunday, 12th  August and will be one of the largest free-to-attend displays of racing machines that Perth has seen.

Alongside racing cars from all eras and disciplines, attendees will be treated to an up close experience with a variety of other racing machines such as Soapbox racers, motorcycles and jet boats. There will also be trade stalls, family entertainment, food vans, 96FM and interactive displays.

Event organiser Ross Tapper encourages all motorsport clubs and trades to become involved in promoting their categories at the inaugural event.

Celebration of Motorsport Poster

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