Targa Tasmania veteran enters Make Smoking History Targa West to learn more

Plans and preparations are well-advanced for the 15th Make Smoking History Targa West, held in and around Perth from 8th to 11th August.

Over 60 competitors are expected to race the clock on closed road special stages at Whiteman Park, Muchea (returns for 2019), Ellenbrook (new for 2019) Kalamunda including the infamous Zig Zag, Parkerville (new for 2019), Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook before the penultimate stage in Malaga, then the finale at the City of Perth Special Stage along Riverside Drive.

Veteran Targa Tasmania competitor John Ireland, who finished fifth outright on the Apple Isle last month, has entered Make Smoking History Targa West with a view to hone his driving skills with coaching by co-driver Steve Glenney.

“Targa West has been on my bucket list for a while, I’ve always wanted to do it,” Ireland says.

“An opportunity came up to have Steve Glenney sit beside me – he’s one of the best co-drivers on tarmac and gravel and a driver coach – so it’ll serve a dual purpose; driver coaching and ticking off a bucket list.”

Ireland and Glenney will compete in Targa West in Ireland’s beastly-looking 2017 Dodge Viper ACR Extreme, a left-hand-drive with an 8.4 litre V10 engine.

John Ireland and “Rosie” get ‘air’ in Tasmania. Photo: Angryman Photography

“The car has a character all of its own, my mechanic named her Rosie after the AC/DC song ‘Whole lotta Rosie’ which was a song about a generously proportioned woman. He says my car has a big ass, is noisy and drinks a lot, like Rosie in the song,” Ireland quips.

“It’s completely different to drive and it took some getting used to the dimensions on the road. Also, I’m sitting at the back over the rear axle and can’t see the front of the car, but I’m getting there. One thing for sure, she’s a crowd favourite wherever she goes,” Ireland, an orthopaedic surgeon, says.

Ireland has had ‘Rosie’ for two years. He started off racing classic cars 20 years ago, had a rotary car and then bought an old Porsche which raced for eight years.

“After the Porsche, my mechanic talked me into buying a GT4. A couple of years later, my wife who was getting into rallying as my co-driver, decided that we needed a faster car.”

“I’m looking forward to driving the roads in the West. I understand that they are mostly open and fast and because of that there are speed constraints and chicanes, which will be a challenge in such a big car. I don’t really know what to expect, but I am very much looking forward to Targa West,” says Ireland of Stanwell Park south of Sydney.

John Ireland and “Rosie”. Photo: Angryman Photography

Lining up with Ireland’s Dodge Viper will be a wide variety of cars including classics like Ford Escorts and Mustangs, Toranas and Commodores to more modern turbocharged Mitsubishi Evos, Subaru WRXs and Nissan GTRs, plus some Electric Vehicles like the Tesla Roadster, not to mention exotic cars like an AMG or Porsche GT3 RS.

Make Smoking History Targa West is a unique form of motorsport where tarmac rally cars compete on roads that are closed for competition at 30 second intervals, with the winner being the fastest over all 35 stages.

Cars are grouped into classes and there are categories for full Competition, Targa 130, Targa 165 and Electric Vehicle category.

Event Director Ross Tapper said that tarmac rallying is the fastest growing and most exciting areas of motorsport.

“We have put on special Rookie functions and briefings because we’re getting a lot of interest and entries from first-timers,” says Tapper.

“We also have the Targa 2Day competition which will be held on Saturday 10th August and Sunday 11th August, primary set up for newcomers but also for anyone who is short of time or doesn’t want the expense of the four-day event.

“The spirit of rallying is centred on the enjoyment of the thrill of the open road in a controlled and competitive environment and our goal is to put on another ‘five-star’ event for competitors and spectators.”

Spectating is free at Make Smoke History Targa West.

Entries are open and close on 19 July 2019.

Targa West on a Budget…how to win the Best Fun Trophy (Part 2)

Targa West on a Budget…how to win the Best Fun Trophy – Part 2
by Andy van Kann (Car #92)

This article is based on a Euro spec Honda Type R Model FN2 (2007 to 2011), not because its necessarily the best Fun for $$, but because I know the car very well!

Firstly, I should repeat what I said in my Article 1. This is not about winning or even getting into the top half of the field. It is about Fun for $$. Lots and lots and lots of fun for $$. Low investment and low maintenance. The name of this game is to have fun and to KEEP having fun.

Base Car: Honda FN2 Type R 2007 to 2011. Try to stay away from VIN 2007 like mine because Targa Australia GT2 requires VIN after 1 Jan 2008… and GT2 will increase the value of your car to sell to Tasmania! Expect to pay 10k for a roughy, 15k for a mid-fielder and 20k for that elusive plum. Normal rules… service history, no crash history, low km if possible (although mine had 172,000km before I started rallying it!).

Department of Transport and CAMS: Initially, lets stay totally A Reg compliant (ie normal road registration) with no CAMS Log Book. This does mean we are restricted to Targa 130 but I would recommend at least a year in this Category anyway.

Safety: The standard seats are great. They were developed and built by non-other than Recaro specifically for the Euro spec Type R. Lovely. In any case, you can’t change them and remain A Reg as they have SRS Airbags integrated in them. The standard seat belts are fine. Obviously get all the mandatory bits and bobs like Fire Extinguisher (make sure it has a metal bracket), Triangles, First Aid, Oil Absorb, SOS/OK, Window hammer etc etc. You will also need to spend $190 on a Rally Safe Installation kit.

Stop!! The Type R standard brakes are perfectly fine, even for Targa 165 and certainly for Targa 130. Don’t stress about the single pot floaters. They are fine! And DON’T replace the standard Honda rotors. They are better than the competition Australian stuff! Get a set of Hawke pads or Ferodo DS3000. And leave the ABS standard…it is brilliant!

Suspension: The standard set up is Showa, a Honda owned company, and is perfectly fine… even after 170,000 km. Eibach do a lovely set of high quality camber bolts which will get you about 2 deg negative on the front which is enough. Whiteline do a lovely adjustable front sway bar which is easy to install. DON’T install the Whiteline rear bar… rear sway stiffness is the last thing we want!! If you want to spoil yourself with some shiny blue bits get a Hard Race bush kit… and then borrow my special tools to install them!! These minor changes are very inexpensive and should not attract any “A Reg” attention and will make the car even sweeter to drive.

Transmission: unfortunately, Honda let the team down with the FN2 Type R… it comes with an open diff. Yuk! Its predecessors the Integra DC2 and DC5 Type R’s had slippy’s (Limited Slip Diff)… but alas not the FN2. You can stay open initially, but you will need to be gentle on any 1st and 2nd gear exists (Real Chicanes, Kwinana, Bunbury, Whiteman, Zig Zag, Malaga, City of Perth, Pemberton Town, Manjimup Town stages). But I recommend you spend $1200 on a Cusco or Kaaz 1.5 LSD. I did. The gearbox ratios are fine. Honda cleverly run 1 to 5 quite close and a massive step to 6th for cruising… which you never use in the stages. The final drive ratio is fine. Standard clutch is fine but maybe put a new organic Exedy in if you do remove the box to install the LSD. Again, all A Reg friendly.

Engine: Perfectly fine standard. Maybe lash out and buy a K&N filter element! The standard K20Z4 engine is gorgeous. Spins happily to 8500 all day. And sounds awesome!

Cockpit: get a Monit G trip meter. It is a GPS trip meter so no wiring. Light and easy to mount with Velcro or a RAM Mount! And don’t forget an intercom compatible with whatever helmet brand you decide. If possible, get a 9v battery unit to eliminate any interference from the ugly noise on the Honda CAN BUS. Get a RAM Mount for the Rally Safe. IMPORTANT: anything mounted in the cockpit MUST be outside of the SRS air bag explosion path!! Be careful!!

Wheels: you will need 2 extra wheels for spares. Fortunately for you, I have a shed full of them!

Tyres: Ouch! 18 inch. This is going to hurt. I suggest you start with a set of Hankook as they are very good value for money. Or talk to me for some second hand Dunlops. Also keep an eye on the various face book groups for some second hand Yoky’s. The good news is that if you get medium compound, a set of tyres on a Type R will easily last you 2 x Targa South West plus 2 x Targa West. But… if you also do Bunbury and Kwinana then expect to use another set of front tyres.

Now its time to go rallying!! Obviously, you will need your personal safety gear required for Targa 130 (wait for the 2019 rules first!) and a CAMS Level 2 Licence. But other than that, you can now go and have the best Fun for $$ of anyone in Targa with the possible exception of my Type R!!

For the record, what I listed above is exactly how I ran my Type R for its first year of Targa South West and Targa West. Since then, I have spent some more money on it which you can also plan to do AFTER you have had some initial fun. But be aware the next steps take you away from A Reg! But you can also keep using it exactly as it is. Just do regular oil changes and brake pad changes and drive it as hard as you wish. It’s a Honda.

Extra bits on my Type R (not essential for the Fun factor!!) but which require a CAMS Log Book and dedicated Rally B Registration.

– Hard Race Suspension
– Close ratio synchro Gear kit with matching final drive (not allowed under GT2 spec)
– competition exhaust system
– Monoblock Spoon calipers
– remapped ECU (don’t buy the Hondata OBDII programming unit as you are welcome to borrow mine including the maps)

And if you want to progress to Targa 165 (like me) or Targa 200 (and join the Kamikaze’s)

– Velo Seats
– 6-point harness’s
– full weld in cage

Have fun. And best of all, between me and Ducky (Geoff Duckworth) we can answer most of your FN2 Type R questions!!

Footnote: We are awaiting on a few crucial “To Be Confirmed” rules from CAMS for Targa 130 for 2019. Firstly, are FHR compulsory? Secondly, will CAMS introduce compulsory Type 2 (half) cages for Targa 130. If so, we have a new ball game as it essentially means B Reg or Permit, in other words, a dedicated rally car. Lets wait and see.

Photos:  Blake Parry

Targa West on a Budget…how to win the Best Fun Trophy (Part 1)

Targa West on a Budget…how to win the Best Fun Trophy (Part 1)
by Andy van Kann (Car #92)

A couple of years back, I set out to develop a reliable, cost effective Targa West car with the primary objective to enjoy thrilling tarmac driving in a “real” rally car. I had no intention to try to get into the top half of the field simply because of the cost… and realistically I don’t have the skill anyway!!

I started with a 2007 Honda Type R which had been in the family since new . Naturally aspirated 2 litre. Market value around $15,000. Yes, I have spent money on it (not a lot though) to make it a really fun car. BUT… it still fully complies with Targa Australia Standard Specification (Early Modern). It is also fully GT2 compliant, but the VIN is 5 months too old for GT2 … so make sure you get a 2008 VIN!!

Photo: CMR Photographic

So.. how much fun is this car? Lots. But lets first be realistic… tarmac rallying is ALL ABOUT Power to Weight Ratio (PWR). The BIGGER, the BETTER!! Yes, handling, brakes, transmission, aerodynamics are also all very important… but make no mistake… it’s all about PWR!! And if you study the 2018 Targa West Entry list (all cars Modern, Classic, Targa Tour, Targa 130, Targa 165, Targa 200) then the Honda has the worst PWR in the field… with the possible exception of the EV’s. In fact nearly all the other cars have TWICE or more the PWR of the Honda. So, how did we go with such a massive performance disadvantage? We won the Best Fun for Dollar Trophy!! Actually, we did OK! Once you get your head around being outgunned on PWR you then start to focus on two other things… i) how well are we going as a crew ii) are there any cars we can have a “battle” with at the back of the field.

Exciting? In our case we entered the 2 Day Targa 165. Ironically, with our PWR, we had very little advantage over the Targa 130 cars… simply because the Honda rarely gets over 130 on Saturday and only once momentarily on Sunday. In fact over the two days we only got to 165 a few times and then only momentarily. Turns out that our stage times were very close to another 2 Day car… the 981GTS and not far off the pace of the fire breathing Monaro V2. By the end of Saturday we had established a 62 second lead on the 981. On Sunday, by the end of the 3 Malaga stages, the Porsche had clawed back all our lead. Malaga is all about “point to point” grunt… and the little Honda suffers badly under those circumstances! Exciting?

We started the final City run with a one second lead on the 981. And we hung on to take 2nd in the 2WD. OK.. so this is just a private battle at the back for second place in the 2 Day… but I reckon we had as much fun and excitement as Peter and Will battling for 1st Outright!! By the way…. Our average speed over the two days of stages was 101 km/h despite being restricted to 165 max and rarely going above 130,

Where to from here? Over the coming weeks I will follow up with my thoughts on the big future of Targa 130 and Targa 165. I’ll also do a story on set up budget, operating budget and perhaps one on my recommendation of car and category for the Best Fun for Dollar Trophy.

Part 2 coming soon…

Wrap up of Make Smoking History Targa West

VIDEO: Interviews with the winners with Dean Herridge. Click to play

  • Ten years in the making for Rullo/Marquet
  • Dobson/Jones take Classics
  • Teenager wins Challenge
  • Clean sweep of stage wins for rookie in 2 Day Rallye
  • Thousands turn out for city stages in Malaga and City

Sunny winter weather and motorsport action were the perfect crowd magnets for the final day of Make Smoking History Targa West as thousands turned out to spectate the street-circuit rally action. Continue reading “Wrap up of Make Smoking History Targa West”

White hot fight as competitors get down to business

A beautiful sunny day followed a foggy start in Toodyay, about 90 kilometres east of Perth, where competitors tackled stages in the pretty countryside in the longest day of the four-day Make Smoking History Targa West tarmac rally, which concludes tomorrow.

Close battles ensued as competitors got down to business to set themselves up for a good finish tomorrow. Continue reading “White hot fight as competitors get down to business”

Rullo finds form, White puts up a fight, Dobson dominates classics and a P-plater leads the Challenge

Rullo / Marquet. Credit: CMR Photographic

Sunny and dry winter conditions saw competitors take to the streets of Perth’s picturesque hills today with the battle lines firmly drawn in the Make Smoking History Targa West.

The 14th edition of WA’s premier tarmac rally saw competitors race the clock along six stages, a total of 65 competitive kilometres, around Kalamunda including the infamous Zig Zag stage. In town, Kalamunda’s Railway Road was transformed as it hosted two services of the day with the third and final service held in Forrestfield.
Continue reading “Rullo finds form, White puts up a fight, Dobson dominates classics and a P-plater leads the Challenge”

Revving up Yagan Square as Make Smoking History Targa West gets underway

Cars ready for Ceremonial Start in Yagan Square in the City of Perth. Credit: CMR Photographic

Make Smoking History Targa West revved excitement into Yagan Square in the heart of Perth with high-octane energy today at the annual tarmac rally’s ceremonial start.

Despite intermittent rain, the forty competitors contesting the full four-day rally were flagged off by City of Perth Commissioner Andrew Hammond and then made their way to the event’s first four stages at Whiteman Park; Stages 1 and 2 were 3.76 kilometres and Stages 3 and 4 were 3.66 kilometres long. Continue reading “Revving up Yagan Square as Make Smoking History Targa West gets underway”

Generous boost for Make Smoking History Targa West newcomer

Cody Harris and co-driver Jacob Zurzolo in full flight at Rallysprint

Young tarmac rally driver Cody Harris will be ticking the Make Smoking History Targa West off his bucket list 12 months sooner than expected due to the generosity of fellow entrant Andy van Kann.

The annual motorsport event is considered to be the State’s premiere tarmac rally, and has attracted well-known Australian motorsport names such as Jim Richards and Ross Dunkerton. The full event is four-days long and equates to almost 900kms of travel for competitors around Perth CBD, Perth Hills and surrounding areas. But, for those on a tighter schedule a two-day Rallye format is available.

Regular Targa West competitor van Kann planned to again compete in the full event, but after a discussion with co-driver Madelin Kirkhouse, decided on the two day format to minimise Kirkhouse’s absence from the family business. The money saved off the full entry price, van Kann has put towards a two day entry for Harris.

Continue reading “Generous boost for Make Smoking History Targa West newcomer”

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

Continue reading “Perth to celebrate all things motorsport”

Targa Season Launch


For something a little different this year we are combining our annual Targa Season Launch function with an awards night for the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series.

Please join us in the basement of the old General Electric Building on Murray Street at The Edison Bar Music Eats , on Saturday 17th March to congratulate the outright and class winners of the Shannons Targa Rallysprint Series.  You will also find out all the latest information relating to this years Targa South West and Targa West tarmac rallies

Where:  The Edison, 385 Murray Street, Perth
When:  Saturday, 17th March from 6pm – 8pm
Food:  Light refreshments available courtesy of The Edison
Bar:  Cash Bar available
RSVP:  Please use the form below or click here

Rather than the traditional formal setting we thought that The Edison would provide competitors, friends and family the opportunity to mingle and socialise in a relaxed setting rather than the normally frantic brief chat between stages at a Rallysprint or Targa West.

A special thank you to regular Targa West competitor Dave Heaton for making The Edison available for us to use.

We look forward to catching up with you on the 17th March for all the latest gossip on the forthcoming Targa West season.

Kind regards

Ross, Jan & David