Targa West rallies look healthy for another two years

Sponsorship is imperative for the health and longevity of tarmac rallying; Targa West Events is delighted to announce Healthway, and the Make Smoking History message, continue as major sponsor of both Targa West and Targa South West for the next two years.
 
Targa West Director Ross Tapper said that Healthway has partnered with Targa West for 19 years. 

Mr Ross Tapper OAM, Clerk of the Course. Photo: Dianne Bortoletto
 
“We pride ourselves on building quality and lasting relationships with our sponsors and we couldn’t be happier that our partnership with Healthway as naming rights sponsor will continue until at least the end of 2023,” Mr Tapper said.
 
“To be successful in rallying and all motorsport, a healthy lifestyle along with fitness and endurance is what’s needed, so it’s important to get the Make Smoking History message across.
 
“It’s thanks to the support of Healthway and other sponsors that the sport of rallying in Western Australia has a long history and a varied portfolio of events.”
 

Photo: CMR Photographic

Healthway is a state government agency that promotes and facilitates good health and activities which encourages healthy lifestyles.
 
Healthway CEO Ralph Addis said that Healthway, through Make Smoking History, is proud to support Targa West.
 
“Tobacco smoking is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease in Australia and Targa West Events is an appropriate vehicle to spread the Make Smoking History message to a wide audience,” Mr Addis said.
 
“Through our partnership, not only can we keep racing events smoke-free and provide people with support to help them quit, but also increase the availability of healthy food and drinks.”
 
Perth’s longest and most demanding tarmac rally is Make Smoking History Targa West. Run over four days in Perth and the surrounding areas, it is the State’s premium tarmac rally attracting the best cars and drivers from WA and Australia. 
 
Healthway is also silver sponsors of the GT Fabrication Bunbury Sprint, Auto One Targa Albany Sprint and the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series comprising of five events which are held at Perth Motorplex on Thursday evenings.
 
The 2022 Targa season starts with Make Smoking History Targa South West, a one-day rally on closed roads through the picturesque areas of Manjimup and Pemberton on 11 June.  
 
“Make Smoking History Targa South West suits all levels of motorsport experience – from the rookie competing in their first event to the serious competitor with a purpose-built tarmac rally car,” Mr Tapper said.

Ceremonial Start in Forrest Place. Photo: CMR Photographic

“We have a few electric cars competing too and we’d love to see this category grow – it’s a great opportunity for a spirited drive, for drivers to put their cars through their paces in a safe way. 
 
“Best of all, there’s a fantastic camaraderie between all competitors and officials which is one of the characteristics of rallying as sport,” Mr Tapper said. 
 
The 2022 Targa West Rally Calendar
 

Make Smoking History Targa Cup Annual Series
Make Smoking History Targa South West  11 June
Make Smoking History Targa West 8 – 11 September
The Engine Shop Targa City Sprint 11 Sep 2022
GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint 12 – 13 Nov 2022
Auto One Targa Albany Sprint  5 – 6 March 2023

 
 
Shannons Rallysprint at Perth Motorplex
Five events held on Thursdays once per month from November to March

To be kept up to date with Targa West events, please see www.targawest.com.au and like www.facebook.com/targawest
 
For assistance on quitting smoking, please see www.quitnow.gov.au.

Day 3 – Leads increase for both Rullo and Gunson

Rolling green hills, 20 degrees of sunny spring weather and wildflowers everywhere set a stunning scene for Day 3 of the 17th Make Smoking History Targa West, the longest and toughest day of the four-day rally.

The competition took place around Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook with 14 stages, a total of 128.85 competitive kilometres, including the two 19.67-kilometre marathon stages, Maryville Downs 1 and 2. In a massive 12-hour day covering a total of 475.64 kilometres, today was the day where competitors had to get serious and set themselves up for a strong finish tomorrow.

Make Smoking History Targa West’s third day saw leads increase, some fights, a new stage winner, battles for places, retirements, and penalties.

Make Smoking History Targa West is Perth’s premier tarmac rally and the only event in Perth that uses closed public roads for racing, which will take place in Malaga tomorrow morning and the finale tomorrow afternoon in the CBD along Riverside Drive.

Competition Modern

Peter Rullo and co-driver Jimmy Marquet in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT weren’t resting on their laurels today after their experience in 2020 where they were leading but forced to retire early on Day 3. Fully aware that to finish first, first you have to finish, Rullo was focussed on getting through the day and getting the job done.

Rullo / Marquet started the day with a 45-second lead ahead of Steve Jones and co-driver Caleb Ash in their 2008 Nissan R35 GTR; and by the end of the day, increased their lead to 1:01 minutes. They won the first eight stages of the day, had a further win in Bullsbrook and finished the rest of the stages second fastest – that’s 14 stages finishing either first or second.

“The stages today were awesome, I love them all and it’s pity I didn’t get to experience them last year,” said Rullo.

“The stages today are for high horsepower cars, like the GTR and Porsche, but they don’t drive themselves, drivers have to push them which is good, and I know that because I had a GTR for seven years.

“It was awesome competition and good to be in a battle with Steve (Jones) and Dave (Heaton), trading stage wins. Big congrats to Dave, it was his first stage win in Targa, good on him.

“A lead is always good, but it ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” said Rullo.

Steve Jones was playing things down in the midday service.

“There’s no point trying to chase down the Lotus – they are lighter than us, faster than us, more powerful and running softer tyres. We’ve still got a sliding issue and the traction light for snow is coming on,” he said.

At the day’s end having notched up five stage wins, Jones said he finally discovered what was going on with his car.

“I’d chosen tyres that I’d never run on before and I was pushing the car to do things that it didn’t want to do. So we took two rear tyres off my road car, a different brand, and put them on the rear of the GTR, and now the car is fast,” Jones said.

“These are the tyres I won Targa SW on – they are used but they are making a huge difference, straight away.

“The whole rally I’ve been battling the car, which has made me work. I haven’t had a car under me I’ve been able to do what I want it to do, and now I have, but it’s too late.

“Still, we’re having fun and we had a really good time in Maryville Downs, there were spectators everywhere, people hanging over their fences, it’s such a great atmosphere,” said Jones.

Sitting in third place overall is David Heaton and Steve Glenney in Heaton’s new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

Besides calling pace notes, Steve Glenney is also doing some driver training with Heaton which is reaping results.

This is Heaton’s 12th time competing in Targa West and the first time he’s won a stage, winning SS30, the 11.41-kilometre Bullsbrook Long 2, 3 seconds ahead of Rullo / Marquet.

“We’ve had a great day, a very strong, beautiful, smooth flowing day – Bullsbrook was a highlight, my first stage win at Targa West and I’m happy that we’re able to mix it with Rullo and Jones,” said Heaton.

“The communication inside the cabin with Steven is great, the car is a beautiful thing, it was the perfect Targa West day.”

Moving up a place on the overall leader board, jumping from fifth yesterday to fourth today, is Mark Cates in his 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Tasmanian co-driver Anthony Carr.

“Today was fantastic, the long stages are the ones I really enjoy. The last two stages were in the dark and I can’t see for shit, it was a bit scary so we backed off so we didn’t crash,” said Cates.

“Our goal today was not to bin the car and to catch the BMW, and I tell you, Brett (Morse) drives that thing like a scalded cat, so I’m happy where we’re at,” said Cates from Bunbury.

Cates / Carr are 26 seconds ahead of fifth outright Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition, and 4:00 minutes behind the rally leader.

Steve Jones / Caleb Ash. Photo: image1265
David Heaton / Steve Glenney. Photo: Tim Allott
Mark Cates / Anthony Carr. Photo: image1265

Competition Classic

Simon Gunson and co-driver Nigel Jones won eight of the Day 3’s 14 stages in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana to increase their lead overall to 3:31 minutes ahead of Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in their 1974 Porsche 911.

Gunson said he’d had a busy day.

“We had a loose gasket on the exhaust and the guys are fixing it so it’s fine, it’s regular Targa maintenance really,” Gunson said.

Gunson’s service crew consists of a group of friends he’s known for 20 years, and every Wednesday night they get together to work on the car.

“We’re cruising now and backed off toward the end of today, preserving our tyres, Malaga (tomorrow) is pretty hard on tyres.”

Tim Wolfe said that the stages were really good today.

“It’s really enjoyable, the car is going well and we’re pushing, hanging on with our finger nails!” Wolfe said.

Wolfe / Beckwith are 39 seconds ahead of third place holders overall, the Ellement cousins, driver Nathan and co-driver Kevin in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4.

The Ellements finished fastest on five stages today, and all the rest in the top three. They incurred a 10-second penalty for hitting a plastic bollard.

“Today was frightening!” said Nathan.  “We clipped a kerb on Bullsbrook Short at a roundabout, it bent two rims but it didn’t slow us down, it’s all good,” Nathan Ellement said.

“We’ll see where we all end up once all the penalties are out and decide how to tackle tomorrow then.”

Simon Gunson / Nigel Jones. Photo: Tim Allott
Nathan Ellement and Kevin Ellement. Photo: image1265

Targa 165 and Targa 130

It was looking like a perfect rally score card of stage wins for Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann in their Tesla 3 Performance+ EV, until SS24 Toodyay 2.

“We had another awesome day, but we had to manage our resources though the middle of the day and we had to back off to two-thirds due to the EV’s charge,” Jurgen Lunsmann said.

“The car is running faultlessly, really we only need to give is chamois and we haven’t even done that.

“Besides a roll cage and some competition brake pads and tyres, it’s a stock-standard Tesla.”

When asked about his strategy for tomorrow, Jurgen said he’s in two minds.

“I’d love to have crack at the city stages and see how times go, but there’s a lot to lose. What I’ll probably do is bring it home safely, stay away from kerbs and preserve the car.”

The Lunmanns finished second for the first time in 31 stages to Targa West rookies Mathew St Guillaume and co-driver James Brittain in their 2006 Porsche Cayman.

Currently in second place, St Guillaume / Brittain might be rookies to Perth’s premier rally, but they have some tarmac experience winning their class at the shorter Targa South West rally held in May.

“Today it all came together. The stages were really great, the best sort of stages for the car, it’s so well suited to them,” said co-driver Brittain.

“Targa West is amazing, it’s as much about the camaraderie as it is about the racing, and driving at speed on the closed roads is incredible, it’s what brings people back year after year.”

Finishing the day in third place overall about 9:36 minutes behind St Guillaume / Brittain are rookies Paul Oxley and Yvonne Mulligan in their 2000 Subaru Impreza WRX.

The Targa 165 category restricts drivers to 165 kilometres per hour, while the Targa 130 category last year limits drivers to 130 kilometres per hour.

It might be the entry category for Making Smoking History Targa West, but it’s where the closest battles are being fought.

Jumping from second place this morning to leading the class this evening is Chris Beerens and Alex Butler in their 2011 Subaru WRX STI who chipped away all day closing the gap to Aaron Williams and co-driver Rachel Ferrante in their 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 to end the day 11 seconds ahead.

Had Williams / Ferrante not been given penalties, the gap going into the finale would have only been 2 seconds.

In third place overall  1:08 minutes behind Williams / Ferrante is Davyd Hooper and Jacob Teo in their 2016 AMG CLA45; 26 seconds of the deficit is made up of speeding penalties.

Retiring on Day 1 after an off and rejoined on Day 2 after some bush mechanic repairs, Mayor of the City of Swan Kevin Bailey reported having a great day in his 1993 Nissan Silvia S13, despite a few crackling comms issues in the cabin with and co-driver Eric Purvis.

“We used two rolls of gaffa tape and about 25 cable ties, but she’s holding together beautifully,” Bailey said.

Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann. Photo: Tim Allott
Chris Beerens and Alex Butler. Photo: CMR Photographic
Cheering kids loving the rally action. Photo: image1265

In other news

Crowd favourite, the cute little bright orange 1967 Morris Cooper Mini of Cindy Gielingh-Jones, has sadly retired. Entrants in the Targa 2 Day Rallye (they compete on Saturday and Sunday only) had issues from the very start with misfiring. A coil was changed and changed back, but it wasn’t possible to fix.

Seventeen-year-old rookie and P-plater Max McRae, another Targa 2 Day Rallye competitor, retired his 2019 Ford Fiesta ST with gearbox issues.

Targa 130 rookies Xia Chen and Nick Chua in car 28, 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 took a wrong turn and ended up far from the stages and will be rejoining tomorrow.

Competition Modern rookies in car 58, Liam Wrenne and Shaun McMacken, suffered a mechanical in their 1989 Honda Civic and hope to return to the rally tomorrow.

Dennis Heller and Richard Harris had an off on SS27, Maryville Downs 2, and were forced to retire from today but have since fixed the rim, tyre, and lower suspension arm in car 25, their 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 and plan to return tomorrow.

The crew were working furiously on car 38, Ben Pang’s 1999 Honda Civic to repair the gearbox. They rejoined the rally with penalties.

Tomorrow – The Finale, Day 4, Leg 4

Tomorrow, the Finale, is all about taking risks and driving to the limit if an advancement is in reach or preserving position if it isn’t.

There are six city stages and 35.55 competitive kilometres for drivers to contest, all of them with kerbs, gutters and tight turns.

The short day of street style racing starts with three stages in Malaga from 8.40am and finishes with the three sprint-style stages along picturesque Riverside Drive and the Perth Concert Hall carpark from 1pm.

The podium finish and champagne spray will be under the archway on Riverside Drive 3.15pm.

From 10am, completely free and not to be missed is the Shannons Classics on the Swan, a huge collection of stunning classics along Riverside Drive, and the Celebration of Motorsport on Langley Park with over 500 cars, bikes and motorbikes on display.

Make Smoking History Targa West competitors start at 30-second intervals, with the winner being the fastest over all 37 stages, a total of 272 competitive kilometres, across four days.

For more information and results visit www.targawest.com.au.

Download the Make Smoke History Targa West Spectator Guide here, includes more detailed information including times and maps.

Cindy Gielingh-Jones-Jones and her 1967 Morris Mini Cooper, now retired. Photo: CMR Photographic
Spectators in Toodyay. Photo: image1265
Tim Wolfe / Scott Beckwith. Photo: Graeme Howie

Day 2 – Rullo and Gunson inching forward – Make Smoking History Targa West

Cool temperatures and dry weather made for near perfect rally conditions for Day 2 of the 17th Make Smoking History with eight timed stages and a total of 76.56 competitive kilometres.

Starting in Mundaring with two stages at Parkerville, competitors then tackled two more stages in Kalamunda before a service and a lunch stop on Haynes Street. Then it was two stages of the famous Zig Zag and another stage in Kalamunda before ending the day with a service at the Hawaiian Shopping Centre Forrestfield. The rally cars made their way to Northbridge and parked along James and Lake Streets for the Show and Shine display from 6pm to 9pm.

Held from 16th to 19th September, Make Smoking History Targa West is Perth’s premier tarmac rally and the only event in Perth that uses closed public roads for racing.

Competition Modern

Finishing fastest or equal fastest on all but the last stage where he was just pipped was Peter Rullo and co-driver Jimmy Marquet in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT. Rullo started the day with a 12 second lead and finished it 35 seconds ahead of Steve Jones and co-driver Caleb Ash in their 2008 Nissan R35 GTR.

“Inching forward is the aim, and we’ve had a good day and been able to do that, but it’s still early days, so bit by bit,” said Rullo.

Rullo reported that his brakes were getting a little hot during the Kalamunda stages.

Steve Jones also reported heating brakes.

“We thought we might have to change the tyres during the lunch service because we were sliding a bit, but it was the brakes putting out a lot of heat, they have to work hard on these hills to pull up two tonnes, it’s a big heavy car,” said Jones.

“The exhaust fell off early in the day and we lost some time there, and because of the sliding, I couldn’t push it in the morning, but we’ve changed a few things and adjusted the set up and the car is stronger now, we have more grip and we’re now realising what the car is capable of.”

After the lunch service, Jones finished three stages either one or two seconds behind Rullo and he won the final stage of the day by one second.

Rullo might have a 35 second lead, but you can bet that Jones is chasing and according to Jones, tomorrow’s long and fast stages suit his car, so we can expect some exciting action tomorrow.

Rounding out the top three of the day was David Heaton in his new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS with one of Australia’s most experienced co-drivers, Steve Glenney, calling the notes. This is Heaton’s 12th time competing in Targa West.

“We’ve had a good day, we’re pretty happy with conditions, they suited us, and we’re getting into a rhythm,” said Heaton.

“We aimed to be in third place by the end of the day and here we are. We’re keeping Jonesy a bit honest, and we’re going stage by stage and trying to beat Jones.

“Things can change very quickly in a rally, and we’ll be keeping the pressure on,” Heaton said.

Demonstrating that consistency pays is fourth overall Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition whose regular times in the top seven see them sitting in fourth place overall.

Finishing both Zig Zag stages equal fastest with Rullo was the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Zig Zag’ Mark Cates and co-driver Anthony Carr in their 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The day didn’t start off well for the Cates who had an off on the first stage at Parkerville and lost about 15 seconds. Cates / Carr finished the day in fifth place overall.

“My co-driver is from Tasmania, so when the sun came out, he said he wanted some shade, so I parked the car under a tree for a bit,” said Cates, making light of his off.

“In all seriousness, that was a proper ‘moment’, but we got going again and we’ve had a cracker of a day and fifth place is where we deserve to be.”

Also finishing Zig Zag 2 equal fastest with Rullo and Cates was husband and wife duo Bill and Glenys Stagoll in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, who ended the day in sixth place overall.

Last year’s runner up Will White and co-driver Matt Thompson are finding their rhythm and the limits of White’s new 2018 Nissan GTR Nismo.

“I’m loving it and I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on the car and I’m able to push a bit harder,” said White of Dardanup.

Steve Jones / Caleb Ash. Photo: Graeme Howie
David Heaton / Steve Glenney. Photo: image1265
Brett Morse / Rodney Ng. Photo: image1265

Competition Classic

Simon Gunson with co-driver and 17-time competitor Nigel Jones won seven of the day’s eight stages in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana.

Beginning the day in Parkerville with an 11-second lead over cousins Nathan Ellement and Kevin Ellement, Gunson / Jones finished with a comfortable 1:19 minutes ahead.

The Ellements weren’t off the pace, in fact, they were posting consistent top three times in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4, but they did incur a couple of penalties for speeding in restricted zones. The final stage was theirs, finishing fastest by 15 seconds, a somewhat bittersweet end to the day.

Rounding out the top three was Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in their 1974 Porsche 911 who are 2:08 minutes behind Gunson / Jones.

Simon Gunson / Nigel Jones. Photo: image1265
Nathan Ellement and Kevin Ellement. Photo: image1265

Targa 165 and Targa 130

The rally’s only EV car, the Telsa 3 Performance+ car driven by Jurgen and Helen Lunssman again took a clean sweep of stage wins in the Targa 165 category to finish the day a whopping 4:01 minutes ahead of their nearest rival.

The Targa 165 category restricts drivers to 165 kilometres per hour.

Stepping up from the Targa 130 category last year which limits drivers to 130 kilometres per hour, the Lunsmanns are a good advertisement for the future of motorsport with consistent fast times that would have them listed in the top ten outright if they’d entered the Competition Modern category.

“Even though we’re restricted to 165 kilometres per hour, the car is going really well and we’re loving the high speed, and it’s even greener this year,” said Jurgen Lunsmann.

His Telsa is being fast-charged by a used Tesla battery that came from a wreck, which is being slow-charged by a generator that is powered by used chip oil.

In second place is class winner of the rally’s smaller, south west sister event Make Smoking History Targa South West, Mathew St Guillaume and co-driver James Brittain in their 2006 Porsche Cayman.

“It’s absolutely amazing, it’s been epic and the weather held off so we’ve been able to push the car as hard as we can and it’s just such an amazing experience to drive these cars at speed,” said St Guillaume.

“The camaraderie is great and with a big team like KTEC, they make it fun, and with a co-driver too, it’s a team sport – the drivers take all the credit, but it really is a team sport.”

Retiring yesterday after an off, Mayor of the City of Swan Kevin Bailey and co-driver Eric Purvis were all smiles in the service park having rejoined the rally thanks to a lot of hard work overnight by the team to get his 1993 Nissan Silvia S13 back on the road.

“We had so many people help us get parts from all over Perth yesterday and last night – oil cooler, tyre rod, headlights, new comms. The car’s going great now, it’s outstanding, it’s my pride that got a hammering,” Bailey said.

Rookie and Targa 130 competitor Aaron Williams and co-driver Rachel Ferrante won six of the day’s eight stages in their 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 to end the day on top of the leaderboard 17 seconds ahead of Chris Beerens and Alex Butler in their 2011 Subaru WRX STI.

Tomorrow – Day 3, Leg 3

Tomorrow is make or break day, Targa West’s marathon day designed to challenge drivers and cars.

Competition takes place around Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook with 14 stages, a total of 128.85 competitive kilometres which includes the two longest stages of the rally, Maryville Downs at 19.67 kilometres, which is run twice. Competitors will cover 475.64 kilometres in massive 12-hour day.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is expected to be mostly dry with cool temperatures that’ll be perfect for some red-hot rally action.

It’s completely free to watch Western Australia’s premier tarmac rally, and there are plenty of spectator points to catch the fast-paced action.

Make Smoking History Targa West competitors start at 30-second intervals, with the winner being the fastest over all 37 stages, a total of 272 competitive kilometres, across four days.

For more information and results visit www.targawest.com.au.

Download the Make Smoke History Targa West Spectator Guide here, includes more detailed information including times and maps.

Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann. Photo: CMR Photographic
Peter Rullo. Photo: Tim Allott
Kalamunda Service Park on Haynes Street. Photo: Tim Allott
Will White / Matt Thompson. Photo: Graeme Howie

Start your engines – Make Smoking History Targa West

Tomorrow morning 64 of Western Australia’s best tarmac rally drivers will start their engines at the WA Supreme Court Gardens for the 17th Make Smoking History Targa West which concludes on Sunday 19th September.

The four-day rally is the only event in Perth that uses closed public roads for racing.

Despite the WA hard border, entry numbers are almost 30 per cent higher than in 2019 demonstrating a local appetite for motorsport events.

Make Smoking History Targa West Competitors race the clock, starting at 30 second intervals, with the winner being the fastest over all 37 stages, a total of 272 competitive kilometres, across all four days.

It’s completely free to watch Western Australia’s premier tarmac rally, and there are plenty of spectator points to catch the fast-paced action.

Highlights for spectators include the new ceremonial start venue at the Supreme Court Gardens tomorrow (Thursday 16th September) from 10.30am to 12.15pm, the hugely popular Ellenbrook street stages from 5pm tomorrow evening, which also includes a smoking display of drift cars. Last year 7,000 people watched all the Ellenbrook action and rally drivers love an audience, but they need to exercise extreme control and avoid kerbs because kerbs can break cars.

On Friday, Mundaring Christian College students will swap uniforms for high vis as they work as officials for Make Smoking History Targa West and competitors tackle two runs of the Parkerville stage.

Kalamunda’s main street, Haynes Street, will be transformed into a Service Park from 12.40pm until 2.15pm. After lunch, competitors tackle the famous Zig Zag stage – a favourite with drivers and spectators. Then it’s onto the Hawaiian Shopping Centre Forrestfield Service Park at 4.15pm before competitors park their rally cars in Northbridge on James and Lake Streets for the annual Show ‘n’ Shine 6pm to 9pm.

Saturday is make or break for competitors. It’s the longest and toughest day of the rally, including two 20-kilometre marathon stages, and competitors need to give it their all if they are to have a chance of a podium finish. It takes endurance in both man and machine to finish this day well with 14 stages, 129 competitive kilometres and a total distance of 476 kilometres in and around Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook.

In Toodyay, you can see the cars up close and the crews at work in the Service Park at the Charcoal Lane Service Park at 9.20am, 11am and 1.10pm.

Sunday is fun day with thousands of people lining the streets of the industrial area of Malaga for the stages from 8am that includes jaw dropping demonstrations by the D1WA Drift Cars. Simultaneously on Riverside Drive, the Targa City Sprint will take place ahead of the finale of the Make Smoking History Targa West at City of Perth stages, followed by the podium presentations, the traditional champagne spray, and possibly a shoey.

Also, from 10am on Sunday, Langley Park will be a sea of colour with a mega display of racing cars, hot rods, classics, muscle cars, vintage cars, exotic cars motorbikes, go-karts and everything in between at the Celebration of Motorsport and Shannons Classics on the Swan.

Best of all, it’s all free entry.

For more information, visit www.targawest.com.au.

Download the Make Smoke History Targa West Spectator Guide here, includes more detailed information including times and maps.

Cindy Gielingh-Jones is the only female driver, her son Ewan is co-driver in their 1967 Morris Cooper. Northbridge Show and Shine. Photo: Dianne Bortoletto
Ellenbrook street stages from 5pm on Thursday 16 Sept. Photo: Tim Allott

Competitors to watch

Reigning champion Mark Greenham (Forrestfield) in his winning 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 will be looking to repeat his hard-earned victory last year.

Will White (Dardanup) who finished second last year in his 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer will be hoping his new car, a 2018 Nissan GTR Nismo, can take him to that elusive top step.

Jeffrey Foster (Bicton) is expected to be a front runner again this year in his 2019 Porsche 911 after finishing third last year.

The 2018 winner of the Modern Category, Peter Rullo (Gooseberry Hill), will be competing in his 13th Targa West event and will be looking to repeat that success in his 2020 SSC Lotus Exige against formidable rivals.

Four-time winner Steve Jones (Attadale) in his 2008 Nissan R35 GTR has been absent from the podium for a few years and you can bet he’ll be itching to take a step this year.

David Heaton (Dalkeith) has a new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS and employed the services of one of Australia’s best co-drivers and driver coach Steve Glenney.

Mark Cates (Bunbury) hasn’t stepped onto the Targa West podium after four attempts, but with a DNF last year and more racing kilometres under his belt, he’ll be pushing his 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS to the limit.

WA State Rally Champion on gravel, John O’Dowd (Gooseberry Hill) has bought a new car specifically for tarmac rallying, a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, owned racing great Jim Richards who raced it at Targa Tasmania.

In the Classic Category, last year’s winner and one of Targa West’s greatest competitors, Simon Gunson (Bibra Lake) will again be in his 1971 Ford Capri Perana racing against Tim Wolfe in his 1974 Porsche 911, Paul Pernechele (Gidgegannup) in his 1971 Ford Falcon XY, and Simon Lingford (Hillarys) in his London to Sydney Marathon car, 1973 Datsun 240Z that’ll be amongst a great range of classic cars.

There are 15 rookies racing the clock this year, which is close to a quarter of the total field including teenager Max McRae who is following in the footsteps of his father Alister and uncle and rally champion, the late Colin McRae.

There are 14 female competitors including one driver, Cindy Gielingh-Jones racing her cute bright orange 1967 Morris Mini Minor with her son Ewan calling notes.

There are six husband and wife teams who are driver and co-driver including the rally’s only electric car entrant, Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann in their 2019 Tesla Model 3P+ in the Targa 165 category.

There’s awards for the Competition Modern category, Competition Classic category, Targa 130 (limited to speeds of 130km/h), Targa 165 (limited to 165km/h) and Targa 2 Day Rallye where competitors compete just on Saturday and Sunday.

In Make Smoking History Targa West 17-year history, only six champions have taken the title in the Competition Modern category; Mark Greenham (2020), Peter Major (6-time champion 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), Peter Rullo (2018), Steve Jones (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), Jim Richards (2007, 2012) and Ross Dunkerton (2005, 2006).

For more information and live results, visit www.targawest.com.au.

Celebration of Motorsport. Photo: Gemma Lucas
D1WA Drift Cars. Editorial Photo: CMR Photographic

Make Smoking History Targa West – a red hot finish

Today, the Finalé, was the final chance for those within striking distance of a podium to drive ten tenths to make it happen, or for those with a comfortable lead, to preserve position and not make any mistakes. That can be a tough ask when there are thousands of spectators and drivers who love to put on a show.

Today saw six stages with 35.61 competitive kilometres, all of them with kerbs, gutters and tight turns. Reaching a scorching 34 degrees, it was the hottest day on record for Targa West, and some competitors had to watch their tyres and cooling systems.

The short day of street style racing started with three stages in Malaga including crowd-thrilling, smoke-generating, tyre-screeching Drift Car demonstrations by D1WA. The final three sprint-style stages took place along picturesque Riverside Drive, Victoria Ave, Governors ave and the City of Perth Parking Terrace Road carpark.

D1WA Drift Cars in Malaga. Photo: Phil Williams

Thousands turned out to check out 1,000 cars on display in the Shannons Classics on the Swan, a huge collection of stunning classics along Riverside Drive, the Celebration of Motorsport on Langley Park along with the All Ford Day.

In Make Smoking History Targa West 16-year history, only five champions have taken the title in the Competition Modern category and this year there was a sixth.

Competition Modern

Mark Greenham and Steph Esterbauer in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 started the final day with a healthy lead of 3:28 minutes ahead of second place, husband and wife team Jeffery and Catherine Foster in their 2019 Porsche GT3 RS.

For Greenham, preservation today was critical to take the win.

“It feels brilliant and the past five years of competing have definitely been worth it,” said Greenham.

Mark Greenham / Steph Esterbauer. Photo: Phil Williams

“I’m so happy and very relieved – today was so different to yesterday in that we could hear every noise and were thinking ‘is the diff going to go’ and things like that – we started hearing things. But it’s been great, we’re very happy.”

The fight of the day was between Jeffery and Catherine Foster in their 2019 Porsche GT3 RS who started the day 11 seconds ahead of Will White and Matt Thompson in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

White was not going down without a fight. After pushing all day to make up a few seconds, White / Thompson were just 1 second behind Foster / Foster going into the last stage. It was a challenge that went down to the wire. White drove his Evo to the limit to take second place by the narrowest of margins, just 1 second, and 2:22 minutes behind the winner.

White said that it was an epic battle.

“We are absolutely stoked especially with the fuel pump issues we had at the start of the rally and breakdowns on liaisons. Matt has done a fantastic job calling notes and keeping me on track, without him, none of this would happen,” said White, from Dardanup.

“Thanks to the organisers, volunteers and all competitors, especially to Mark [Greenham] on taking the win, we’re all good mates and the comradery between us all is just awesome.”

Jeffrey Foster said it’s been a tough two days, but he finished on the podium without a scratch on his Porsche.

“We’re really happy with our result, it was a ding-dong battle with Will White with just a second separating us. Will did a great job,” Foster said.

“We were starting to get worried about tyres yesterday, and this morning it was all going well but everything has to come together and someone else got it right and we got it a little bit wrong. Still, we’re very happy.”

Fourth went to Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition who were sitting in third place earlier in the rally but lost time due to tyre degradation.

Brett Morse / Rodney Ng. Photo: CMR Photographic

After retiring yesterday with overheating issues, Peter Rullo and Jimmy Marquet restarted the rally today, albeit out of contention, and showed just how fast they can go winning two stages in Malaga in their 2019 SSC Lotus Exige Targa GT and finishing equal first in two stages in the City of Perth.

Another duo who seemed to come into their own today showing a blistering pace was John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver, who won the first stage of the day in Malaga and the first City of Perth stage, finishing in seventh place overall in their leased 2004 Porsche 996 Turbo. They had to replace a clutch after Day 2 which incurred a 2.00-minute time penalty, and saw them out of contention.

While not in direct contention, invitational competitors Garry Povah and Steve Armour in their 2011 Holden Colorado restarted the rally today after retiring yesterday with differential issues. While they are Targa West rookies, the team is very experienced and awarded in off road racing.

Povah said he’s been competing in motorsport events for 20 years.

“Targa West is a very well-run event and sets a high benchmark,” Povah said.

“Everything from the organisation, the officials – who were all so professional – to the safety and comradery, all of it has been first class, and I’ve travelled around the world competing in off-road rallies. We’ve had a ball.”

Competition Classic

In the Competition Classic (pre 1986), there was no stopping Simon Gunson and rookie co-driver Peter Morley in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana. Despite starting the day with healthy lead of 4:43 minutes, Gunson / Morley still won four out of six stages to finish 4.55 minutes ahead of Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in their 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.

Gunson only knows one way to drive his Capri – hard and fast.

“Right from the blocks we went out hard and kept that going all the way through. Actually, we just drive hard all the time because we just love driving this car,” Gunson said.

“We love driving fast, but we conserved a bit today. The car didn’t miss a beat, it’s been a great rally.”
Simon Gunson / Peter Morley. Photo: Muz Armenti

Second-placed Wolfe said it was his second Targa West with co-driver Scott Beckwith in what’s been a great rally.

“We went in with a strategy to finish on the podium, and we’ve done that. We couldn’t get near the Capri, but we stuck to our strategy and we’re very happy with our result,” Wolfe said.

In third place 2:42 minutes behind Wolfe / Beckwith were cousins Nathan Ellement and Keven Ellement in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4.

Nathan Ellement said that they were thrilled.

“To get this car to come third on our second proper attempt at Targa West is absolutely awesome. We are stoked and we’ll be back bigger and better next year,” said Ellement.

Kim Stewart and Frank Zanotti finished fourth in their 1965 Ford Mustang a further 59 seconds behind.

Targa 165 and Targa 130

In Targa 165, rookies Ben Pang and co-driver Brandon Chin wowed the crowds in their 1999 Honda Civic to take a solid win, 17.39 minutes ahead of Nick Rahimtulla and Lisa White in their 1973 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 105. The Targa 165 category restricts drivers to 165 kilometres per hour.

In his first rally event, Pang was clearly very happy to win his category.

“It’s been a very good rally, a lot of fun and I’m very satisfied with what we’ve done. I’d like to thank my crew, they are all very hard working. Also thanks to the volunteer, it’s so hot and they stand there and smile and wave, at least we get a bit of breeze when we drive fast,” said Pang, who is originally from Borneo.

Ben Pang / Brandon Chin. Photo: Tim Allott 

In the Targa 130 category, husband and wife team Jurgen and Helen Lunssman took a clean sweep of stage wins in their electric Telsa 3 Performance+ car, winning the class by 8.39 minutes ahead of David and Anna Hodges in their 2013 Holden VF SSV. The Targa 130 category restricts drivers to 130 kilometres per hour.

Jurgen Lunssman said he was thrilled and relieved.

“I’m relieved because there have been great expectations on the electric car, we’re representing part of the future and there’s a big community following us, and we’re so happy to take the win for them,” Lunssman said.

Podium Targa 130: Hodges / Hodges, Lunsmann / Lunsmann, Evans / Stutt. Photo: CMR Photographic 

“Last year I shared the podium with the Ford Capri as Simon Gunson’s co-driver, and this year I’m on the podium with my wife in a Tesla. The inclusive nature of Targa West great and the competition is really healthy.”

2 Day Rallye

The 2 Day Rallye is a shortened version of Make Smoking History Targa West for competitors who can only commit to the weekend, and they race the same stages as the other competitors.

Among the four competitors, Paul Pernechele and co-driver Ben Trager were again dominant in their classic V8 1971 Ford Falcon XY finishing the day 5.33 minutes faster than nearest rivals.

Pernechelle / Trager Photo: Turn 7 Media

“It’s been a great rally. Absolutely I’m going to do the full event next year if I can,” Pernechelle said.

Make Smoking History Targa West is owned by Targa West Events and is only possible thanks to a dedicated committee and an army of 500 volunteers.

Event Director Ross Tapper said that he was proud of his team.

“A few months ago, we didn’t even know if we’d be having a rally,” said Tapper, in relation to COVID cancelling all events.

“To be able to come back, organise it and run it in a different time of year to our usual August date has been a feat. I’m very proud of the organising team and all of our officials, and of course to all the West Australian competitors who took part. Without them, and our sponsors, there wouldn’t be a Make Smoking History Targa West.”

Main Photo: 2020 Make Smoking History Targa West Competition Modern Podium. Photo: CMR Photographic

Green with envy at Make Smoking History Targa West

The marathon Day 3 was hot, reaching temperatures of 31 degrees, challenging man and machine at the 16th Make Smoking History Targa West in Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook, north east of Perth.

Today was Leg 2, the longest and toughest day of Make Smoking History Targa West covering 461 kilometres, 14 stages and 129.2 competitive kilometres which includes the two longest stages of the rally, Maryville Downs at 19.68 kilometres, run twice. The final stage of the day, SS30 was cancelled due to running over time.

In its 16-year history, Make Smoking History Targa West has only crowned five champions in the Competition Modern category and this year it’s likely to be someone new.

Competition Modern

The big news of the day was the retirement of Peter Rullo and Jimmy Marquet who had to stop after SS23 when their 2019 SSC Lotus Exige Targa GT overheated.  Some surface gravel on a newly resealed section of road flicked up under the car, tearing the belt attached to the water pump, which cools the car.

They managed to replace the torn belt but didn’t make it to time control within the allocated 30-minutes to continue their rally without penalty. Prior to that, Rullo / Marquet were faultless, winning the day’s first five stages and inching their lead by a few seconds each stage.

Rullo said that the team will assess the car over night before deciding if they will rejoin tomorrow.

The departure of Rullo / Marquet catapults Mark Greenham and Steph Esterbauer in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 to the top of the standings with a healthy lead of 3:28 minutes ahead of second place, husband and wife team Jeffery and Catherine Foster in their 2019 Porsche GT3 RS.

Just 11 seconds behind Foster / Foster is Will White and Matt Thompson in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

Greenham said it was a strange feeling to be in the lead.

“Before it was push, push, push, and now we’re like ‘Oh God, what’s that noise’ – we have the lead to look after now,” said Greenham.

“Going into tomorrow, we’ll be looking after our tyres and the car. We plan to keep a good pace, keep out of people’s way and keep away from any kerbs. There’s still another day to go and anything can happen, but yes, it’s exciting.”

Going into the finalé in second place, Jeffery Foster said he plans to minimise mistakes and push when he can.

“Anything can happen in Malaga, but we’ll drive to our strengths, remain diligent, get the calls right and try to keep mistakes to a minimum. The car has performed as expected, and now it’s a mental game,” Foster said.
Jeffery and Catherine Foster. Photo: CMR Photographic

Foster may need to push more than he plans if he wants to hold second place, Will White is on the hunt.

“Definitely, one hundred per cent I’m going to push and go for second place or crash trying. It wouldn’t be a rally otherwise!” said White.

“We’ve been saving new tyres for Sunday – I’ve got new medium tyres on the front and the best of the tyres will go on the back. In the past, we’ve been the quickest on the city stages, and we’ll be giving it a good crack tomorrow.

“The boys from Tokyo Motorsport have been on the tools ensuring the car is trouble free. Bring it on.”

Dropping down the leaderboard today to fourth place due to tyre degradation was Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

With a new clutch fitted overnight, John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver were again posting competitive times to finish the day in seventh place in their leased 2004 Porsche 996 Turbo, a car that has previously won Targa West four times. The new clutch incurred a 2.00-minute time penalty for removing the car from Parc Ferme.

Arriving at the second Toodyay service park on a tilt tray was the 2008 Audi R8 of Peter Burgess and Terry Childs.

“We were full power, went hard on the brakes for a virtual chicane, heard a big clunk, kept going and then had no steering. It’s the lower ball joint, we can replace it and carry on,” said Burgess, a Targa West rookie.

“My company Forch, which makes garage consumables, sponsored a few competitors in the past and I thought I should have a go myself. I did one rally sprint in the lead up a few months ago, and here I am, and loving it.”

Invitational competitors and Targa West rookies Garry Povah and Steve Armour were forced to retire with differential issues at the end of SS26. While rookies, the team is very experienced and awarded in off road racing, their 2011 Holden Colorado won the Australasian Safari in 2010 (driven by Craig Lowndes). They may restart tomorrow.

Competition Classic

In the Competition Classic (pre 1986), there’s no stopping Simon Gunson and rookie co-driver Peter Morley who again, for the third straight day, won all stages in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana, to increase their lead to 4:43 minutes. Gunson / Morley have won 29 stages straight.

Gunson was smiling as usual, seemingly non-fazed by his achievements.

“It’s good to be in the lead, but I’m also looking how we compare to Modern category,” Gunson said.

“Everything with the car is great except the speed sensor which isn’t showing up on the dash, I suspect a stone hit it in one of the morning stages, but we have RallySafe, so it’s all fine.”

Simon Gunson / Peter Morley. Photo: CMR Photographic

Finishing the day in second place was Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS about two and half minutes behind them in third today were cousins Nathan Ellement and Keven Ellement in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4.

Nathan Ellement said that they were ticking along nicely in their third attempt at Targa West.

“All eight cylinders are working, we stayed on the black stuff, we’re still going and we’re having a ball,” said Nathan.

“We plan to maintain our position and keep going. Malaga will be interesting, that’s where we hit a water barrier last year – the left-hand-drive can be tricky to judge.”

Kim Stewart and Frank Zanotti in their 1965 Ford Mustang are 35 seconds behind Ellement / Ellement in fourth place.

Greg Freeman and Jeff Sadler arrived in the Toodyay Service Park with their Chevrolet Camaro on tilt tray after overshooting a corner and hitting a tree on the left side on SS20. Both uninjured, they were able to restart the rally albeit with a few new dents.

Not in contention but a crowd favourite, the 1967 Mini of mother and son Cindy and rookie co-driver Ewan Jones is still racing despite a list of issues that include clutch, distributor, suspension and fuel. Cindy said that they are having a ball and her favourite thing was taking a good corner.

Targa 165 and Targa 130

Rookies Ben Pang and co-driver Brandon Chin in their 1999 Honda Civic have increased their lead to 13:45 minutes ahead of Nick Rahimtulla and Lisa White in their 1973 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 105.

The Targa 165 category restricts drivers to 165 kilometres per hour, but that doesn’t seem to wipe the smile from Pang’s face.

Originally from Borneo, Pang said that while this is his first rally, he’s done a lot of circuit racing.

“Circuit is different, but I prefer the open road now I’ve tried it,” Pang said.

“To drive on the closed streets really fast is a really fun experience. I’m learning to trust the co-driver, I need him and I need to be patient with him too. We are having a lot of fun.”

In fourth place in the Targa 165 is the Mayor for the City of Swan, Kevin Bailey and his co-driver Eric Purvis both rookies to Targa West but they did compete in the one-day Targa South West in August.

“I was an overqualified spectator and I thought what am I waiting for, why not give it a go, and here I am. I would love to see more rallying in the City of Swan, this is just a fantastic event,” Bailey said.

You won’t hear them coming, and if you blink you might miss seeing them. The eerily silent but speedy electric Telsa 3 Performance+ car of Jurgen and Helen Lunssman have increased their overall lead today in the Targa 130 category by 7.04 minutes ahead of David and Anna Hodges in their 2013 Holden VF SSV. The Targa 130 category restricts drivers to 130 kilometres per hour.

The hot weather has the reverse effect on the electric car.

“The battery actually likes the heat, so it works in our favour. The only downside is that it uses slightly more charge keeping the car cool,” Jurgen said.

2 Day Rallye

The 2 Day Rallye is a shortened version of Make Smoking History Targa West for competitors who can only commit to the weekend, and they race the same stages as the other competitors.

Among the four competitors, Paul Pernechele and co-driver Ben Trager were dominant in their classic V8 1971 Ford Falcon XY finishing the day 4:40 minutes faster than nearest rivals.

Tomorrow – Leg 3, Day 4, The Finalé

Tomorrow, the Finalé, is all about taking risks and driving to the limit if an advancement is in reach or preserving position if it isn’t.

There are six stages and 35.61 competitive kilometres for drivers to contest, all of them with kerbs, gutters and tight turns.

The short day of street style racing starts with three stages in Malaga from 8.40am, including jaw-dropping demonstrations of Drift Cars by D1WA. The final three sprint-style stages take place along picturesque Riverside Drive and the Perth Concert Hall carpark from 1pm.

The podium finish and champagne spray will be under the archway on Riverside Drive 3.15pm.

From 10am Sunday, not to be missed is the Shannons Classics on the Swan, a huge collection of stunning classics along Riverside Drive, the Celebration of Motorsport on Langley Park along with the All Ford Day that collectively see more than 1,000 cars, bikes and boats on display.

Remember to be sun smart, the forecast for Sunday is a hot 34 degrees.

Competitors start at 30-second intervals, with the winner being the fastest over all 36 stages, a total of 268 competitive kilometres, across four days.

Download the Make Smoke History Targa West Spectator Guide here, includes more detailed information including times and maps.

For more information, visit www.targawest.com.au and keep up to date on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/targawest

One week to go: Flag drops on Make Smoking History Targa West next week

Will White and Matt Thompson on 2017’s City of Perth Special Stage. Credit: CMR Photographic

The Make Smoking History Targa West gets underway next Thursday, with Perth’s best tarmac rally competitors testing their machines against the clock across four days and 34 heart pumping rally stages.

The entry list features 57 teams in vehicles of all eras, from classic Triumphs, Porches and Mustangs, to modern Lotuses, Mitsubishi Evos, and even an electric powered Tesla Roadster, who will be taking on some of Perth’s most iconic roads such as Kalamunda’s Zig Zag from August 9 – 12.

There will be plenty of opportunity for spectators to witness the action, and see the cars and drivers up close at spectator points and static displays.

Event Director Ross Tapper says the event is a must-see for any motorsport enthusiast. Continue reading “One week to go: Flag drops on Make Smoking History Targa West next week”