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.

Two for Rullo and Gunson takes a hat trick – Make Smoking History Targa West

For all the class leaders, the finale today was about preserving their lead and not taking any unnecessary risks.

Day 4, Leg 4 was held in Perth with six city stages, a total of 35.55 competitive kilometres, all of them with kerbs, gutters and tight turns.

Bright blue skies and 22 degrees saw thousands line the streets of Malaga in the morning for the first three stages of the day, and thousands more in the City of Perth for the final three sprint-style stages along Riverside Drive.

Langley Park was transformed into a rev head’s dream with over 500 cars, bikes and motorbikes at the Celebration of Motorsport, and along Riverside Drive, the Shannons Classics on the Swan saw a huge collection of stunning classic cars from yesteryear.

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.

The event 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 wants to thank each and every official, all competitors, sponsors, crew and spectators.

“To run a smooth and safe rally that’s enjoyable for all is what we aim to do, and this year has been outstanding,” Tapper said.

Competition Modern Podium. Photo: Elevation Digital
Rullo / Marquet. Photo: Dianne Bortoletto

Competition Modern

Taking the title for the second time was Peter Rullo with co-driver and long-time friend Jimmy Marquet in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT.

The duo took a strategic approach to win the Make Smoking History Targa West, increasing their lead incrementally day by day to repeat the success of 2018 which is when Rullo / Marquee won their first title, after 10 attempts. This year is the 13th Targa West for both of them and after a disappointing DNF last year, victory never tasted so sweet.

Rullo / Marquet finished fastest or equal fastest in 21 of the 37 stages and finished second fastest in 13 stages to take the overall win 1:39 minutes ahead of Steve Jones and co-driver Caleb Ash in their 2008 Nissan R35 GTR. It was a flawless Targa West for the duo.

“This is what we love to do and there’s not too many places in Australia where you can enjoy this type of event, so thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen,” said Rullo of Gooseberry Hill.

“We had an awesome lead up and Jimmy was faultless – you do need to listen to the co-driver! The whole event went exactly to plan.”

Co-driver Jimmy Marquet said that Rullo drove a clinically perfect rally.

“Peter hit every apex, every breaking point, he was faultless all event. We had a different lead up and the plan was to chip away stage by stage, which worked,” Marquet said.

Steve Jones, a four-time Targa West winner, hasn’t competed in the rally for five years, and after winning smaller sister rally, Make Smoking History Targa South West held in Manjimup in May, it seems rallying is once again in his blood.

Jones / Ash finished fastest or equal fasted on 9 stages and second on 11 stages, proving that a hiatus hasn’t diminished his driving sharps.

Jones reported sliding issued with his GTR up until yesterday afternoon when the two back tyres were changed, which showed in the results as he took five wins from the last eight stages. Today’s tight city stages stages were more of challenge.

“We’re very pleased with how we went considering it was a tough weekend with the car – tough on us, on the crew, on the car, but we’re happy,” said 37-year-old Jones.

Taking third overall and newbie to the podium is David Heaton with co-driver and driving trainer Steve Glenney. The package of a new car, Heaton’s 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS and Glenney’s training reaped results. The duo finished 2:13 minutes behind the leader in Heaton’s best result in 12 Targa West rallies.

Yesterday, Heaton took his first stage win and today he took three more, all the Malaga stages. It seems the taste of victory has truly taken hold.

“Targa West is the one we wanted to crack, we’re pretty stoked,” said Heaton.

“I’m super stoked, I learned a lot with Steve in the car, and we knew we were on it at Malaga, and thought we’d have a crack, we wanted to take one off Rullo, so it was nice to have a few wins over Rullo.”

Jumping up a place on the overall leader board yesterday to finish in fourth outright today is Mark Cates in his 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Tasmanian co-driver Anthony Carr.

This is Cates’ fourth Targa West, last year was a DNF and his best result was fifth in 2019.  He’s clocking up some racing kilometres competing in as many Targa events as he can in WA and the eastern states to be a serious future title contender.

Cates / Carr finished fastest and equal fastest on both Zig Zag stages in Kalamunda on Day 2, and had a few ‘moments’ that they recovered from to finish strong.

“It was a good outcome, we got what we deserved and landed exactly where we wanted to be, the other three are another class above us, but we put everything we had into it and we’re thoroughly pleased,” said Bunbury resident Cates.

“A new co-driver is always tricky, but Anthony and I gelled well and he did a great job.

“Rullo, Jones and Heaton outclassed us, and it was particularly great to see Dave Heaton on a podium, it brought a tear to my eye,” said Cates.

Rounding out the top five outright was Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition, finishing 4:49 minutes behind the rally leader.

In Make Smoking History Targa West 17-year history, only six champions have taken the title in the Competition Modern category; Peter Rullo (2021, 2018), Mark Greenham (2020), Peter Major (6-time champion 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), Steve Jones (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), Jim Richards (2007, 2012) and Ross Dunkerton (2005, 2006).

Overall Competition Modern
Pos No Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 62 RULLO
MARQUET
SSC Lotus
Exige Targa GT
2:10:56
+
2 23 JONES
ASH
Nissan
R35 GTR
2:12:41
+01:45
3 36 HEATON
GLENNEY
Porsche
911 GT2 RS
2:13:10
+02:14
4 69 CATES
CARR
Porsche
911 GT3 RS
2:15:27
+04:31
5 87 MORSE
NG
BMW
M2 Competition
2:15:47
+04:51
Steve Jones does a shoey (Peter Rullo’s shoe) Photo: Elevation Digital
Mark Cates / Anthony Carr. Photo: Elevation Digital

Competition Classic

Hat trick! Competition Classic winning driver Simon Gunson has scored a hat trick with three firsts in a row, and his co-driver Nigel Jones is the only competitor to have contested all 17 Targa West rallies.

Gunson has previously won the Classic Drivers title in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.

With a healthy lead going into the finale today, Gunson / Jones just had to preserve their lead in their 1971 Ford Capri Perana. They did just that in Malaga but they couldn’t help themselves and tore through the last three city stages. They came out victors finishing 2:37 minutes ahead of Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in their 1974 Porsche 911.

“We thought, well we had some rubber left on the tyres we might as well put on a bit of a show, that’s what people come out to see,” said Gunson.

“We’re really happy, it was a great rally and we’ve had tremendous support, thanks to everyone – especially our service crew who are a great bunch of mates.”

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.

The battle for second and third outright was on with Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith just 3 seconds ahead of Nathan and Kevin Ellement at the start of the day.

Both were giving it their all and fanging it around Malaga this morning trying to make up vital seconds.

Wolfe / Beckwith won all three Malaga stages and Ellement / Ellement won all three City of Perth stages, but it wasn’t enough to change the leader board.

Wolfe / Beckwith finished on the second step of the podium just 2 seconds ahead of the Ellements in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4.

“It’s been amazing, created to my co-driver Scott who coaches me too, he did an amazing job, as did the KTEC team that keep this 47-year-old girl going,” said Wolfe, referring to his 1974 Porsche 911.

Overall Competition Classic
Pos No Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 16 GUNSON
JONES
Ford
Capri Perana
2:20:40
+
2 37 WOLFE
BECKWITH
Porsche
911 RS
2:23:17
+02:37
3 41 ELLEMENT
ELLEMENT
Chevrolet
Corvette C4
2:23:19
+02:39
Simon Gunson / Nigel Jones. Photo: Tim Allott
Simon Gunson. Photo: Dianne Bortoletto
Nathan Ellement and Kevin Ellement. Photo: image1265

Targa 165 and Targa 130

An impressive number of stage wins for Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann in their Tesla 3 Performance+ saw them take the lead early in Make Smoking History Targa West 165 class and they never looked back.

Of 37 stages, they won 36, only backing off in the middle of yesterday’s marathon day to preserve charge in their EV, earning them the top step of the podium.

“I’m equal parts stoked and relieved. I’m happy with our decision to step up to the 165 class and I’m itching to up the charge and enter the outright class and have a crack,” Jurgen Lunsmann said.

Finishing second outright were Targa West rookies Mathew St Guillaume and co-driver James Brittain in their 2006 Porsche Cayman.

The duo won their class at the shorter Targa South West rally held in May, and are a good example of how to start a rally career and move up the ranks to bigger events.

“Firstly massive thank you to all the volunteers and officials that make this event possible,” said St Guillaume.

“Wow what an amazing four days. We started slowly as we hadn’t had any seat time since Targa South West and kept building until we found our speed by Saturday. We loved the friendly competition with our fellow 165 racers and a big shout out to the KTEC team.”

Finishing the day in third place are rookies Paul Oxley and Yvonne Mulligan in their 2000 Subaru Impreza WRX.

“We’ve had a ball and we’ve learnt a lot,” said Mulligan, who is Oxley’s co-driver and partner.

“We’re still talking to each other, so that’s a good sign! He calms me when I’m stressed and I do that same for him, so we seem to balance each other out well in the car, it’s been great.”

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 some of the closest battles were fought.

They started this morning in third place, but rookies Aaron Williams and co-driver Rachel Ferrante in their 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 battled hard and won four of today’s six stages and came out on top, to finish faster than Chris Beerens and Alex Butler in their 2011 Subaru WRX STI by 11 seconds.

Aaron Williams & Rachael Ferrante. Photo: Tim Allott

In third place overall 2:03 minutes behind the leader way Davyd Hooper and Jacob Teo in their 2016 AMG CLA45.

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

Make Smoking History Targa West is Perth’s premier tarmac rally and the only event in Perth that uses closed public roads for racing.

Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann. Photo: Tim Allott
Tim Wolfe / Scott Beckwith. Photo: Graeme Howie

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

Day 1 – Off and racing, great start to Make Smoking History Targa West

Prepared and raring to go, this morning 64 of Western Australia’s best tarmac rally drivers were flagged off from the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the 17th Make Smoking History Targa West which concludes on Sunday 19thSeptember.

A cold and wet spring day provided mixed conditions for Day 1 of the rally that comprised of seven timed stages; three at Whiteman Park, two at Wanneroo Raceway (one stage was cancelled due to running late) and two street stages at Ellenbrook after dark that attracted about 6,000 spectators and included a smoking Drift Car demonstration by D1WA.

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

The first stage of the day was not timed and does not count towards results.

Competition Modern

Day 1 was full of action from the get-go with reigning champion Mark Greenham (Forrestfield) forced to retire on SS2 with a mechanical issue in his 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 ending his rally.

2018 Targa West winner, Peter Rullo (Gooseberry Hill), had much to celebrate today, besides turning 50, he finished fastest on four of the seven stages in his 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT with co-driver Jimmy Marquet (Riverton).

“This is a pretty good way to spend a birthday!” said Rullo. “We’re having fun and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

Rullo / Marquet finished the day on top with a 5-second lead ahead of Steve Jones and co-driver Caleb Ash in their 2008 Nissan R35 GTR and a 22-second lead over Brett Morse and Rodney Ng in their 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

 

Peter Rullo / Jimmy Marquet leading after Day 1. Photo: CMR Photographic

Four-time rally winner Steve Jones hasn’t competed in Make Smoking History Targa West since 2018 and has returned this year with all cylinders firing, winning three stages.

“I’ve missed it and I’m really happy to be back – I saw some rookies earlier and had a chat with them, gave them some tips, and I like being able to help and give a little back,” said Jones.

“The goal is firstly to have fun next to my co-driver and long-time friend Caleb Ash, he’s the calming influence and helps me keep my cool in the car, I’m the energetic one.

“Secondly, I’m competitive, so we’ll be aiming for a good finish for sure, but also to finish every stage – these street stages are hard to drive with this big car, it’s like driving a Landcruiser,” said Attadale resident Jones.

Jones’ car has some panel damage on the left hand side where he hit a tyre barrier after exiting a stage at Wanneroo.

Winning SS2, equal fastest with Rullo / Marquet, was husband and wife Bill and Glenys Stagoll (Gelorup) in their 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

“We started the day well, so we’re enjoying that while we can,” said Bill Stagoll. “We had a braking issue on one of the stages, I hit the brakes too late!”

The Stagolls finished the day in fourth place in the Competition Modern category.

The wet weather today and the tight stages didn’t suit all competitors, so we can expect to see some more exciting action tomorrow.

Brett Morse / Rodney Ng. Photo: CMR Photographic
Event Director Ross Tapper flags off Bill and Glenys Stagoll. Photo: Dianne Bortoletto

Competition Classic

Finishing on top was last year’s winner, Simon Gunson (Bibra Lake) in his 1971 Ford Capri Perana with co-driver Nigel Jones (San Remo), who incidentally is the only competitor to have competed in all 17 Targa West events.

Gunson / Jones won four stages which includes an equal first with Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith in their 1974 Porsche 911, to end the day 12 seconds ahead of Nathan Ellement (Oakford) and Keven Ellement (Golden Bay) in their 1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4. The Ellement cousins won both Ellenbrook stages.

Rounding out the top three was Wolfe / Beckwith who took two stage wins to end end 14 seconds behind the leader.

“So far so good. Tomorrow is a big day and I’m looking forward to the open stages, and hopefully building a bigger buffer,” said Gunson, referring to the rally lead.

Paul Pernechele (Gidgegannup) had an unfortunate start the day with a mechanical issue in his 1971 Ford Falcon XY but he was able to rejoin the rally to the delight of cheering fans in Ellenbrook.

Simon Gunson / Nigel Jones. Photo: Graeme Howie
Nathan Ellement and Kevin Ellement. Photo: image1265
Tim Wolfe and Scott Beckwith. Photo: image1265

Targa 165 and Targa 130

The eerily silent but speedy electric Telsa 3 Performance+ car of Jurgen and Helen Lunssman took a clean sweep of stage wins in the Targa 165 category to finish the day 1:06 minutes ahead of their nearest rival.

If you blink you might miss them because the husband and wife team are posting impressively fast times, so much so that they’d be sitting in fourth outright (ahead of Stagoll) if they’d entered the Competition Modern category.

Targa 165 category restricts drivers to 165 kilometres per hour.

The Mayor of the City of Swan Kevin Bailey (Bullsbrook) unfortunately went off on SS3 and was forced to retire before being able to compete in front of a home crowd at Ellenbrook. Both he and co-driver Eric Purvis (West Swan) are okay. The team are making repairs overnight and plan to rejoin the rally with penalties tomorrow.

Rookie and Targa 130 competitor Aaron Williams (Stratton) and co-driver Rachel Ferrante (Aveley) won four stages including both Ellenbrook street stages in their 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7 to end the day on top of the leaderboard 9 seconds ahead of Chris Beerens (Jane Book) and Alex Butler (East Vic Park) in their 2011 Subaru WRX STI.

Exactly 1:00 minute behind the leader were rookies Dylan O’Connor (Maida Vale) and Leigh Fowler (Maida Vale) in their 1998 Hyundai Excel.

Targa 130 category restricts drivers to 130 kilometres per hour.

Tomorrow – Day 2, Leg 2

Tomorrow, Make Smoking History Targa West starts the day at Mundaring with two stages at Parkerville, then onto Kalamunda for two stages before a service on Haynes Street, then the two famous Zig Zag stages and another in Kalamunda before ending the day with a service at the Hawaiian Shopping Centre Forrestfield Service Park. The rally cars head to Northbridge for the Show and Shine display 6pm to 9pm on James and Lake Streets.

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.

There are 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.

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

Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann. Photo: CMR Photographic
John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver lining up to start at Ellenbrook. Photo: Elevation Digital
Simon Gunson and Nigel Jones lining up to start at Ellenbrook. Photo: Elevation Digital

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

Racing to rally – Make Smoking History Targa West

Racing to the start line are 64 West Australian tarmac rally drivers who’ll take to the streets of Perth for the 17th Make Smoking History Targa West from 16th to 19th September.

The State’s best rally drivers are all confirmed entrants including reigning champion Mark Greenham (Forrestfield) in his winning 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Will White (Dardanup) who finished second last year in his 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer and Jeffrey Foster (Bicton) in his 2019 Porsche 911 who took 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 in four times winner Steve Jones (Attadale) in his 2008 Nissan R35 GTR, David Heaton (Dalkeith) in a 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Mark Cates (Bunbury) in his 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and the WA State Rally Champion on gravel, John O’Dowd (Gooseberry Hill) who has bought a new car for tarmac rallying, a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 RS purchased from racing great Jim Richards.


Mark Greenham / Steph Esterbauer. Photo: CMR Photographic

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.

Event Director Ross Tapper says that the strong competitor list is a testament to sport.

“We feel fortunate that we’re able to hold events while the rest of the world grapples with the pandemic,” Mr Tapper says.

“It’s safe to say that West Australian competitors are making the most of it with all of our State’s top rally drivers in the entry list, which means tough competition and a great show for spectators.”


Simon Gunson / Peter Morley.  Photo: Murray Armenti

Highlights for spectators at the 2021 Make Smoking History Targa West include the new ceremonial start venue at the Supreme Court Gardens from 10.30am to 12.15pm on Thursday 16th September, and the hugely popular Ellenbrook street stages from 5pm Thursday night that also includes a jaw-dropping display of drift cars. On Friday, Kalamunda and Zig Zag stages are crowd favourites and the rally cars will later be on display at the Northbridge Show ‘n’ Shine on Friday night. On Saturday, the Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook stages are loved by spectators for their speed, and on Sunday, crowds line the streets of the industrial areas of Malaga for the street stages that includes the crazy D1WA Drift Cars, followed by the City of Perth stages along Riverside Drive and then the podium finish with the winners and the traditional champagne spray.

Also on Sunday from 10am is the City Sprint, and on Langley Park and along Riverside Drive, 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.

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

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

D1WA Drift Cars. Photo: CMR Photographic

ALL THE ACTION

Thursday 16th September – City, Whiteman Park, Wanneroo, Ellenbrook

From 10.30am at the Supreme Court Gardens in the City of Perth, rally cars will be on display and then, with anticipation at an all-time high, competitors will be flagged off at 11.45am for the Ceremonial Start of the Make Smoking History Targa West.

From the city, competitors will make their way to Whiteman Park for two stages with action from 12.15pm to 3pm. Rally cars then go to Wanneroo Raceway for two stages from 3.35pm – 5.15pm.

The not-to-be-missed night street stage in Ellenbrook, Service Park and Community Fair is again expected to draw big crowds from 5.00pm to 8.00pm with the rally action starting at 6.15pm. About 7,000 people lined the streets last year as rally cars fanged through the centre of Ellenbrook – rally drivers love an audience!

Friday 17th September – Parkerville, Mundaring, Kalamunda, Northbridge

Cadet students from Mundaring Christian College will swap uniforms for high vis as they work as officials for Make Smoking History Targa West. Rally competitors will assemble at the school from 10am and do two runs of the Parkerville stage.

Competitors then head to nearby Mundaring and Kalamunda for two stages from 11.20am, and then at 12.40pm, Haynes Street in Kalamunda will become the rally’s Service Park and drivers and co-drivers will break for lunch and their crews get to work.

After lunch at 1.50pm, competitors tackle the famous Zig Zag stage – a favourite with drivers and spectators. Don’t forget there’s no parking so take the provided shuttle bus. Then 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 18th September – Toodyay, Chittering, Bullsbrook

Now called Serious Saturday, this is make or break for competitors. It’s the longest and hardest day of the Make Smoking History Targa West Rally when the competitors need to give it their all and finish the day well 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 and a total of 125 competitive kilometres in 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.

Spectators can follow the rally action with spectator points at Sandplain Road in Toodyay from 9.00am, Coondle West 10.30am and 12.20am, Toodyay at Racecourse Road 11.45am and 12.50pm and Timberden East at 2.00pm.

Then it’s the two 20-kilometre marathon stages in Chittering, Maryville Downs 1 and 2 starting at 2.40pm and 3.30pm respectively, after which competitors head to Bullsbrook for four more stages from 4pm and the final service for the day.

SUNDAY 25th October – Malaga, City – Riverside Drive and Langley Park

Sunday Fun Day has never been truer. Make Smoking History Targa West action starts in Malaga along closed roads in the Industrial Estate from 8.40am until 11.30am, which includes a demonstration with sideways skidding and smoking tyres by the D1WA Drift Cars.

Rally drivers will make their way into the City of Perth for grand finale, three short and sharp city stages along Riverside Drive starting at 1pm.

Also in the city is an epic display of hundreds of vehicles at the Shannons Classic on the Swan, a showcase of beautiful cars from yesteryear along Riverside Drive, and the Celebration of Motorsport on Langley Park featuring racing cars, bikes and go-karts and examples of all forms of Motorsport and interesting Speedway, Drags, Circuit Racing, Bikes, RC Cars, Dakar Trucks, Open Wheelers and Trade Displays.

There’ll be action all day Sunday in the city with the Targa City Sprint featuring exotic, historic and classic race cars, taking place concurrently from 9.30am along Riverside Drive between Victoria Avenue and Governors Avenue.

From 3.15pm, winners will take the podium and be presented with medals ahead of the traditional champagne spray on Riverside Drive, under the archway.

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

 

 

 

 

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.

Make Smoking History Targa West 2020: Rookies

Written by Mundaring Christian College students Brendan Elliott and Layla Cassian – 6th November 2020

Rookies, the freshest competitors, are often the most fierce and
eager in any competition. In Mundaring recently at the Make
Smoking History Targa West rally, rookies were involved for fun, the
challenge and for the new experience. A total of 19 rookie drivers
and co-drivers entered the high-speed adrenaline-filled event, with
many commenting on the good time they were having.

Make Smoking History Targa West is a four day annual tarmac rally,
consisting of 54 rally teams competing in four different categories.
This year there were 500 volunteers who helped out, plus support
from Mundaring Christian College. The school helped by providing
the start and pitstop for the Parkerville stage of the rally on Day 2,
whilst some of the students assisted by tagging gates, undertaking
media interviews and offering food and hospitality.

For some rookies, tarmac rallying at the four-day Make Smoking
History Targa West was their first involvement in any form of
motorsport.

“Well, I wasn’t into motorsport until three months ago, so I just
decided to go do it and have a crack, get a driver’s license and
have a go,” states Nissan Silvia driver Kevin Bailey in car number
31.

A group of students from MCC were assigned the task to interview
the rookies and other competitors during the Parkerville Stage of
the rally held on Day 2.

Bailey was one of a handful of drivers who shared their experience
on the first section with the students, saying his favourite stage was
a toss up between Barbagallo and Ellenbrook on Day 1.
“Yeah, it was very good, Whiteman Park was a bit challenging, but
the rest has been great fun.”

Bailey explained that Targa West was very exciting for the public,
seeing the people come out of their back yard to watch.

The City of Swan Mayor left his desk job for quite a different
experience this year, joining the competitive 1000km Rally, but
unfortunately for Bailey and his team they didn’t make the top ten.

Veteran driver Simon Gunson and his ‘virgin’ co-driver (as he calls
him), Peter Morley, raced their way into first place in the Classic
category. With an astonishing lead of 4 minutes 43 seconds, they
were able to convincingly beat other experienced teams.

This year was Morley’s first Make Smoking History Targa West rally,
although he has had previous experience with single seat racers.
Morley enlightened the students on his ‘Cycle of Racing’.

“It starts with building a car, then racing it, breaking it, and fixing it
again.”

Morley and Gunson didn’t have any major problems at the time of
interviewing.

“No problems at all apart from a loose bolt on the exhaust, unlike
some other competitors.”

As Morley explains, all the drivers experienced their fair share of
difficulties whether it be new motors, mechanical issues, or other
costly repairs.

Similar to Bailey, Morley also described the challenging first stage.
“Stage 1 was a bit tight and narrow,” he says.

Gunson and Morley, in their a 1971 Capri Perana, blew it out of the
water, finishing faster than all the competitors in their category and
some in the other categories too. A win for a rookie co-driver or
driver is incredible, but for those who didn’t place it’s all about the
fun and the experience.

All the drivers, rookies or experienced, mentioned that they enjoy
the camaraderie and community support that comes with the rally.
Experienced driver Chris Caruso also gave students an insight into
how he and his team Wyldcat Racing enjoy the community and the
people.

“As far as our team goes, the rally is all about high performance
cars, rallying and racing, but the other aspect of it is people. It’s all
about community and people,” Says Caruso.

“It’s good camaraderie because there’s a lot of involvement with
other competitors. As you see, everyone gets along really well and
it’s good to enjoy the successes at the end of the day.” Comments
SSC Lotus Driver Peter Rullo.

Rullo also mentions he can’t wait to be back next year. “Thanks to
Mundaring Christian College for the hospitality and I can’t wait to be
back next year,” says the Gooseberry Hill resident.

The 2018 Winner and his crew had a few moments on Day 1, but
apart from that they quite like the stage in Parkerville. We asked
Rullo if he was confident for a win, and this is what he had to say:
“It’s a long event so you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. So
what I meant by that is to finish first, first you must finish. So it’s just
using your strengths and what you’re good at and leveraging off
that.”

Unfortunately Rullo, his days of mechanical troubles have returned
with his car succumbed to overheating issues when a fan belt broke
on Day 3 and he was out of contention.

Rookie or veteran, a podium contender or in it for the challenge, the
common thread between all competitors is that rallying is about
camaraderie, community, having a great time and driving as fast as
they can.

Make Smoking History Targa West was held in and around
Mundaring, Perth, Toodyay, Chittering, Ellenbrook, Whiteman Park
and Kalamunda from 22 to 25 October 2020.

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

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