This year marks the 11th year of the Quit Targa West, for some of those first competitors in 2005 it was where the addiction to tarmac rallying began, and they have not missed a year since.
Bruce Hawley has competed in all eleven events, starting off as a motorsport novice in the Challenge category, a speed-limited category for showroom style non-caged vehicles, for five years before stepping up to the Competition category.
“I was very new to motorsport at the first Targa. I came back from spending 20 years as a professional engineer working in and around South-East Asia, which prompted my brothers to put the pressure on me saying ‘you’ve missed out on too many years of having fun so get yourself into Targa West, it is starting this year’,” said Hawley.
“The first car I used in Targa West was an open-top Cobra replica. That was in the good old days where you could race in a car without a roof. Although, the memories of that was it was bloody cold, and when the pace notes get wet you just have to guess where you are going.”
The Cobra is a very different vehicle to the Nissan R34 GTR that has been Bruce’s competition car for the past seven years.
“That’s been the biggest change throughout the years, going from sort of having nothing in the car, to the latest technology of video cameras and Rallysafe. The organisers know where you are every minute of the day - which is good from a safety point of view, but no good if you want cheat!” jokes Hawley.
“I have two brothers and nephews who also compete periodically, it’s a bit of a family affair. A first for this year for me will be that my step-son will be in the navigator’s seat, he’s very keen.”
Family seems to be a common theme this year, with fellow 11 year competitor Tolley Challis also introducing what could possibly be the next generation of Targa competitor to the sport.
“This year we are using a Triumph TR7 V8 which is a car that I have had for a long time. I’m literally just entering for fun this year because my 17-year old daughter will be co-driving for me. She has never done any motorsport before, but has shown some interest. We’ll have a go and hopefully it all goes smoothly,” said Challis. Read more...