There is just one week to go until the 60 cars line-up in Forrest Place ready to start the 2015 Quit Targa West tarmac rally, which runs from August 13 to 16.
The vehicles will be waved off in front of the lunchtime crowd on Thursday by Deputy Lord Mayor of Perth Rob Butler, before departing for Barbagallo Raceway to start the first of 34 stages in the four-day event.
Classic category contender Paul Moltoni says it is the atmosphere of Targa West combined with determination to get that podium which has kept him returning for the past five years.
“I’ve competed in many different types of racing, but I just love the unique team atmosphere Targa West has that you just don’t get from many other motorsport events,” said Moltoni.
“Because it is held over a number of days, you get the opportunity to be really immersed in the event, and it’s a real team effort because you rely on your navigator and service crew so much.
“There are all sorts of people involved - you've got people who are out there to get a place, and those who just go out there to have a bit of fun in their cars. It's a good atmosphere and a good weekend.”
There are five different categories which include both Competitive and the speed limited Challenge category for modern vehicles and classic vehicles, plus a Rookie category.
The stages cover a range of conditions from tight city sprints to fast flowing open roads. By the time competitors have completed the last stage on Sunday August 16, they will have travelled an overall length of 898 kilometres, and completed 239 competitive kilometres through Wanneroo, Malaga, Whiteman Park, Kalamunda, Toodyay, Lower Chittering, Bullsbrook and Perth City.
Classic competitor and GTi Racing Team boss Simon Gunson says he looks forward to Saturday’s Toodyay stages, even though he finds them the most challenging of the event.
“Toodyay is my nemesis because we've come undone there twice. But, it is also the stage I like, and like to get through – because once I get through Toodyay, I'm alright. The Maryville Downs stage is also an excellent stage because it's longer and more open. It's not just a ten minute blast, so you have a chance to settle into the car,” said Gunson.
The city stages such as Malaga and City of Perth also have their fans among the competitors, such as Modern category contender Brett Wilkinson.
“I absolutely love the Malaga stages. It's not the nice and hilly countryside but to be honest, I'm not massively confident in between the trees, so with Malaga I have nothing holding me back,” said Wilkinson.
Event Director Ross Tapper says he is really appreciative of the support from the local governments involved with the event.
“Quit Targa West organisers would like to thank the cities, shires and local residents for lending us some of the best roads in Perth. The hospitality and support we receive from these communities is always overwhelming,” said Mr Tapper.
Spectators are welcome to catch the action for free from the designated viewing points set-up on each stage. The Spectator Guide, which includes a program of events, details where these points are, what times the cars will be coming past, and when road closures will be in place. The Spectator Guide can be downloaded from the Quit Targa West website www.targawest.com.au.
Perth’s car enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see the rally vehicles up close at the Ceremonial Start in Forrest Place on Thursday August 13 from 11am to 2pm, Northbridge car display on Friday August 14 from 6pm to 9pm, and the City of Perth Super Stages including the Perth City Sprint and the Shannons Classics in the Park in Supreme Court Gardens on Sunday 16th August.
The 2015 Quit Targa West is proudly sponsored by Healthway and the Quit message.