Photo: Quit Targa West vehicles on display at The Arbour, Bell Tower, Perth CBD Photo Credit: Andrew Kilburn
The future of the Quit Targa West series of tarmac rally events is secure and moving into a new exciting phase for 2016.
Quit Targa West Event Director Ross Tapper was pleased to announce at Friday’s season launch party that a new series, new events and strong sponsor support is fueling the growth of tarmac rallying in the state.
Mr Tapper briefed the crowd of competitors, officials, sponsors and their families on the direction Targa events will be taking in 2016, with the main goal of making motorsport accessible to more people.
“Today is the start of the 12th Targa season and a new era in Targa with the combining of all the events under one series, the Quit Targa Cup,” said Mr Tapper.
“The points based Quit Targa Cup series will incorporate eleven events - the McRae Rallysprint events, Shannons Busselton Sprint, Quit Targa South West, the new GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint, Quit Targa West and the Targa City Sprint. These rounds give competitors a variety of driving experiences from the tight city and town stages to the faster flowing country roads.
“The McRae Rallysprint Series is an attractive starting point for those wanting to try tarmac rallying in a relaxed atmosphere, and also for those who are preparing and fine tuning for the major Targa events,” said Mr Tapper.
“The Rallysprint is a bit like Twenty20 cricket compared to a Test Match – it only requires an afternoon, rather than a whole weekend, which suits time poor rally drivers.”
In conjunction with WRC rally legend Alister McRae, the McRae Motorsport Rallysprint Series is contested over five rounds between November and March at the Perth Motorplex. To enter, all that is needed is a car that meets all the required safety standards for brakes, tyres and seat belts, plus helmets for the driver and co-driver and a fire extinguisher.
Quit Targa South West held in Manjimup and Pemberton May 21 and 22 is the first non-Rallysprint event in the Targa Calendar.
‘This year is the first time this event will run timed stages. However, the times around the town stages of Manjimup and Pemberton will not count towards results, allowing drivers to display some added showmanship for spectators,” Mr Tapper says.
The newest addition to the Targa event portfolio is the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint which already sees a strong showing of support from the Bunbury community.
“On June 26 we are off to Bunbury, and if you listened to the locals you would think we are bringing the F1 to town!” quipped Mr Tapper. “We have been welcomed with open arms by the Bunbury community, and the City of Bunbury have been terrific in supporting us to get this event up and running.”
The popular Quit Targa West is not without change as well, incorporating an exclusive one marque category into the event for AMG owners - the Targa Tour.
“The Targa Tour for AMG owners is supported by Diesel Motors and Westpoint Star will be run as part of Quit Targa West 2016. The field will be limited to 20 AMG cars enjoying a spirited drive at the front of the rally field. This is an untimed event, but will be based around the enjoyment of driving and a social weekend of motorsport,” said Mr Tapper.
Mr Tapper also acknowledged the events sponsors, many of which have been with Targa from the start.
“To have permission to run tarmac rallies is an absolute privilege that we should never to take for granted, the same with the support we get from our sponsors.
“This year is also the 12th year of Healthway supporting Quit Targa West and they will do so again in 2017. They are a great supporter of ours and without them Quit Targa West would not have been able to grow as we have.
“A big thank you to our major sponsors Healthway, Shannons, Shamrock, Kosteras Tyre Service, Go Gear, Storage King and Subaru Osborne Park. A special mention also goes to the owners of the roads and the local governments that make it possible to run our events.”
For those looking to get involved in the Quit Targa West events, or are interested in following the rally action can find more information via www.targawest.com.au.
The 2016 Targa West Rally Calendar
Quit Targa South West, Manjimup & Pemberton: 21 – 22 May
GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint: 26 June
Quit Targa West, Perth and Surrounds: 11 – 14 August
Targa City Sprint: 14 August