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The sounds of sweetly tuned engines will echo around Perth and its surrounding suburbs when QUIT Targa West 2011 gets underway on August 25, 2011.
 
A fantastic line-up of cars will tackle the four-day, 212 kilometre event as it passes through Bullsbrook and the Shires of Kalamunda and Toodyay before finishing with the Killarnée City of Perth Super Stage along Riverside Drive, Langley Park.
 
With four winners in the past six years and a strong field in 2011, choosing a favourite for the outright Competition Modern title is an impossible task with organisers predicting the title will once again come down to a battle over the final few stages.
 
Australian racing legend Jim Richards (Porsche GT2 RS) and two-time winner Steve Jones (Nissan GTR 35) look like being the biggest challengers for the Competition Modern title, with some new stages and the weather almost certain to throw in some extra variables for crews to master.
 
“Jim’s (Richards) always a threat and you’ve always got to be aware of him out there, I would say even more so this year as there are some stages he will have competed over last year that I still haven’t seen in competition,” Jones said.
 
“This year I’ve got a new team (Metropolis Fabcar Racing), a new car and I’m really excited about getting out on the road again because I haven’t done a rally since my engine failure at QUIT Targa West last year.”
 
“Of course I’d love to win the event again but the main aim is to finish Whiteman Park and go from there,” he continued.
 
Richards and Jones will also face competition from a host of locals including, Ross Hamilton (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8), Peter Rullo (Nissan GTR 35), Paul Summers (Viper SRT10 ACR) and Kim Ledger (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9).
 
Adding some extra spice to the Competition Modern field, Robert Darrington (Audi S4), a frequent podium placer in the Challenge Modern class, is stepping up to tackle the Competition class and will be looking to make an impact on the event.
 
The Competition Classic class will provide one of the most eagerly anticipated duels with last year’s Modern winner Peter Major (Mazda RX7) set to take on Competition Classic defending champion Tolley Challis (Porsche 911 RS).
 
“I actually sold the GTR at the start of the year to fund some racing over East, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge of contesting the event in a classic car and competing against a new group of drivers,” Major said.
 
“The GTR is such a technical car and doing the event in a classic will be a completely different experience which will require a re-think on some of the ways I tackle the event.”
 
Throw the husband and wife team of David and Vicki Moir – who have finished second on three occasions - into the mix and the class will be one of the toughest to win.
 
Razvan Vlad (Hyundai i30 SX CDRi turbo Diesel) has been consistently trading stage times near the front of the Challenge Modern field for the past few years and will be looking for his first title as will the all female crews of Sharon Payne/Helen Lunsmann (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7) and Stephanie Robinson/Alix Jordan (Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer).
 
The battle for final day honours will also be tough in the Challenge Classic class with former winner Anthony Clarke (Holden Torana GTR XU1) sure to be joined at the front of the field by consistent podium place getters Paul Thompson (Porsche 911 RS) and Martin Eyer (Triumph TR8 RS).
 
QUIT Targa West 2011 kicks off at Whiteman Park on Thursday August 25 and will conclude in Langley Park on Sunday August 28. Full spectator information can be found on www.targawest.com.au and will be available in a special edition of Autotrader on the 19th August.

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