Jim Richards heads Targa West entry
- 28th August 2007, 8:31am
In only its third year, QUIT Targa West has already secured itself a spot as one of the major tarmac rallies in Australia. Each year the competition grows, attracting some of the biggest names in tarmac rallying and boasts a field of some of the best cars in the country.
Richards, one of Australia’s most talented drivers and who has taken the honours in Targa Tasmania eight times and the Bathurst 1000 seven times, is competing in QUIT Targa West for the first time in 2007. He will be joined by some of the big names from the world of Australian motor sport, such as Tony Longhurst – also a multiple Bathurst winner, Ross Dunkerton, Tony Quinn and local Pirtek Ford rally team driver, Darren Windus.
Dunkerton was the king of the Australian Rally Championship during its toughest era – the 1970s and 80s – winning the title five times. Dunkerton is the defending champion in the Competition Modern Category of QUIT Targa West.
“Tarmac rallying requires a very different technique to gravel rallying and I’m still trying to get my head around it. The experience I had on gravel has definitely given me an advantage when it comes to pace noting, but driving on tarmac is a whole new ball game,” Dunkerton said.
Windus and co-driver Jon Mortimer will step out of their Pirtek Rally Team Super 2000 Fiesta they run in the NEC Australian Rally Championship and into a Ford XR5 to compete in their first tarmac event together.
“I’m really excited about the event, I’ve never done anything like this before so it is going to be a great experience, and the more time I can get in a competitive rally car the better,” Windus enthused.
QUIT Targa West is broken up into four separate categories run under one banner, with teams competing in either the Competition or Challenge categories, which are further broken down into Modern and Classic (pre-1982) classes.
Competition cars are set up as competitive rally cars, under similar guidelines to those used in the NEC Australian Rally Championship.
In the Classic class the Hon. Kim Chance, the Minister for Agriculture, will be co-driving for Michael Moylan, the pair up against the 2006 Challenge winners, Mark O’Kane and Jeff Sadler, who have stepped up to the Competition Classic category this year.
Challenge cars are standard road cars, which run without a roll cage and are speed restricted to a maximum of 130kmh, monitored by a GPS tracking system.
Luca Giorgella will be the one to watch in the Classic class, competing in his Jaguar Mk 1, and in the Modern class the all-female crews of Justine Burns/Samantha Skipworth and Lee’Anne McKenna/Alexandra Kirkhouse will be hard to beat.
The wide and varied field of classic and modern vehicles will compete along some of the most spectacular roads that Western Australia has to offer, with some exciting new stages added since 2006.
Event Director Bob Schrader is thrilled about the quality of the field and the course they have chosen.
“QUIT Targa West is more than just a rally; it is a chance for teams to escape from the real world and indulge their passion in this beautiful part of Australia,” said Schrader. “The rally is a great way to combine the social and competitive side of rallying, and battle it out on some great WA roads.”
The 2007 Targa West event will be held over four days from September 6 to 9. Thursday September 6 is a prologue event at the Perth Motorplex, designed to determine the starting order for the rally. Competition begins in earnest on Friday with a start in Forrest Place in the centre of Perth. Over the following three days the rally visits a number of race tracks and closed bitumen public road special stages in and around the Perth metropolitan areas and the surrounding shires of Mundaring, Kalamunda, Chittering and Toodyay and the cities of Gosnells and Armadale.
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