He’s taken on the world’s best drivers competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC), and now top international rally driver, Alister McRae, has his eyes set on taking honours in the Classic competition of QUIT Targa West.
 
Scottish born McRae is getting set to rally in his adopted home state of Western Australia, and will compete in a Porsche 911 RS when the rally gets underway on September 4.
 
“I’ve competed in WA a number of times as part of the WRC, but it’s my home soil now, so I’m really looking forward to it,” McRae said.
 
“It will be my first time in a classic Porsche, so it will definitely be a bit different to what I’m used to. Modern cars are a lot more forgiving that classic cars,” McRae laughed.
 
McRae, who won the British Rally Championship in 1995 and drove for manufacturers Subaru, Hyundai and Mitsubishi in the WRC, has spent the last 12 months competing in various gravel and tarmac rallies in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
 
Although familiar with the tarmac surface that will make up the 31 stages of the event, McRae says the roads in Western Australia bear little or no resemblance to those of the tarmac WRC rallies he has competed in.
 
“The roads around Perth tend to be fairly wide, smooth and straight, so there is little comparison with the tarmac events I’m used to like Catalunya (Spain) or Corsica (France),” McRae said.  “Having said that, there are a couple, like Zig Zag, which are going to be really challenging and it’s going to be a great event.”
 
McRae will be partnered on the event by Bill Hayes. Hayes is one of Australia’s most experienced co-drivers, having competed with, among others, Australian Dean Herridge in both the Australian and Asia-Pacific series.
 
“This type of event is all about enjoyment and using some fantastic cars the way they’re supposed to be used. Australians certainly know how to make their motor sport fun and I’m really looking forward to this event,” McRae added.
 
While McRae will sacrifice power and a weight advantage to some of the leading competitors in the Modern Competition, he is still looking for a top ten outright finish.
 
“I’d like to think that, with a car like the Porsche, we should certainly have the pace to be successful in the classic category. I also believe we should be able to do well overall; I’d like to be in the top six by the end of the weekend.”
 
QUIT Targa West will be held in the city of Perth and the surrounding shires of Kalamunda, Chittering and Tooday, from September 4-7.
 

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