Motorsport Australia has named Make Smoking History Targa West the Western Australian event of the year.
In 2019, the 15th Make Smoking History Targa West was held in Perth and surrounds from Thursday 8 August to Sunday 11 August.
Over four days, competitors raced the clock along 35 closed-road special stages at Whiteman Park, Muchea, Ellenbrook (new in 2019) Kalamunda including the infamous Zig Zag, Parkerville (new in 2019), Toodyay, Chittering, Bullsbrook, Malaga, and the finale was held in the City of Perth along Riverside Drive.
Event Director Ross Tapper said the recognition from Motorsport Australia was rewarding and humbling.
“Targa West has enjoyed a long history in Western Australia and I’m really proud of the whole team which includes 500-odd volunteer officials,” Mr Tapper said.
“Our first priority is to run a safe event, the second is to run a five-star event and this award tells us that we’ve achieved that. Last year in particular, the competition was close and very exciting and there were thousands of spectators across the four days."
Last year saw Peter Major win for the sixth time in his career, after a thrilling battle with Peter Rullo, winning by just three seconds.
“We work hard to run an exciting and professional event for drivers and teams to enjoy – and I must thank our competitors, without whom there wouldn’t be a rally," he said.
“The roads in and around Perth offer some spectacular stages for tarmac rallying and we endeavour to evolve the rally year on year by introducing some new stages while keeping the iconic stages like the Kalamunda Zig Zag that challenge competitors.”
It wasn’t just Make Smoking History Targa West taking home awards. Headlining the list of individual award winners was event secretary David Smith, who was named as the 2019 Motorsport Australia Official of the Year.
Specialising in gravel and tarmac rallying, Mr Smith is instrumental behind the scenes for a host of state rallying and tarmac events, most notably the Make Smoking History Targa West.
Mr Smith is the Secretary of the WA Rally Panel, the Forest Rally, the WA Car Club, and he trains other event secretaries, as well as helping at events as a steward and rally official.
“Dave does anything and everything for Targa West from artwork to social media to chasing competitors for entry forms and ensuring regulations are met. He’s my right hand and his award is thoroughly deserved,” Mr Tapper said.
“Dave is just a great asset to the sport.”
Make Smoking History Targa West is divided into Competition classes for Modern and Classic cars, the Targa 130 which is speed-limited and designed for those who wish to have a spirited drive without the stress of high speed competition, and the 2Day Rallye comprises of just the weekend stages. Vehicles manufactured earlier than 1986 are classed as Classic and the Modern class is for vehicles manufactured from 1986 onwards.
Targa West brings the community together and puts on an epic show of horse-power. From dare-devil drifters from DriftWest at Malaga who defy grip in jaw-dropping sideways slides, skids and smoking tyres to the Targa City Sprint with exotic, historic and classic cars, Targa West has created a motorsport festival.
Organisers ensure there is plenty of off-track motoring entertainment at Langley Park with the Celebration of Motorsport mega-display and the Shannons Classics on the Park collection, last year displaying 500 historic, modern, muscle and racing cars, bikes along with family activities. They were accompanied by real competition, roaring engines and screeching tyres of rally cars racing the clock.
In Targa West’s 15-year history, there have only been five winners: Peter Major, Peter Rullo, Steve Jones, Jim Richards and Ross Dunkerton who won the inaugural event in 2005.
Mr Tapper said the Make Smoking History Targa West will be run from 6th to 9thAugust 2020 and will include a new “tour” category open to anyone with a car, sense of adventure and a helmet.
Entries for 2020 will be opening in March and once again Mr Tapper and his team are organising some changes to the stages to ensure there is plenty of variety for the drivers and co-drivers.
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