Troy Wilson took the title in his 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and is now a five-time winner of the GT Fabrication Rallysprint.

Wilson had a near perfect morning with four clean runs, text-book rallysprint. The afternoon as a different story that included a change in co-driver due to medical reasons, a brush with a kerb, and a blown turbo boost line metres from the finish. 

After eight runs, just 15-seconds separated the top two with last year’s winner Matt Cherry in his 1982 Toyota Starlet with co-driver Cade Bell finishing second.

After a 15-month absence from Rallysprints, David Heaton returned with gusto and finished third fastest outright in his 2010 Mitsubishi EvoX with co-driver Caleb Ash, 20-seconds behind Cherry.

Wilson said that his result, finishing fastest of 106 competitors, wasn’t as easy as the timesheet otherwise suggests. 

Matt Cherry.

“It was hot, I lost count how much water I drank, over six litres. My hands were starting to cramp and I had to ask one of the mechanics to go to the shop to buy some salt to keep the cramping at bay,” Wilson said.

“My new co-driver John Carcione was great, and we had four great runs in the morning, didn’t put a wheel wrong. Then due to the heat, he got heat stroke and had to stop, thankfully he’s ok, he’s been given the all-clear from the medics.

“I had to swap co-drivers to Aaron Williams, who saved my butt – but his helmet’s intercom wouldn’t work in my car, so we were doing the second round blind, with no notes.

“That caused a bit of grief and I touched a kerb and damaged the bumper.

“Then, on the last run, 150 metres before the finish, my turbo boost line blew off and that blew my exhaust pipe off with a big bang, and we limped across the finish line. The rally Gods must’ve been smiling on me because I managed to get home.

“I’m relieved to get through an event in that heat, running back-to-back with no rest, it was not only a huge effort from my guys, but a huge effort from everyone, every driver, co-driver, crew and all the volunteers,” the former AFL footballer said.

When accepting his medal, Wilson thanked fellow competitors and second-place finisher Matt Cherry whom he said pushed him until the end.

Taking the third step on the podium, David Heaton said it was great to be back competing.

“I haven’t been in the car for 15 months, but today was perfect, great weather, massive crowds, and the car was flawless. We put a small tubro on it so it’s user-friendly and very smooth.”

Winner of the Tarmac Cup was a shocked Dave Allan with co-driver and friend Steven Clarke who didn’t seem to be affected by the heat.

“I’m really surprised, I don’t know how it happened, it’s a great surprise, I’m stoked. It’s not normally where I am in the field,” Allan said.

“I’ve got aircon, and I had it blasting, I kept things comfortable.

“I’ve been having a crack for about seven or eight years, so it’s nice to get a good result, it must be starting to come together. And the new car might help,” Allan said, referring to his 2015 Porsche GT3.

“I bought the car like that and just jumped in and drove it. I can’t explain this result, but I’m very happy.”

The Tarmac Cup is a series of 15 events from November 2023 until September 2024 with points awarded to eligible competitors on completion of each event. Major rally events such as the Bunbury Rallysprint, Albany Rallysprint, Tarmac South West, and Tarmac West incur greater points.

The balmy weather on Saturday night (18 November) drew thousands of people and families who admired the rally cars along with the vintage vehicles on display at the Show ‘n’ Shine at the Pat Usher Foreshore in Bunbury.

On Sunday (19 November) thousands of spectators lined the streets of Bunbury’s Halifax Light Industrial Area to watch WA’s best tarmac rally drivers race the clock on the four-kilometre street-race circuit.

Event Director Ross Tapper said that it was a smooth and safe Bunbury Rallysprint.

“The warm weather drew a huge crowd to the Show and Shine and the competition was good with very few issues given over 100 drivers were racing around the street with kerbs, I’m pleased to report there were no major issues.”

The Event Director thanked the City of Bunbury, sponsors, volunteers, competitors and crew for a successful event. 

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