Tarmac rally veterans and rookies counting down to the Quit Targa South West
The eighth edition of the Quit Targa South West tarmac rally descends on Pemberton and Manjimup from 19th to 21st May, bringing with it plenty of motor sport action and family-friendly entertainment.
The event draws participants from all levels of motor sport experience, and this year is no different with 35 teams, comprising of both event veterans and rookies ready to embark on a weekend of spirited driving around the region.
Brendan Templeman is one competitor who keeps coming back for more. He and co-driver Peter Howlett have participated in all eight Quit Targa South West events in a 2003 Mitsubishi Evo 8.
“I was a newcomer to motor sport when I entered the first Quit Targa South West, from then on I just couldn’t kick the addiction of Targas!” said Mr. Templeman.
“The car has been with us from day one and I could not imagine competing in anything else. The Evo is well suited to the event, especially in the wet. Every South West Targa we have entered has had some wet stages that suit the Evo’s all-wheel drive capability. The most challenging aspect of the event is the varying conditions with the stages being either wet, dry or both.”
It is the first Quit Targa South West experience for father and son team Tony and Robbie Packer. The duo have competed in the Quit Targa West with Tony driving his immaculate 1955 Jaguar XK140 and 19-year old Robbie in the co-driver’s seat, but have decided to reverse the roles for this event.
“Robbie and I did our first tarmac rally together in 2013 when he was 15 years old. This is the first time Robbie will be driving and I will be in the passenger seat,” said Mr. Packer.
“This year we will be in a 1994 BMW M3 which looks a bit rough, but is quite sophisticated mechanically. We are really looking forward to the long stages which should suit the BMW well.
“Being our first Targa South West we are naturally slightly intimidated by the amount of tall timber lining the roads. My only instruction to Robbie is to listen when I panic and start yelling ‘slow down’!”
The Quit Targa South West fraternity will bring 400 people into the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton.
Event Director Ross Tapper said the Manjimup and Pemberton locals were known for their friendliness and warm welcome.
“The communities of Manjimup and Pemberton are a key ingredient in the success of this event,” said Mr. Tapper. “They really get behind the event and get in the ‘motor sport mood’ over the weekend. We feel privileged to be the recipients of such fantastic hospitality.”
The event starts with a shakedown at the Pemberton Sports Club on Friday, which will give competitors an opportunity to perform any last minute tweaks on the car and get a feel for the road. The shakedown also incorporates a charity ride event, which will give the public an opportunity to experience the thrill of riding passenger in a rally car in exchange for a donation.
Spectators can not only expect to see over 35 rally cars from a variety of eras in action, but the town stages also incorporate a variety of local activities and entertainment over the weekend.