Rullo takes Modern and Wolfe takes Classic at 2020 Make Smoking History Targa South West

In near perfect conditions in front of thousands of spectators, the condensed one-day Make Smoking History Targa South West held yesterday (8th August 2020) in and around Pemberton and Northcliffe in Western Australia’s south west was hailed a success by competitors, officials and spectators alike.
 
Due to the coronavirus, organisers compacted the usual two-day rally into one challenging day for the event’s 11th edition.
 
Other than 3.21-kilometre Stage 11 Pump Hill 3 being cancelled to make up for some lost time, Targa 130 rookies in car 39 overshooting a corner and going for a spin before being wedged on a dirt bank (only to miss a couple of stages and finish the event), and car 68 waking up some spectators when they ran wide on a corner, the rally was run without incident.
 
Competition Modern
 
Taking the win in the Competition Modern category was Peter Rullo and co-driver Jimmy Marquet in their upgraded Land Surveys / Autostrada 2019 Lotus Exige Targa GT Spec, winning five of the 14 stages and finishing 10 seconds ahead of Mark Cates and Declan Stafford in their Axis Hire 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Finishing third 1:02 minutes behind Cates / Stafford was Dennis Heller and Keian Guy in their 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
 
Rullo, clearly elated with taking the win, said he loved getting back behind the wheel at the Make Smoking History Targa South West.
 
“It was awesome to be competing again, doing what we enjoy,” said Rullo of Gooseberry Hill.
 
“The rally was good right from the start, and truth be told, I had a happy-nervous feeling jumping into the car after a long break and nothing was coming naturally to start with.
 
“The car was quick straight off the mark and by the third stage, everyone was getting into the groove. Some of the stages where I thought our car would have had an advantage, it was really close.
 
“Unfortunately for Mark Greenham he had to withdraw, but that gave us some breathing room.
 
“The stages were good and the event was really fun. The one-day format is a great idea, good for everyone, spectators and officials.”
 
Winner of the last two years, Mark Greenham and co-driver Steph Esterbauer had been finishing stages in the top three and challenging Rullo for the lead up until SS10 when they suffered mechanical problems that ended their rally.
 
With Greenham out, Cates was hot on Rullo’s heels looking to take the lead but couldn’t quite get there.
 
Cates said that his new Axis Hire 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was nothing short of perfect.
 
“We gave it a fair stab and I’m pretty happy with our results. Everything came together and I didn’t have any ‘moments’ the whole day,” said the Bunbury resident.
 
“It was a good field of competitors and the stages were fun, especially Gloucester which was fast and furious, and challenging us more than we expected. It was a wonderfully run event, a testament to the dedication to Ross, Jan, David and their team of officials – without them there would be no rallies in WA.”
 
Both Rullo and Cates are set to compete in Make Smoking History Targa West held in Perth, Whiteman Park, Ellenbrook, Kalamunda (including the infamous Zig Zag), Parkerville, Toodyay, Chittering and Bullsbrook and Malaga prior to the finalé at the City of Perth Special Stage from 22nd to 25th October 2020.
 

Overall Competition Modern
Pos Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 RULLO
MARQUET
Lotus
Exige Targa GT
48:33
+
2 CATES
STAFFORD
Porsche
911 GT3 RS
48:43
+00:10
3 HELLER
GUY
Mitsubishi
Lancer Evo 9
49:45
+01:12
Peter Rullo / Jimmy Marquet. Photo: Tim Allott
Mark Cates / Declan Stafford. Photo: Drift Images
Competition Classic

In the Competition Classic category for cars manufactured pre-1986, last year’s winner Tim Wolfe and new co-driver, Scott Beckwith made it two years in a row in his Dieselcraft 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.
 
Wolfe, who has competed in seven Targa South West events, said that he had a fairly smooth run.
 
“The car didn’t miss a beat, I made a few mistakes, but no big ones,” said Wolfe from Kalamunda.
 
“Ktec did a great job and arranged a testing session in Collie to set up the car for the dry conditions, and it paid off.
 
“It also paid off to have Scott next to me, with his WRC rally experience he assisted me well beyond reading notes. He’s so experienced and gave great advice on where to position the car and lots of other tips that helped us do well on the day.
 
“We had a strategy, knowing it was dry, and knowing there some good competition in the Classics this year, we knew that we’d have go hard early to get runs on the board, which we did, then we had to do well on longer stages. If we were in a good position on the other side of Northcliffe (SS9), if we had a buffer, we could maintain our lead if we didn’t make any mistakes.
 
“Everyone was so glad to be back racing again. We celebrated long into the night and did our bit to provide a boost to local economy.”
 
Overall Competition Classic
Pos Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 WOLFE
BECKWITH
Porsche
911 Carrera RS
53:03
+
2 DAVIES
MILLS
Porsche
911RS
53:44
+00:41
3 LAKE
HALL
Datsun
240Z
54:46
+01:43
 
Tim Wolfe / Scott Beckwith. Photo: Ash Westwood
Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann. Photo: CMR Photographic
Targa 130
 
The Targa 130 category restricts competitors to a maximum speed of 130 kilometres per hour. Winning convincingly was husband and wife duo, Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann in their Gemtek Group 2019 Tesla 3 Performance, a stock standard car that has only had seats replaced and a head-restraint harness fitted.
 
The only electric vehicle in the field took a clean sweep to win every stage and finished 4:40 minutes ahead of Gareth Evans and co-driver Mark Stutt in their 1st Call Automotive 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer 7 who ended up in second place by the narrowest of margins. Just one second behind them to round out the top three was Ben Pang and Brandon Chin in their KYP Performance House 1999 Honda Civic.
 
Jurgen Lunnsman, who drove his rally car back to Perth stopping to recharge in Eaton, said that the Tesla Model 3 is a pleasure to be in all day.
 
“The Model 3 is outright competitive with all the of the fields, but we can’t yet charge quick enough to be competitive outright. It handles beautifully and we’re turning enough heads to make it good for the event and EVs in general,” said Lunsmann of Bayswater.
 
“Ross, Jan, David and the Targa South West team have put together an awesome event especially given what was ahead of it with COVID.  
 
“The shorter busier stages were fun, and it was a challenge to maintain the 130-kilometre speed on the long stages. The roads in the south west are magnificent for Targa events,” said the winner of every stage of the event.
 
Lunsmann said that the journey had been really interesting with the EVs.
 
“EVs are far more accepted by competitors and the public, and we’re beginning to feel just like one of the crews racing – we’re enjoying the fact that EVs are normalised and no longer a novelty. Hopefully our win can continue that transformation,” he said.
 
“Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t lost the love of the classics or the sounds of a V8, but our message is to go shopping in an EV and go racing in a car that you love.”
 
 
Overall Targa 130
Pos No Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 24 LUNSMANN
LUNSMANN
Tesla
3 Performance+
1:00:17
+
2 14 EVANS
STUTT
Mitsubishi
Lancer Evo 7
1:04:40
+04:23
3 38 PANG
CHIN
Honda
Civic
1:04:41
+04:24
 
Andy van Kann / Megan Logue. Photo: Drift Images
Targa 165
 
There were just two competitors in the Targa 165 category, which restricts competitors to a maximum speed of 165 kilometres per hour.
 
Andy van Kann, a rally veteran and mentor to many drivers and co-drivers in the rally community, took title honours with co-driver Megan Logue in his classic 1974 Toyota Corolla TE27.
 
Van Kann, who had surgery for cancer just 60 days earlier, said that Targa South West is an event he will cherish forever.
 
“I didn’t really know if I would be well enough to start, let alone finish, let alone win Targa 165,” said van Kann.
 
“Add to that the honour of having Megan calling notes for me. We loved the one day, compressed format. It was intense rallying.
 
“A brilliant job by Rosco, Jan and David under the cloud of COVID,” said van Kann of Dunsborough.
 
Overall Targa 165
Pos No Crew Vehicle Total
Gap 1st 
1 92 VAN KANN
LOGUE
Toyota
Corolla TE27
1:00:13
+
2 61 HUGHES
PEDERSEN
Daihatsu
Charade
1:04:57
+04:44
 
 

Feature Image – Competition Modern winners Peter Rullo / Jimmy Marquet, 2019 Lotus Exige Targa GT.  Photo: CMR Photographic

Impressive field to battle one long day at Make Smoking History Targa South West

In an impressive field of 50 cars that includes five rookies and six electric vehicles, Western Australian tarmac rally drivers are relishing the opportunity to race the clock at the 11th Make Smoking History Targa South West on Saturday 8th August in the spectacular Southern Forests region.
 
Competitors will travel a total of 249 kilometres which includes 122 kilometres of flat out competition on 17 closed-road Special Stages that each range in distance from 2.9 kilometres to 15.19 kilometres in and around Pemberton and Northcliffe.
 
Clerk of Course Ross Tapper said that the usual two-day event was compacted to one day initially for COVID-19 reasons.
 
“Even though the event has been condensed into one day, it’s going to be a big day with almost the same amount of competition distance as previous years,” Tapper said.
 
“The Pemberton to Northcliffe stage is fast and flowing and held on the scenic roads through the Karri forest, and the town stage in Pemberton will be tight and technical.”
 

Mark Greenham / Steph Esterbauer. Photo: Tim Allott

A favourite to take the top step of the Competition Modern class is Mark Greenham with co-driver Steph Esterbauer in their Race Torque Engineering 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. Greenham is defending his 2019 and 2018 title ahead of a potential hat trick, all going to plan.
 
“Targa South West has historically been a very successful event us and we hope to repeat the win again this year,” Greenham said.
 
“We’re just extremely grateful for the opportunity to compete in motorsport here in the West given the COVID-19 challenges faced by our Eastern cousins at the moment.”
 
You can bet that Axis Hire managing director Mark Cates with co-driver Declan Stafford in their 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS will be hot on the heels of Greenham.

Mark Cates / Declan Stafford. Photo: Tom Allott

“It’s an exciting prospect to be able to get back behind the wheel again – we can’t wait for Targa South West,” said Cates of Bunbury, who finished third last year.
 
“We’ve done testing on the tyres and brakes and made some modifications to the suspension, the car is excellent and if it doesn’t rain, we’ll be having a crack for the win.”
 
Peter Rullo, a regular on the Targa West podium, hasn’t competed in Make Smoking History Targa South West since the first event in 2010.
 
“The last three or four months have been challenging both personally and professionally, there are lots of people doing it tough, and that’s a big reason why I’m looking forward to getting down to Pemberton,” said Rullo, who’ll be joined by regular co-driver Jimmy Marquet.
 
“COVID has been a wake up call not to take things for granted, so I’m taking the time do something that I love, get in the car and go racing. A few friends are also coming along, so it will also be a great reason to get away for the weekend to bond with some old mates.
 
“I’ll be using it as a shakedown opportunity ahead of Targa West in October, nothing too serious, but we’re keen to set ourselves up to have another decent crack at Targa West.”
 
Rullo’s Land Surveys / Autostrada 2019 Lotus Exige 410 has been upgraded to the new Lotus Exige Targa GT Spec and should arrive from the east coast later this week.

Peter Rullo / Jimmy Marquet.  Photo: Blake Rattenbury
 
“I’m excited to jump in a race car again after such a long break and hope to have it in time for a test in the coming days before Targa South West starts,” Rullo said.
 
In the Competition Classic category, last year’s winner Tim Wolfe will be with a new co-driver, Scott Beckwith, in his Dieselcraft 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.
 
“After all this hiatus in the COVID world, it’s good to be getting back in the car. Scott is vastly more experienced than me, so I’m looking forward to learning a few things from him,” said the Kalamunda resident.
 
“We’ll be giving it our best shot to defend my title but as long as we have some fun, that’s the main thing.”

Tim Wolfe at 2019 Targa South West. Photo: Drift Images

 
In addition to the Competition Modern and Competition Classic categories, there’s the Targa 130 (speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour) and Targa 165 (speed limit of 165 kilometres per hour, as well as an electric vehicle Targa Tour, which is a spirited drive on the same closed-road stages as competitors racing the clock.
 
Florian Popp, co-owner of the Gemtek Group, EV Targa Tour Manager and Team Director for EV competitor Jurgen Lunsmann, said that Targa South West is a good opportunity to collect EV data.
 
“We’ll have a dedicated charging truck for Jurgen and another for the Targa Tour competitors which can charge six cars at once, but they should have plenty of battery life given the speed limitations,” Popp said.

Jurgen Lunsmann / Helen Lunsmann at the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series. Photo: CMR Photographic
 
Competing in the Targa 130 category and supported by Western Power, Jurgen Lunsmann will be joined by his wife Helen who’ll call pace notes in their Gemtek Group 2019 Tesla 3 Performance, a stock standard car that has only had seats replaced and a head-restraint harness fitted.
 
“Normally the Tesla has a range of about 450 kilometres, but during competition, we’re working on a factor of 5-to-1, so about 80 or 90 kilometres before it needs charging,” Popp said.
 
“As we all become more climate aware and with the trajectory of clean energy, it’s a great opportunity to educate people about electric cars in a fun way.”
 
Local truffle farmer Al Blakers and co-driver Wayne Deighton is swapping his classic Torana to compete in his Manjimup Truffles 2008 Holden HSV.
 
Will White, 2017 winner and third place finisher last year will be hoping to repeat his past success in his Dardanup Removals / Store Local 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 with co-driver Matt Thompson.

Will White / Matt Thompson. Photo: Tim Allott
 
There’ll also be a 1965 Mustang, 1964 Ford Sprint, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, Porsche 944, Subaru WRX, Lancer Evo, Nissan GTR, 2008 Dodge Viper and plenty of other fast and furious machines.
 
Cars will start at 30-second intervals and race against the clock with the winner being the car that is fastest over all stages.
 
“The essence of motorsport is competition, but what sets rallying apart from other codes of motorsport is the camaraderie and sense of community – a group of like-minded car enthusiasts sharing a common experience – a spirited drive in some of the State’s most picturesque areas,” Tapper said.
 
The Make Smoking History Targa South West fraternity will bring approximately 400 people into Pemberton.
 
Spectators can watch the rally action from the designated spectator areas – click here for more information and visit ww.targasouthwest.com.au for results.
 
Organisers would like to thank Targa South West sponsors Healthway, along with the Make Smoking History message, Shannons, Cutts Transport, Manjimup Truffles, AAAC Towing and the Shire of Manjimup for their support along with series sponsors Axis Hire

LADIES & GENTLEMEN…START YOUR ENGINES

Targa South West is GO GO GO!

Saturday, 8th August


Following a meeting late last week the Shire of Manjimup have given us the go ahead to proceed as planned with Option 2 for the 2020 Make Smoking History Targa South West.

Road Closure applications, Supplementary Regulations and a ream of other paperwork is making its way through the usual ‘red tape’ process and we are now 99% confident that Targa South West will proceed.  Confident enough that we have reopened entries and are now accepting entry fees from those who have already completed their online entry.
 
 
Obviously until such time as there is a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 there may be a number of additional measures in place to help minimise any potential exposure or spread of the virus. We are speaking to the relevant authorities to reduce the restrictions as much as we can.  Currently we are looking at the the following possible measures:

  • No Pemberton Street Party (this was included in Option 1)
  • Scrutiny – only 1 person to accompany the vehicle to scrutiny.
  • Contactless/Electronic Documentation Checking
  • Service Crew – limit of 2 service crew per competitor
  • Service Locations – a number of distinct service areas will be set up and teams will be need to remain in their allocated area
  • Additional COVID Declarations / Paperwork eg Dual Occupancy Vehicle Declaration
  • Temperature Screening
  • Drivers and Officials Briefings will be conducted electronically
  • No Spectator locations
As restrictions ease further…touch wood…we will be able to review the list.

Whilst the majority of our costs are the same regardless of whether it is a one day or two day event we have reduced the entry fee down to $2080, a $170 saving that reflects no dinner tickets and lower Motorsport Australia permit fees etc.

For Rookie Drivers the entry fee is only $1150 representing fantastic value for those Rallysprint competitors who have not competed in a Tarmac Rally previously (eg Targa South West or Targa West).

With a total competitive distance of 122km (only 8km less than last year), the new compressed 1 day format will still provide plenty of challenging roads for Competitors to get their teeth into.

DRAFT Road Book and Supp Regs are available to download from the Official Noticeboad.

We look forward to seeing you all in August but in the meantime keep washing your hands, maintain appropriate physical distancing and download the COVID-Safe Application and do all we can to ensure our return to Motorsport is as smooth as possible.


Kind regards

Ross, Jan & David
Targa West Pty Ltd

TEAM RELEASE: O’Dowd – The ‘Final Stage Thief’

John O’Dowd has snatched an extra position on the final stage of Targa South West 2019.

Going into the final pass of the 3km Manjimup Truffles Pemberton street stage, O’Dowd sat five seconds behind Dennis Heller. But relishing the tighter, more technical stages, O’Dowd was six seconds quicker, taking fifth place overall by a single second.

Continue reading “TEAM RELEASE: O’Dowd – The ‘Final Stage Thief’”

Make Smoking History Targa South West sparks close competition, a back-to-back win for Greenham and redemption for Wolfe

Mark Greenham / Stephanie Esterbauer. Photo: CMR Photographic

After a wet start on Saturday morning, conditions improved and were near-perfect for the tenth Make Smoking History Targa South West which was held in picturesque south west towns of Pemberton, Manjimup and Northcliffe.

The tarmac rally took place on 22 closed road Special Stages over a total distance of 130 kilometres, with competitors traversing 380 kilometres over the weekend (17-19 May). The stages ranged in distance from 3.11 kilometres to 15.13 kilometres with some tight technical stages and some fast, open, flowing stages.

There was an incident 400 metres into the first stage involving car number 8. Both the driver and co-driver were flown to Royal Perth Hospital and are expected to make full recovery. The co-driver has been discharged and the driver is expected to be discharged tomorrow.

The incident resulted in the following three stages, SS2, SS3 and SS4 being cancelled.

Continue reading “Make Smoking History Targa South West sparks close competition, a back-to-back win for Greenham and redemption for Wolfe”

Australian first: R5 on tarmac at Make Smoking History Targa South West

Al Blakers. Photo: CMR Photographic

Quality field to tackle Make Smoking History Targa South West

A high-quality field of thirty-six teams are set to tackle the tenth Make Smoking History Targa South West held around the picturesque south west towns of Pemberton, Manjimup and Northcliffe from 17th to 19th May 2019.

Competitors will race the clock along 22 closed-road Special Stages, 130 kilometres of flat-out competition and drive a total distance of 380 kilometres over the weekend. The stages range from 3.11 kilometres to 15.13 kilometres, taking competitors through the spectacular Southern Forests region.

Continue reading “Australian first: R5 on tarmac at Make Smoking History Targa South West”

Perseverance pays off for Greenham at Make Smoking History Targa South West

Greenham and Stagoll take the 2018 Outright crown.
Credit CMR Photographic

There was an intense battle at almost every stage during this weekend’s Make Smoking History Targa South West – with many producing equal first and second places, and even three way tie situations in both the Modern and Classic categories.

The new Northcliffe stage commanded competitors give both full attention and full throttle, and was a highlight for many. Despite the pressure being on with fresh routes and close competition, competitors kept their bearings for the full 130 competitive kilometres, with no event-ending incidents over the weekend. Continue reading “Perseverance pays off for Greenham at Make Smoking History Targa South West”

Make Smoking History Targa South West entry list released

The entry list for next weekend’s Make Smoking History Targa South West has been released with a field of 41 vehicles lining up for the ninth running of the tarmac rally.

As in previous years, the entry list features a diverse field with a mixture of both rookies and regulars in vehicles that represent many eras – from classic Ford Mustangs and Holden Toranas, to current model Porsches, BMWs and even a Tesla.

The vehicles will be put through their paces from Friday 18th May to Sunday 20th May on 130 kilometres of closed road, normally reserved for public touring traffic visiting the picturesque Manjimup and Pemberton region.

There have been some changes to the year’s stages with the addition of the Northcliffe stage, and amendments to the popular Gloucester stage which has been renamed as the Diamond Tree stage.

Continue reading “Make Smoking History Targa South West entry list released”

Entries open, electric car category and special rookie pricing for Make Smoking History Targa South West

Entries are now open for the ninth edition of the Make Smoking History Targa South West tarmac rally that will take place in and around Western Australian south west towns of Pemberton, Manjimup and new this year, Northcliffe from 18th to 20th May 2018. (Click here for the Entry Form)

Held over two days competitors will travel over 380 kilometres in total which includes 130 kilometres of flat out competition on 22 closed-road Special Stages that range in distance from 3.11 kilometres to 15.13 kilometres through the spectacular Southern Forests area.

Targa South West Event Director Ross Tapper said that competitors are excited about some changes to the course.

Templeman / Howlett – 2017 Quit Targa South West. Photo: Tim Allott

“The addition of Northcliffe is new this year and there are two runs south and north on the Pemberton to Northcliffe road. The stage around Pemberton has also changed and that’s generating some exciting chatter amongst competitors,” Mr Tapper said.

Driver Andy van Kann who has who has competed in every Targa South West event and has checked the stages said the course this year has the best on offer.

“The forestry-type stages at Targa South West are amazing – Big Brook Dam, Kurandra, Pump Hill and Gloucester are all in breathtaking country,” Mr van Kann said.

“I’m excited to see the very best of the Gloucester stage chosen, I mean, what would Targa South West be without that rail crossing. The stage is now called Diamond Tree and is short and very exciting.

“Northcliffe is a fast flowing stage with lots of crests and dips and long sweeping corners through glorious forestry. It will require precise driver and co-driver teamwork as there’s no room for error over the narrow blind crests. It’s an awesome rally drive and run in both directions,” Mr van Kann said.

van Kann / Kirkhouse – 2017 Quit Targa South West. Photo: Tim Allott

Competitors and crew can expect a warm welcome from the Northcliffe town folk with a service park and meal break in the main street of this romantic township.

Cars will start at 30-second intervals and race against the clock with the winner being the car that is fastest over all stages. Cars are grouped into classes and there are categories for Competition, Challenge and the new electric vehicle category.

“The automotive future is electric and we are receiving a fair bit of interest from WA dealers wishing to showcase electric cars in this environment – so we’ve included a new tour category for electric vehicles, a spirited enjoyable drive without the competition element,” Mr Tapper said.

“I encourage owners of electric cars to enter and enjoy a weekend in their cars along closed-roads – no experience is necessary.

“Make Smoking History Targa South West has a very relaxed atmosphere and provides a welcoming environment for first time rally competitors to learn the art of rallying and hone their driving skills without the pressure often associated with bigger events. Everyone who comes to Targa South West loves it.”

Mr Tapper said that rookies have special entry fee pricing.

“The essence of motorsport is competition, but what sets rallying apart from other codes of motorsport is the camaraderie and sense of community – a group of like-minded car enthusiasts sharing a common experience – a spirited drive in some of the State’s most picturesque areas.

“Rookies are made to feel especially welcome because everyone in rallying wants to see the sport grow,” Mr Tapper said.

Gan / Levene – 2017 Quit Targa South West. Photo: CMR Photographic

Make Smoking History Targa South West usually attracts a wide variety of cars from classics like Ford Escorts, Mustangs, Toranas and Commodores to more modern turbocharged Mitsubishi Evos, Subaru WRXs and Nissan GTRs and this year, electric cars such as the Tesla Roadster and the ‘gull winged’ Tesla Model X.

The Make Smoking History Targa South West fraternity will bring 400 people into the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton.

Organisers would like to thank Targa South West sponsors Healthway, along with the Make Smoking History message, Shannons, Cutts Transport, Manjimup Truffles, AAAC Towing and the Shire of Manjimup for their support along with series sponsors Go Gear and Perth Motorsport Tyres.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ONLINE ENTRY FORM

Main Pic: Al Blakers / Wayne Deighton, 2017 Quit Targa West. Photo: CMR Photographic