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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
For something a little different this year we are combining our annual Targa Season Launch function with an awards night for the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series.
Please join us in the basement of the old General Electric Building on Murray Street at The Edison Bar Music Eats , on Saturday 17th March to congratulate the outright and class winners of the Shannons Targa Rallysprint Series. You will also find out all the latest information relating to this years Targa South West and Targa West tarmac rallies
Where: The Edison, 385 Murray Street, Perth
When: Saturday, 17th March from 6pm – 8pm
Food: Light refreshments available courtesy of The Edison
Bar: Cash Bar available
RSVP: Please use the form below or click here
Rather than the traditional formal setting we thought that The Edison would provide competitors, friends and family the opportunity to mingle and socialise in a relaxed setting rather than the normally frantic brief chat between stages at a Rallysprint or Targa West.
A special thank you to regular Targa West competitor Dave Heaton for making The Edison available for us to use.
We look forward to catching up with you on the 17th March for all the latest gossip on the forthcoming Targa West season.
Targa West is delighted to announce Healthway and the Make Smoking History message have extended their support as major sponsors of the Targa Events for the next two years.
Healthway have been longstanding supporters of Targa West, with 2018 being the 14th year of sponsorship.
“We are pleased the sport of rallying has again been chosen as advocates for living a healthy, active lifestyle, and as promoters of the important Make Smoking History message,” said Targa West Director Ross Tapper.
“Due to the growing popularity of tarmac rallying in Western Australia, our event’s portfolio continues to grow thanks to the support of sponsors like Healthway.”
Healthway is the title sponsor for Make Smoking History Targa South West, Make Smoking History Targa West and Make Smoking History Targa Cup.
Healthway is a state government agency that promotes and facilitates good health and activities which encourages healthy lifestyles.
Healthway’s Acting Executive Director Maree De Lacey said Healthway is delighted to continue to partner with Targa West events to help encourage smokers to quit and create smoke free environments.
“Tobacco smoking is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease in Australia, and quitting at any age has health benefits. Targa West events are the perfect vehicle to spread the Make Smoking History message to a wide audience.”
Tapper said that that not everyone realises that motorsport requires a high level of fitness to compete.
“Rally in particularly requires fitness levels because the stages are long and demanding and you can’t afford to get fatigued,” Tapper said.
Perth’s longest and most demanding tarmac rally is Make Smoking History Targa West. Run over four days in Perth and the surrounding areas, it is the State’s premium tarmac rally attracting the best cars and drivers from WA and Australia.
Photo: Darren Kelley
Last year, a Targa Tour was introduced and novices participated in a spirited drive behind a professional lead car while learning driving techniques, co-driving tips and how rally events operate.
Healthway is also silver sponsors of the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint and the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series comprising of six events.
Competing in a Rallysprint doesn’t require the same time commitment or expense as competing in traditional Targa and rally events, thus making it a great introduction to the sport.
“Five of the six events are run on Thursday evenings after work at the Perth Motorplex making it easy to compete in motorsport during the summer,” Mr Tapper said.
“We designed the Rallysprint events to be short and sharp, to cater for the time poor rally enthusiasts, those new to tarmac rallying as well as to provide an opportunity for experienced rally drivers to keep their skills sharp in between seasons.”
Tapper said that Rallysprint requires teamwork between driver and co-driver.
“Drivers will need to negotiate obstacles in close vicinity of the road with the help of their co-driver whilst racing the clock, which is quite different to simply racing around on a race track.”
The next Rallysprint is on Thursday night (7 December), held once per month until March on Thursday evenings at Perth Motorplex on a 3.25km course that is run four times, alternating clockwise and anti clockwise each event.
The Targa season will kick off with Make Smoking History Targa South West, a two-day rally on closed roads through the picturesque areas of Manjimup and Pemberton on 18 – 20 May.
“Targa South West is an event suited to all levels of motorsport experience – from the rookie competing in their regular car, to the serious competitor with a purpose built tarmac rally car. There’s a fantastic camaraderie between all competitors, which is one of the characteristics of rallying as sport,” Tapper said.
For more information visit: