The stage is set for next month’s Make Smoking History Targa South West with 50 entries confirmed for the 11th edition of the popular tarmac rally.
Set amongst the spectacular Southern Forests region, the field will do battle over 122 competitive kilometres across 12 closed-road stages in and around Pemberton and Northcliffe.
While the event is headlined by the Competition Modern and Competition Classic categories, it will also play host to the Targa 130, Targa 165 and the electric vehicle Targa Tour.
Leading the impressive field are competition favourites and Mark Greenham and Steph Esterbauer in their Race Torque Engineering 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 with Greenham hoping to make it three Targa South Wests in a row.
Photo: Drift Images
The reigning champion’s biggest challenge will come in the form of Mark Cates with Declan Stafford in a 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Targa West star Peter Rullo, who will be running the brand new Rullo’s Land Surveys / Autostrada Lotus Exige Targa GT Spec for the first time.
Previous event winner Will White will also be a contender for the outright victory with the 2017 champion to partner up with Matt Thompson behind the wheel of the Dardanup Removals / Store Local 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
In the classic competition, current champion Tim Wolf is locked in to defend his title and will be steering the Dieselcraft 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS alongside a new co-driver in Scott Beckwith.
Outside of the individual stars, motorsport fans will enjoy the wide mix of vehicles throughout the event with Mustangs, Camaros, Dodge Viper, Porsches, Subaru WRXs and Nissan GTRs all confirmed to compete.
With the usual two-day event downsized to a single day of competition, Clerk of Course Ross Tapper is using the event as an opportunity to prepare properly for October’s Targa West.
Photo: Tim Allott
“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.”
“COVID has been a wakeup 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.
“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."
With COVID-19 restrictions easing in Western Australia, spectators will be allowed entry into the event at different spectator points, with live results also available for interstate fans.
The Make Smoking History Targa South West takes place in Pemberton and Northcliffe on 8 August.