The 17th edition of the Make Smoking History Targa West gets underway this week with 64 crews from around Western Australia to do battle over four days of non-stop action.
More than 270 competitive kilometres await crews for the popular tarmac rally, which will see them tackle 37 stages around Perth and its surrounding regions, including Toodyay, Chittering, Mundaring, Perth Hills and the Cities of Kalamunda and Swan.
Crews will start the event on Thursday with nine short and sharp stages before taking on a further eight on Friday. Friday’s action will conclude in Kalamunda and then Northbridge for the Show’N’Shine, which will provide locals with a spectacular showing of all competing cars, as well as give them an opportunity to meet the individuals driving them.
Saturday serves as the biggest day with almost half of the event’s whole competitive distance being run across the 14 stages, including the event’s longest stage, Maryville Downs, which spans a challenging 19.67 kilometres and will be run twice consecutively.
WA’s premier tarmac rally will then conclude on Sunday with the remaining 35 kilometres to be spread over five exciting street stages around Malaga and Perth's CBD where the Gala Presentation Dinner will be a fitting send off to another big year of competition.
Some of the highlights of the event include Thursday’s new ceremonial start venue at the Supreme Court Gardens, Friday’s crowd-pleasing Kalamunda and Zig Zag stages and the City Sprint, the mega vehicle display at Langley Park and Riverside Drive and the Celebration of Motorsport and Shannons Classics on the Swan, all of which run on Sunday.
Click here to view the 2021 Targa West Rally Guide.
Competitor-wise, the 64 car entry list features a number of talented steerers including reigning champion Mark Greenham in his winning 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 and last year’s fellow podium getters, Will White and Jeffrey Foster.
2018 event-winner Peter Rullo, four-time winner Steve Jones, Motorsport Australia TARGA Championship regular Mark Cates and RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) driver John O’Dowd are amongst the other big names locked in.
Click here for the entry list.
O’Dowd isn’t the only ARC representative to run in the four-day event with teenager Max McRae headlining the pool of the 15 rookie drivers entered.
This weekend will be McRae’s first major tarmac rally in his career and the 17-year-old was excited to tick off another key ticket item.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” McRae said.
“I know how to succeed in rallying, I’ve got to have good experience of all surfaces. There aren’t too many Tarmac events down here, it’s not quite the same as in Europe, but Targa West is a really good one.
“There are some fantastic roads and it’s a good chance to put a lot of miles down in a couple of days.
“On gravel, you can have a small margin for error because the car’s going to be sliding a little bit more. That’s not the case on Tarmac and the notes have to be absolutely perfect. I’ll be doing a lot of preparation on the onboards through this week.”
Spectators are also the big winners for the event with multiple stages available as spectator points and all service breaks and extra activations free for fans.
Click here for to view the Spectator Guide.
The 2021 Make Smoking History Targa West takes place in Perth and surrounding regions on 16-19 September.