PRONTO PR’s Lauren Cornes reminds us there’s just seven more sleeps until the Perth CBD comes alive with performance, exotic and classic vehicles set for 2016’s Quit Targa West tarmac rally, August 11-14.
The cars are on display in Forrest Place from 11am Thursday August 11, before the flag falls at 2pm to begin the four-day extravaganza.
The 60+ list features the first-ever entry of an electric car – a 125kw BMW I3, with Joseph Law pedalling and Alex Butler yelling the way to go – using the petrol extender motor to recharge during liaison. It’ll be serviced by the MTA apprentice young guns, a nifty bunch who work with the GTI Racing team, earning them an invaluable learning experience.
And what would QTW be without the Porsche Cayman of its former champs, Gentleman Jim Richards and co-driver Barry Oliver – my old (being the operative word) mate and the Apple Isle’s favourite son – joint seven-time Targa Tassie winners? Go you good things!
The line-up includes the five-time TT-winning Lambo Gallardo Superleggera, loaned by its east-coast owner to WA rally regular John O’Dowd. (And I’ll wager there’s a few conditions involved in that deal)!
“It’s good to get it to WA and let the public have a look at it, listen to it and see it in action,” O’Dowd said today.
He’ll have experienced local rally co-driver Ben Searcy, to show him the way, not that either of them is any slouch.
“Ben co-drives for me on the gravel and he’s fantastic – very good with the notes and very professional in what he does. We’re not going to get much time in the car before the event, so it’s going to be a learning curve to drive something like this. The whole strategy is just to get out there and see how we go while having some fun – I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination we’ll be winning.”
By the time they cross the finish line on Sunday week, they’ll have travelled an overall 921kms and completed 239 competitive klicks through Barbagallo Raceway at Wanneroo, Malaga, Whiteman Park, Kalamunda, Toodyay, Lower Chittering, Bullsbrook and Perth City. The 34 tarmac rally stages cover conditions from tight city sprints to fast flowing open roads.
QTW has five competition categories with both the Competitive and the speed- limited Challenge category for modern vehicles and classic vehicles, and a Rookie segment.
O’Dowd’s fellow State rally competitor Bob Fisher is piloting one of the Classics, the stunning ‘67 Triumph TR4A which is travelling very nicely on the national tarmac rally circuits, thank you very much. He and daughter Louise Paul took class runner-up at last year’s TT and this is their fourth QTW.
Fisher bought the Triumph from the UK four years ago completely refitting it mechanically. “We converted it to be purely a competition vehicle ensuring none of the car’s integrity was lost, and keeping all the major mechanical items such as the engine and cooling system,” he said.
“Rallying is becoming more about the big V8s and the hot cars, but I love my little Triumph and it gets good results – she goes pretty quickly around the corners and that’s good enough for me.
“I chose her because of the affection I have for the older classic cars but we’ve taken the car to the point she is very robust, very strong and very perky. She’s now a racing car – you wouldn’t take her on picnics anymore! “
There are heaps of great opportunities for spectators to watch these mighty machines in action – all for free – from the designated viewing points set-up on each stage.
You can downloaded the Spectator Guide, detailing where the points are and precisely what time each of the cars is expected to zoom past, from by going the QTW website: