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Rally driver Peter Rullo of Gooseberry Hill is looking forward to competing in his eighth Quit Targa West this weekend. Picture: MANOLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Targa West action

RALLY driver Peter Rullo of Gooseberry Hill is set to compete in his eighth Quit Targa West this weekend, including stages on Mundaring Weir Rd – and Kalamunda’s Zig Zag on Friday.

Rullo said driving the Zig Zag section of the 242km  rally was got great for a Nissan GT-R due to the extremely tight first corner.

He said while tight and technical the hairpin bend had a spectacular view if anyone had time to glimpse away from the road.

But the stages between Kalamunda and Mundaring were some of the fastest flowing stages in the 34-stage rally and really well suited to the GT-R.

Rullo said they were constantly hunting for greater reliability from the car so they had made a few tweaks here and there.

His co-driver will be Jimmy Marquet with whom he has competed for the past three years.

Before heading to Kalamunda competitors were to race the clock on stages in Malaga, Wanneroo and Whiteman Park after the ceremonial start on Thursday at Forrest Place in the Perth central business district.

Driver Peter Major, who has won four of the last seven Targa West events, finished second in another and fourth in the classic category, is hoping to finish first again and end his rallying career on a high.

Major, 32, has a new co-driver this year, experienced navigator Ben Searcy.

“Ben and I have known each other for years and we’ve always said we’d do a rally together, and this being my last, we’ve made it happen.

“We haven’t done a rally together before, but we’ve done the recce in Malaga and that went well.

“I’m looking forward to pulling on the helmet and can’t wait to get going – four days straight of racing is going to be fun.

“I’m hoping the weather stays dry too – more so for the officials. Without officials we wouldn’t be able to do motorsport, so I hope they don’t have to stand out in the rain all day.’’

The Targa West website said spectators could catch a shuttle bus at Service Park on Railway Rd from 11.35pm to 3pm on Friday.

There was no parking available at the Zig Zag or in the shopping car parks at Kalamunda.

Spectators can park in Jorgenson Park (off Mundaring Weir Rd) and catch the shuttle bus to Williams St next to the Service Park in Kalamunda or to the spectator point at the Zig Zag.

The City of Kalamunda said the rally cars would stop on Railway Rd just outside the visitor centre.

Activities on the day organised by the city include Paddy Sweeney from Channel 9, Stevedore’s Jazz Band, acoustic solo performer, Lilyan Smith, a Veteran Car Club of WA display, a Curtin Motorsport display and team members onsite for a chat, big screen and spectator pop quiz.

Competitors head to Toodyay, Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook on Saturday before more rally action in Malaga on Sunday.

The 13th Quit Targa West has attracted 64 rally teams in a mix of performance, classic and exotic vehicles ready to race the clock during the 242km event, which includes stages at Barbagallo Raceway and in Malaga, Whiteman Park, Kalamunda and Zig Zag Scenic Dr.

Event director Ross Tapper said there were plenty of opportunities for motorsport fans to see the cars up close on display as well as dedicated spectator points along the stages to watch them race.

“The Malaga stage on Sunday morning  will have increased entertainment for motorsport fans – drift cars will put on a smoking showcase of sideways action in between runs of the rally cars,’’ he said.

“We are delighted to welcome back a number of repeat competitors and to welcome the ever-increasing number of first-time rookie competitors – almost 25 per cent of the field are first-timers spread across the new Targa tour, challenge and competition category.

Major said with a five week old baby and 19-month-old at home his wife was not too happy he was out rallying so he making this one his last Targa.

“I grew up with a lot of circuit racing but I’ve really enjoyed the difference in rallying – someone sitting next to you, someone experiencing everything with you,” he said.

“In circuit racing you don’t have that.

“But I can’t do it all, so I’m going focus on one discipline from here on.’’

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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