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Winner of the Competition Modern category Peter Rullo (right) celebrated his 50th birthday during the race. Photo: Supplied.

Rally victory for Rullo

By Melissa Sheil

THE 2021 Targa West four-day rally race concluded on Sunday, September 19, with a local taking out the top prize for the second time.

Gooseberry Hill resident Peter Rullo won the coveted Competition Modern category with co-driver Jimmy Marquet in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT, following up their 2018 win.

“This is what we love to do and there’s not too many places in Australia where you can enjoy this type of event, so thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen,” Mr Rullo said.

“We had an awesome lead up and Jimmy was faultless – you do need to listen to the co-driver.

“The whole event went exactly to plan.”

The pair increased their lead incrementally day by day, finishing fastest or equal fastest in 21 of the 37 stages and finishing second fastest in 13 stages to take the overall win at 1:39 minutes ahead of the runners up.

Local councillors also took part in the race, with City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey and City of Kalamunda Deputy Mayor Dylan O’Connor both competing – Cr O’Connor for the first time.

“[Before the event] I asked Mayor Bailey about his experience in Targa and he assured me that it would be the best fun I’d ever have in a car – he was right,” Cr O’Connor said.

“Our 1998 Hyundai Excel was keeping some impressive company with the likes of some Porsches, Lotus’s and Mustangs and was definitely punching above its weight.

“It was especially fun to race up the Zig Zag going as fast as the Excel’s engine and tyres would allow it to go.

“My partner and co-driver Leigh and I were thrilled to have success, coming first in our category and fourth in our class and will definitely be keen to compete again next year.”

Cr Dylan O’Connor with his partner and co-driver Leigh Fowler.

Cr O’Connor, who also works as a teacher at Forrestfield Primary School, got his students to sign his car before the race and afterwards passed on letters of thanks they had written to the volunteer rally organisers.

Mayor Kevin Bailey wasn’t so fortunate, with a crash on day one forcing him and West Swan co-driver Eric Purvis to retire early to repair their 1993 Nissan Silvia S13, re-joining the race on day two.

“We had so many people help us get parts from all over Perth yesterday and last night – oil cooler, tyre rod, headlights, new comms,” he said.

“We used two rolls of gaffa tape and about 25 cable ties, but she’s holding together beautifully.

“The car’s going great now, it’s my pride that got a hammering.”

For more results visit www.targawest.com.au/news/

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