Lights on racing at GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

For the first time, the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint will run after dark, starting at 2:00pm on Saturday 5th December and it’s expected to finish under lights at 9:00pm.

The capacity field capped at 130 competitors includes V8 Supercar Driver Alex Rullo and two competitors, Mark Cates (Bunbury) and Chris Caruso (Maida Vale), both competing in two different cars in two categories.

Event Director Ross Tapper said that the short-fast Rallysprint format is popular with competitors.

“It’s the first time we’ve run the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint at night, and to keep things fair, we’ve split competitors into two groups to manage the number of runs each car has in twilight and at night,” Tapper said.

“After moving the event from June to December due to COVID, we could have expected hot weather hence wanting to run into the cool of the evening. Instead, it’s looking like it will be mild 24 degrees and obviously cooler at night – perfect conditions for a rally.”

Each competitor will race the clock along the streets of the 4-kilometre course four times clockwise and four times anticlockwise.

Spectators watch Greg Freeman in the GT Fabrication Camaro.
Photo: Tim Allott

Car enthusiasts can see a huge array of rally cars fanging around the Halifax Light Industrial Area from classic Mini, Datsun, Torana, Ford Escorts and Mustangs to powerful V8s, turbo-charged rally cars as well as exotic cars will compete in the fastest growing segment of motorsport in Australia.

Spectators can get a closer look at the cars at the Shannons Show n Shine on Friday 4th December 5.30pm to 8.30pm at the Bunbury Hotel on Holman Street.

Cates will be competing in his 2019 Porsche GT3 RS and his classic 1977 Holden Torana A9X, which Caruso will be in his beastly 2008 Dodge Viper ACR and his 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Mark Cates’ 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Photo: Tim Allott

Rookie Alex Rullo, 20, whose last race was in a V8 Supercar at Bathurst in 2019, said he was keen to get behind the wheel of his father Peter Rullo’s 2020 SSC Lotus Exige Targa GT, the car that Peter Rullo drove to victory to win the Make Smoking History Targa South West rally in August.

“I’m looking forward to the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint in the old boy’s car, so keeping it on the track is the goal,” Alex Rullo said.

“I’ve never seen the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint or competed in any Targa events and I’ve always wanted to, so I don’t really know what to expect.

“I’ve only driven the car once on the road and not at speed, but it’s power that I’m used to. I’m just going to go out there and have fun.”

Rullo said that he was waiting for the official word on who his co-driver would be.

“It’s likely to be dad, which could be annoying, but I can always unplug the comms!”

Peter Rullo / Jimmy Marquet.  Photo: Phil Williams

Rallysprint requires team work between driver and co-driver and the ability to drive with obstacles in close vicinity to the road, neither of which can be practised on a race track.

Rallysprint is fast, fun and great for those new to rallying as well as those more experienced who want to keep their skills honed.

All the action at the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint will take place in the Halifax Light Industrial Area, with the service park on McCombe Road near the junction of Gibbons Road. It’s free to spectate at the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint.

Tapper said the Bunbury city centre will be alive with the colour and noise of tarmac rallying.

“The street circuit will be exciting for competitors, spectators and local businesses as cars give it their all to finish on the podium,” the Event Director said.

Spectators are encouraged and only permitted in marked spectators areas:

  • Corner of McCombe Road and Jordan Way (two spectator points)
  • Corner Halifax Drive and Juniper Way
  • Corner of Gibbons Road and Marchant Street


Featured Image: Mark Greenham & Steph Esterbauer Photo: Tim Allott

From pole to pole position, redemption at GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

Greenham / Esterbauer. Photo: Tim Allott

Redemption was the key word at this year’s GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint after Mark Greenham and Stephanie Esterbauer finished on the top step on the weekend (22-23 June 2019) to take the title in torrential conditions.

Three years ago the duo shut the event down after crashing into two power poles, one of which was broken in two and resulted in a power outage to half of Bunbury, including ironically the hospital they were taken to.

Greenham said after his big crash at the inaugural Bunbury Sprint and subsequent lengthy recovery, the win feels extra special.

Continue reading “From pole to pole position, redemption at GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint”

Huge field revs into Bunbury for GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

The GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint will rev into the south west of Western Australia this weekend, 22-23 June, giving some old-timers the ride of their life as well as a chance for motoring enthusiasts to get up close and admire fine cars.

Over 115 cars from classic Mini, Datsun and Ford Escorts to powerful V8s, turbo-charged rally cars and exotic cars will compete in the fastest growing segment of motorsport in Australia.

Continue reading “Huge field revs into Bunbury for GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint”

Troy Wilson wins 2018 GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

Troy Wilson has steered his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 to victory in the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint with a dominant display over the largest field in the event’s history.

Wilson and his co-driver Toni Cameron, who was contesting her first rally event, were fastest over the majority of the eight runs around the 4km course in the Halifax Light Industrial Area, which were run in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions during the day.

The pair ultimately finished more than 27 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals Dennis Heller/Keian Guy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8MR) in second who held off Paul Brockbank/Josh Gardner (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) by just over 1 second to finish third.

Dennis Heller/Keian Guy fought hard for second outright

“It’s my favourite event, so to win it again (Wilson won the event in 2016) knowing that a lot of other crews had made upgrades to their cars and coming in with a brand new co-driver who had never been in the car with me is just awesome,” Wilson said.

“Everyone has been congratulating me on the overall winning margin, and when you look at it now it sounds like I did it easy, but in reality it wasn’t easy at all. We had some dramas out there and it was a bit of a rollercoaster with mechanical and tyre issues, to be honest at one point I thought we were going to have to put it back on the trailer, but we made it through and it makes the victory even sweeter.”

Paul Brockbank / Josh Gardner crossed the line in Third Outright

“I was very anxious yesterday as during recce you don’t get to run at the speed so it’s easy enough to call the notes but I just didn’t know how fast I was going to have to get them out when we were racing,” Cameron said.

“When it came down to it I just focused on the notes, watched the track, and tried not to pay too much attention to what Troy was doing,” she continued.

“She was awesome, didn’t miss a beat today,” Wilson added.

Pre-event favourites and local hopefuls Will White/Matthew Thompson finished just off the podium in fourth with Mark Greenham/Steph Esterbauer in fifth.

Former World Rally Championship competitor, Alister McRae and his co-driver Declan Stafford were fastest of the classic vehicles rounding out the top ten outright and finishing just under 30 seconds ahead of their closest rivals in their 1978 Porsche 911 RRSR.

“The car was good, it was the first time we drove it this morning so it was a case of getting used to it but it did everything it should do and the stage was better than I thought it would be for sure,” McRae said.

Alister McRae / Declan Stafford were first Classic across the line

“The long fast stuff and the tight junctions were a bit tough under breaking and we had to be careful of the big curbs on the side of the road but it was good fun.”

Before the action kicked off on Sunday, locals were given a chance to get up close and personal to the cars and the crews at the Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine which was held along Victoria Street on Saturday evening.

The GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint was a points based rally sprint counting towards the West Australian Make Smoking History Targa Cup.

More than 110 vehicles entered the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint with every car competing in one of eight category classes based on drive-layout, engine capacity and modification level.

The next event in the 2018 Make Smoking History Targa Cup is the Targa West Track Day and Mid Year Rallysprint. Click here for details.

For full results please click here
For results broken down by class click here

Largest ever field set to contest GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

A bumper field of more than 110 classic, exotic and modern cars will contest the 2018 GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint, this weekend – the largest entry list in the event’s history.

The event is a points-based rally sprint competition and is a round of the Make Smoking History Targa Cup, which includes shorter sprint events as well as marquee events such as the Make Smoking History Targa West, Make Smoking History Targa South West and GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint.

Competitors will tackle the 4km course around the Halifax Light Industrial Area eight times on Sunday 24 June, with the event running in an anti-clockwise direction in the morning and then clockwise in the afternoon.

Continue reading “Largest ever field set to contest GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint”

Targa West announce Heathway sponsorship to continue until 2019

Targa West is delighted to announce Healthway and the Make Smoking History message have extended their support as major sponsors of the Targa Events for the next two years.

Healthway have been longstanding supporters of Targa West, with 2018 being the 14th year of sponsorship.

“We are pleased the sport of rallying has again been chosen as advocates for living a healthy, active lifestyle, and as promoters of the important Make Smoking History message,” said Targa West Director Ross Tapper.

“Due to the growing popularity of tarmac rallying in Western Australia, our event’s portfolio continues to grow thanks to the support of sponsors like Healthway.”

Healthway is the title sponsor for Make Smoking History Targa South West, Make Smoking History Targa West and Make Smoking History Targa Cup.

Healthway is a state government agency that promotes and facilitates good health and activities which encourages healthy lifestyles.

Healthway’s Acting Executive Director Maree De Lacey said Healthway is delighted to continue to partner with Targa West events to help encourage smokers to quit and create smoke free environments.

“Tobacco smoking is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease in Australia, and quitting at any age has health benefits. Targa West events are the perfect vehicle to spread the Make Smoking History message to a wide audience.”

Tapper said that that not everyone realises that motorsport requires a high level of fitness to compete.

“Rally in particularly requires fitness levels because the stages are long and demanding and you can’t afford to get fatigued,” Tapper said.

Perth’s longest and most demanding tarmac rally is Make Smoking History Targa West. Run over four days in Perth and the surrounding areas, it is the State’s premium tarmac rally attracting the best cars and drivers from WA and Australia.

Datsun 707pxPhoto: Darren Kelley

Last year, a Targa Tour was introduced and novices participated in a spirited drive behind a professional lead car while learning driving techniques, co-driving tips and how rally events operate.

Healthway is also silver sponsors of the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint and the Shannons Targa Rallysprint series comprising of six events.

Competing in a Rallysprint doesn’t require the same time commitment or expense as competing in traditional Targa and rally events, thus making it a great introduction to the sport.

“Five of the six events are run on Thursday evenings after work at the Perth Motorplex making it easy to compete in motorsport during the summer,” Mr Tapper said.

“We designed the Rallysprint events to be short and sharp, to cater for the time poor rally enthusiasts, those new to tarmac rallying as well as to provide an opportunity for experienced rally drivers to keep their skills sharp in between seasons.”

Tapper said that Rallysprint requires teamwork between driver and co-driver.

“Drivers will need to negotiate obstacles in close vicinity of the road with the help of their co-driver whilst racing the clock, which is quite different to simply racing around on a race track.”

The next Rallysprint is on Thursday night (7 December), held once per month until March on Thursday evenings at Perth Motorplex on a 3.25km course that is run four times, alternating clockwise and anti clockwise each event.

The Targa season will kick off with Make Smoking History Targa South West, a two-day rally on closed roads through the picturesque areas of Manjimup and Pemberton on 18 – 20 May.

“Targa South West is an event suited to all levels of motorsport experience – from the rookie competing in their regular car, to the serious competitor with a purpose built tarmac rally car. There’s a fantastic camaraderie between all competitors, which is one of the characteristics of rallying as sport,” Tapper said.

For more information visit:Make Smoking History_Logo_white