Wilson fights for the win at GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

The heat was on at the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint which tested man and machine last Sunday in temperatures of 30 degrees and not a breath of wind.
 
There were 120 competitors who lined up to race the clock in the Halifax Light Industrial Area along a 4-kilometre course, four times clockwise and four times anticlockwise; 94 competitors completed all eight runs.
 
Finishing fastest was Troy Wilson and co-driver Toni Cameron in Wilson’s 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, his fourth win at the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint, but this one wasn’t without it challenges.
 
“On my way to Bunbury, an hour out of Perth, I realised I’d left the keys to where I was staying, so I had to turn around and go back with the car on the trailer, and we almost missed scrutineering, and that was just the start,” Wilson said.
 

Troy Wilson / Toni Cameron,  Photo: Tim Allott


“Then at 6pm on Saturday night, the car was running on three cylinders, and then we realised we left our pace notes in Perth, so instead of enjoying the Show n Shine and dinner, we were out there beating darkness trying to rewrite our notes.
 
“Honestly, I thought that it was a sign that I shouldn’t do the event, but I don’t give up, and kept doing all we could to make it happen.
 
“On Sunday, I had a bad first half of the day and we had a lot of gremlins in the car’s electrics, it went into limp mode three times, and I estimate that I lost between 15 and 20 seconds,” Wilson said.
 
At the half way point, Peter Rullo and co-driver Jimmy Marquet were leading in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige, looking for back-to-back wins after their success at the Make Smoking History Targa West in August, however, the duo were forced to retire on the fifth stage with a mechanical, a suspected drive shaft issue.
 
Rullo’s bad fortune paved the way for Wilson’s success. 
 
Wilson said he was able to get hold of his tuner in Perth and fix the car’s electrics with the laptop to prevent it from going into limp mode.
 
“I lost launch control completely in the morning sessions and had to manually launch the car in the afternoon and we also made a small suspension change during the lunch service which improved the handling,” Wilson said.
 
“We almost didn’t make it to the start line, we literally finished the car two days before the rally and didn’t have time to test it.
 
“I’m really happy I was able to overcome all those problems and finish the event.
 
“Despite it all, it was an awesome rally, well organised by Targa West Event and the Bunbury Sprint is everyone’s favourite event, the spectators make it so much better. Thanks to sponsors and volunteers, we couldn’t do this without them,” said Wilson of Karrinyup.
 

Matt Cherry / Phillip Wilson,  Photo: Tim Allott


Finishing 22 seconds behind Wilson was Matt Cherry and co-driver Phillip Wilson in their 1982 Toyota Starlet, and just 6 seconds behind to take third place was David Heaton and co-driver Caleb Ash in their 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer. 
 
There are eleven classes in the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint determined by engine size, 2WD or 4WD and decade of manufacture. 
 
Taking the win in Class I for 2WD up to 2000cc was Simon Gunson and co-driver Murray Armenti in the 1980 Ford Escort Mk II.

Simon Gunson / Murray Armenti,  Photo: Tim Allott


According to Gunson, they only won by default.
 
“We did a Bradbury! Glenn Badger was leading then the wheels fell off his wagon, so it was just lucky we got the win really,” said Gunson.
 
“For us, doing the rallysprints in the Escort is just for fun, and me and Murray have laugh – it’s a good car for throwing around corners.
 
“It’s the first year that the Escort has finished Bunbury – the last two times we didn’t get through all the stages, so we’re happy.” 
 
Another competitor whose Class VII (Classics 1960s) win was by default was crowd favourite Cindy Gielingh-Jones with co-driver and husband Nigel Jones in their cute-as-button 1967 Mini Morris Cooper.
 
“We are stoked to have done a Bradbury on the last run of the event!” quipped Gielingh-Jones.
 
“As per usual, Bunbury turned it on for us with so many people loving seeing the mini – we had so much fun!”
 
The fastest local was Gelorup husband and wife duo Bill and Glenys Stagoll who won Class III (4WD up to 3500cc) and finished in 8th outright in their 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9.
 
“It all went extremely well and we had a great run except for one stage, I missed a corner and had to reverse up and lost 9 seconds, but besides that it was incident free,” said Stagoll.
 
“It was a bit hot, the car got up to 99 degrees, but it cooled down pretty quick.
 
“I really enjoy competing against Will White, he beat me with the fastest run, I was fastest overall – we were having a bit of a challenge, it was a fun event, I enjoyed it.”
 

Bill Stagoll / Glenys Stagoll,  Photo: Tim Allott
 
The 2019 Tesla 3 Performance+ driven by Jurgen Lunsmann with his co-driver and wife, Helen, one of three electric vehicles (EV) in the field, won their EV class and finished 11th outright.
 
Clerk of Course Ross Tapper said that while the heat made for uncomfortable conditions, it was a smooth incident-free event.
 
“It’s great to hear a lot of positive feedback from competitors, they really enjoy the short, sharp rallysprint format,” Tapper said.
 
“There was strong competition on the field and by all accounts, everyone had a ball.”
 
The GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint was also the final event in the nine-round Make Smoking History Targa Cup series. 
 
The winners of the 2021 Make Smoking History Targa Cup series are:
 
Early Classic – 1947 – 1971
Driver: Simon Gunson (1971 Carpri Perana)
Co-Driver: Nigel Jones 
 
Late Classic – 1972 – 1985
Driver: Tim Wolfe (1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS) 
Co-Driver: Scott Beckwith
 
Early Modern – 1986 – 2007
Driver: Andy Tudor (2004 Porsche 996 Turbo)
Co-Driver: Glenys Stagoll

Modern – 2008+
Driver: Steve Jones (2008 Nissan R35 GTR)
Co-Driver: Caleb Ash

 

Cindy Gielingh-Jones and Nigel Jones. Photo: Tim Alllott

Street racing at GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint

Bunbury is set to roar to life with action and excitement as the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint drives into town on 27th and 28th November.
 
Before competitors take the streets at 9am on Sunday 28th November, car lovers can get up close and admire the beautiful machines at the Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine on Saturday 27th November event at the Bunbury Geographe Motor Museum from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.
 
Spectators can get their high-octane fix admiring all manner of rally cars being put through their paces in a capacity field capped at 130 competitors that includes classics such as Mustang, Datsun, Triumph, Chevrolet Camaro, Morris Cooper, Ford Escort, Falcon Sprint and Holden Commodore, and modern vehicles like Dodge Viper, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Toyota Yaris Rallye, Nissan GTR, Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Evos and everything in between.
 
Event Director Ross Tapper said that the short-fast Rallysprint format is popular with competitors.
 
“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.
 
“There’s a real appetite in the South West for the short, sharp format of the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint – it’s so popular that’s we’ve had to cap competitor numbers.
 
“To keep things manageable, we’ve split competitors into two groups which also gives drivers a break and the chance to watch the competition, something they don’t normally have a chance to do,” Tapper said.
 

202 Winner Troy Wilson.  Photo: Tim Allott


Last year’s winner Troy Wilson has taken the title three times and this year, he’ll have Toni Cameron calling the notes in his 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.
 
The only Targa Bunbury Sprint Wilson hasn’t won was in 2019 when he had a 15-second lead but snapped the diff at the start line of the second half of the event.
 
About nine months ago, Wilson went off track damaging his car in the Auto One Targa Albany Sprint and since then, hasn’t done many competitive kilometres in the car.
 
“I wasn’t able to get a part for the car because of Covid, so the only event I’ve done since March was the RallySprint (at Motorplex) the other week, which we used as a shake-down … and I only finished first,” Wilson quipped.
 
“I love this event because it’s like the street circuits you see on TV – you’re allowed to cut loose as fast as you can on the streets, legally.
 
“The atmosphere is amazing with Bunbury locals who show so much support, the crowds that go along to watch are pretty awesome,” said the former West Coast Eagle.
 
Last year’s runner ups were Dardanup’s Will White and Eaton’s Matthew Thompson who are in a new car, a powerful 2018 Nissan GTR Nismo. Their previous car, a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 is being passed down to the next generation.
 
“My plan is to gun it but drive it with respect, because without respect, you crash,” said White, owner of Dardanup Removals.
 
“The GTR is a bit heavy for sprint racing, so we don’t expect to finisher faster than Troy. We’re using this as a learning phase for Targa West next year.”

Will White’s new Nissan GTR Nismo at Targa West. Photo: image1265

Will White’s son, 22-year-old rookie Rohan, will be behind the wheel of the Evo and have experienced co-driver Steph Esterbauer sitting beside him calling the notes.
 
Peter Rullo, winner of Make Smoking History Targa West in August, will be joined by long-time friend Jimmy Marquet calling the notes in their 2020 SSC Lotus Exige GT. Last year the duo finished fourth outright in Bunbury and you can bet that they’ll be fierce competitors – these two love the taste of victory. 
 
A Bunbury local, Greg Freeman of GT Fabrication has a car you’ll hear before you see, his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro grunts, thumps and screeches around corners. In the passenger seat will be Mandy Lister calling the notes.
 
Gerorup husband and wife duo Bill and Glenys Stagoll have proven their pace in the past in their 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9, last year finishing sixth outright.
 
There are three electric vehicles (EVs) in the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint entry list, and one unique enviro-friendly charging system that will be used by the 2019 Tesla 3 Performance+ driven by Jurgen Lunsmann with his co-driver and wife, Helen. 
 
Whisper quiet, you mightn’t hear them coming, and if you blink you might miss them altogether. The Tesla is quick and has a proven track record in competition winning its class convincingly and finishing 10th outright at WA’s premier four-day rally, Make Smoking History Targa West in August.
 
At the Bunbury Sprint, the team will take sustainability a step further by charging the Tesla with a 100kW generator that runs on used chip oil to power a 50kW DC fast charger for the rally car.

“We will be recharging between runs. We could finish the event on a single charge but would lose some competitiveness at a lower charge. And charging the car helps us tell the chip oil story.” 
 
The charging system was developed by Toceva so the Tesla wouldn’t have to miss any competitive kilometres due to low or slow charge, and after the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint, it will be taken to its new home on the Nullarbor and will be used to plug the gap between the South Australian and Western Australian Governments’ EV charge networks. Waste chip oil will be collected from roadhouses to power the generator.
 
So if you don’t see or hear the Tesla, you might get a whiff – just follow the aroma of chips or dim sims in the Service Park. 
 
Each competitor will race the clock along the 4-kilometre course four times clockwise and four times anticlockwise. The odd numbered cars will go first and then the even numbers.
 

Spectators watching the action. Photo: Gemma Lucas, Drift Images


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.
 
If you like thrills and spills, then get along to a GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint spectator point on Sunday 28th November. Last year, 24 competitors did not finish, and it’d be fair to say there was carnage on the course with an attrition rate of 18 per cent resulting from a roll over, several incidents, some cars kissing barriers and plenty suffering mechanical issues.
 
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. The entire GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint is free. 
 
Spectators are encouraged and only permitted in marked spectators areas:
Corner of McCombe Road and Jordan Way (two spectator points)
Corner Halifax Drive and Monkhouse St
Corner Halifax Drive and Clifford St 
Corner of Gibbons Road and Marchant Street
 
For more information visit www.targabunburysprint.com.au and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/targawest.

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

DOWNLOAD THE SPECTATOR GUIDE HERE.

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
www.quitnow.gov.au
www.targasouthwest.com.au
www.targawest.com.au
www.rallysprints.com.au