Ashley Westwood was at the Killarnée Targa South West last weekend in Western Australia. This is the first of our galleries which features modern machinery.
2014 Killarnée Targa South West Wrap-Up
The 2014 Killarnée Targa South West tarmac rally proved to be an extremely testing event for drivers and officials alike. The continuous rain squalls that swept across the south-west corner of the State last weekend ensured that the roads stayed wet and slippery and made life uncomfortable for all those involved.
Many of the drivers commented on the variation in grip as the most challenging aspect of the rally. Thick forest and overhanging trees made some areas like an ice skating rink while more open areas dried out a lot quicker providing a completely different surface. And lessons were learnt by all who competed.
Many are today counting the cost of varying degrees of damage to their cars though the biggest repair bills will belong to Bill and Glenys Stagoll and Murray Hynes and Steve Syson who both came off second best in separate collisions with a tree (or in Bill and Glenys’ case trees).
Sharon Gunson, in the MTA sponsored Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7, summed up the conditions best while awaiting her turn to complete a lap of the Pemberton town stage on Sunday morning. “I have never spent so much time cleaning my side window,” she said with a massive smile on her face. “I spent a lot of time going sideways this weekend and needed to look out that window to see where I was going. “When this car is going sideways you know it is really slippery.”
But there were also some drivers who really enjoyed the extra slip. None more than Denver Parker in his 1993 Nissan Skyline R33 who was competing in his first Killarnée Targa South West. With his father Robert a veteran motorsport driver and administrator, Denver has spent his entire life around the sport.
While this was his first Targa event he has raced in the drift series and is a regular competitor in the Street Car Championships at Barbagallo Raceway. “It was good out there,” he said after the event. “The car went really well and I felt I drove OK,” When asked how he handled the conditions he said there were times, like on the Gloucester stage, when he back it off to nine tenths but otherwise the car hung on pretty well. “It is sitting on pretty big rubber which helps,” he said. But he also admitted that with his drifting experience he does not mind hanging the back end of the car out coming out of a corner and using the car’s power to get it back in line.
It was a decision that made him one of the crowd favourites, especially in the two town stages in Manjimup on Saturday afternoon and Pemberton on Sunday morning. While Parker said he enjoyed Targa South West his Nissan does not comply for Targa West so it was unlikely he would be competing at that level. Instead, he has his sights set on heading to Europe and competing in endurance races.
Photos by Ashley Westwood.
Words via media materials
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