Ashley Westwood was at the Killarnée Targa South West last weekend in Western Australia. This is the first of our galleries which features classic machinery.
If you want to see the modern cars, head over here
The Killarnée Targa South West may have been designed as a practice event but it does not mean the competitors won’t be taking it seriously.
For most, the rally, which will be run from Friday to Sunday in and around Manjimup and Pemberton, will be their first tarmac rally for the year and their only opportunity to test both equipment and team work in a CAMS sanctioned event before Quit Targa West.
For many private competitors it is also only one of two tarmac rallies they contest each year. And while there may not be any declared winners at the end of the three-day rally it won’t stop the competitive spirit.
John O’Dowd, who is one of nine competitors who has competed in the rally every year since its inception since 2010, said he has used each rally to either trial notes or test his car. This year, after competing in his 2002 Holden GTO Monaro — entertaining the crowds by completing large sections of each stage sideways — for the past four years he will run the Subaru Impreza WRX STi he is also driving in the WA Rally Championships.
After finishing third in both the Forest and Donnelly rallies he is now sitting in second place overall in the early part of the seven-round season. He said while the Targa South West Rally was a tarmac event it would provide an opportunity to further tune his Subaru.
“With no winners there is not the same pressures as other rallies so it is a great time to try a few things out and to socialise with the other drivers,” O’Dowd said. He is also considering running the 4WD in Targa West this year.
Wayne Turner, who is part of the Frank’s Classic Garage Race Team and another who has competed every year will also be using the event as a warm up for Targa West.
He will be sitting in the co-driver’s seat of his 1964 left-hand-drive Ford Falcon Sprint, the car that was the forefather of the Mustang that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, alongside Frank Huber.
Another co-driver who will be competing in his fifth event is Mitch Thompson who has been the navigator for his father Paul, who is the major sponsor of the event, since he was 19 years old.
But work commitments will prevent Paul from competing his year so Mitch has teamed up with Luke Marsland and Mike Miller, who have also competed every year, in their 1984 VH Group 3 Commodore.
Mitch said he and his Dad only competed in two rallies a year so he was grateful to get an opportunity to navigate for Luke and Mike.
This year, the fifth time the rally has been held in the region, 45 cars will be competing on closed roads, including sections of the Manjimup and Pemberton townsites, in the region.
Photos by Ashley Westwood
Words via media materials
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