Major claims sixth Targa West rally title

Peter Major celebrates his win with his children. Picture: Tim Allott
Peter Major celebrates his win with his children. Picture: Tim Allott

WEMBLEY driver Peter Major claimed his sixth Make Smoking History Targa West rally title last weekend.

The rally was held across Perth, with stages in the city, Ellenbrook and Malaga, from August 8 to 11.

Major (34) and co-driver Kim Screaigh went into the last stage of the competition modern category on Sunday with a lead of just a few seconds.

Peter Rullo and co-driver Jimmy Marquet pushed hard from second place but Major proved to be too fast and finished two minutes ahead to take his sixth Targa West title.

It was the fourth consecutive win for Major’s car, a 2004 Porsche 996, after Rullo leased it from Major last year, winning the title.

Major skipped last year’s Targa West to concentrate on the Carrera Cup, but has previously won the title in 2017 and 2016 in the same car, as well as winning in 2015, 2013, and 2010.

In Targa West’s 15-year history, there have only been five winners: Peter Major, Peter Rullo, Steve Jones, Jim Richards and Ross Dunkerton, who won the inaugural event in 2005.

Major paid tribute to past winners from the winner’s podium.

“It’s really special to be listed among such esteemed drivers who have won Targa West, and to win six, it just feels surreal,” he said.

“I was 25 when I won my first rally and things are bit different these days with two little kids – I’m trying to steer them towards tennis or cricket so I have some money in the bank when I retire.

“Full credit to Peter Rullo; he pushed me harder than I’ve ever been pushed. I’d also like to thank the organisers and volunteers for another great rally.”

Rullo said it had been a great battle up until the end of Saturday, when he locked brakes and went straight over a roundabout, costing him a chance at title contention.

Rullo also gave credit to Major and said that it was a great battle up until the end of yesterday.

“It just wasn’t meant to be, but I’ve learnt a lot and learnt a great deal about the Lotus, we had no issues with it. I’ll be back next year,” Rullo said.

Major/Screaigh in their 996 Porsche. Picture: Travis Barnes

After setting a blistering pace on Saturday putting in the hard yards, Will White and Matt Thompson in their Store Local 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 were able to take third place, finishing 2:07 minutes behind Rullo/Marquet and 4:07 off the top pace.

Simon Gunson and co-driver Jurgen Lunsmann in their GTI Process Controls 1971 Ford Capri Perana won the competition classic category.

They set the pace early and increased their lead each day – so much so that when they lost about a minute and a half on Saturday with distributor issues, they were able to maintain the lead.

Husband and wife Jeffery and Catherine Foster won the Targa 130 category by 52 seconds in their 2016 Porsche Cayman 981 GTS.

In the 2Day Rallye category, which is designed for competitors who just want to do the weekend stages, Andy van Kann and co-driver Megan Logue were fastest in their NOROCK 2007 Honda Civic Type R.

“We had some brake problems but got through and obviously we’re very pleased with the result. The two-day format suits me perfectly; I get all the rallying I need in those two days,” van Kann said.

The City of Perth hosted the Targa City Sprint on Sunday, with exotic, historic and classic cars giving spectators a day of on-track and off-track motorsport entertainment.

Toranas at the Celebration of Motorsport. Picture: Absolute Edge Media

The Celebration of Motorsport display and the Shannons Classics on the Park collection were held at Langley Park, together displaying 600 historic, modern, muscle and racing cars, bikes and boats.

They were accompanied by real competition, roaring engines and screeching tyres of rally cars racing the clock.

Event director Ross Tapper said it had been a fantastic rally.

“Our first priority is to run a safe event, the second is to run a five-star event and I think we’ve achieved that,” he said.

“The competition was exciting, we’ve had thousands of spectators across the four days and I’m proud of the team and the hundreds of volunteers who make it all happen.”