2013 Targa West

2013 Quit Targa West

Betty White and I came back for another Targa West. This time I teamed up with Steph Leach. As a number of the tracks were similar to 2012, the recce took a lot less time and we were able to write pace notes for all stages pretty easily. Steph's racing knowledge showed through and we simplified a number of the stages and worked out a simple yet effective plan.

Our goal was to finish the race without any dramas. After rolling the car in the 2012 event - finishing without doing any damage was a real driving force. With the field of 48 cars in the Competition Modern - a top 20 finish was the goal.

The start of the event saw a torrential downpour at the ceremonial start in the city, with more rain coming down for the first three stages at the RAC Driving Centre. Our times were quite slow compared to our main competitors - though we knew it was a long rally and didn't want to spin off the track with lots of standing water on apexes. At the end of the day, we were in 31st place.

Day 2 had us starting at Whiteman Park running in the westerly direction for two goes. The track was damp and so we took it cautiously trying to get into a rhythm. There are lots of curbs and pine posts to hit, and the short stage didn't warrant doing anything crazy. Chris Parker in his 2011 STI grazed past some posts and did some minor damage to his car. Our times were around 10% slower than what the 10th place getter was achieving.

Following Whiteman Park West, we did two runs of Zig Zag and two runs of Kalamunda. The latter had one run cancelled due to timing issues in the Restricted Speed Zone, as well as 4 cars coming off.

The Zig Zag proved difficult at the hairpin corners. They seem to be a lot tighter this year. On both runs the car wouldn't turn using the handbrake and a three point turn was required. This culminated in both runs being 22 seconds slower than the fastest car.

Kalamunda runs were okay, but our speed wasn't. After coming across the Corvette of Chris Caruso, we lost some time after coming off the notes. Also we had some crazy Porsche trying to overtake in a chicane.

Once we finished in Kalamunda, we headed back to Whiteman Park, but this time doing it in the normal easterly direction.

The second run had us nearly take out some ducks and then another torrential downpour occurred. Paul Moltoni in his classic Porsche slid off just in front of us and finished his rally against a tree. Both were out of the car with their OK sign so we finished the stage.

At the end of day 2 we had dropped down to 34th with 43 cars still running.

Day 3 (Leg 2) had all cars take a nice country drive out to Toodyay. Racecourse (SS12 and 13) were the first two stages of the day. One of my favourite course with lots of free flowing corners. Our times were average as caution was taken on the course with different sections dry, with others wet. We did however move up to 32nd place after the second run.

The new course of Coondle Highlands was next. Just a short course with a small amount of drizzle. The flying finish was in a crazy spot. (see pic)

Coondle West; Timberden; Toodyay and Coondle Highlands again were next up. Some nice flowing roads but we were around 20% off the pace of the leaders and around 10% slower than 10th placed runners. The second run on Coondle Highlands saw us creep into 30th position with 45 runners in the event. The Toodyay 1 and 2 stages were shockers, with our times 47 seconds off the leaders and 35 seconds off 10th place. We still managed to claw into 29th.Beerens_29_hi_res-23.jpg

Timberden Reverse was the last Toodyay stage. A short 4km squirt before heading to Bullsbrook to do two runs of the two stages there.

I really like the Bullsbrook stages, and it showed with our times. The majority of the stages were dry , with only a few low down areas still a bit damp. After both runs and heading into the township for service, we had managed to gain 4 places and hold 25th outright.

Leg 3 consisted of two stages repeated 3 times each. Malaga city stage was the longest of the rally at 12km and was very hard on brakes and tyres. The surface on our first run was still damp in places but we managed to pull off a fast 8m5s run and put us in 23rd. After the third run of Malaga with 2 top 20 runs we were in 22nd place with 12 seconds to our next competitor.

Now in the city on the foreshore of the Swan River, we had 3 runs to complete the event. Many drivers that were content with their position took it easy. The front runners were vying for trophies so they were going flat out.

Perth #1 gave us the 19th fastest time, Perth #2 20th, and Perth #3 our best placing with 17th. We beat the Ford Focus Turbo ahead of us and we finished the event in 21st position.

A fantastic event from beginning to end. I took it cautiously on most stages, and now watching the footage can see a lot of areas to improve on.

The car handled perfectly and the co-driver did a fantastic job. Bring on 2014!!!

2013 QTW - Completed
2013 QTW - Completed

2013 QTW Stage Results

Stages with YouTube videos have links.

  Stage Km's Time Position Place
Leg 1 SS1 RAC Driving Centre 1 - 4.39km   3:32 31/48 31
  SS2 RAC Driving Centre 1 - 4.39km   3:33 31/48 32
  SS3 RAC Driving Centre 1 - 4.39km   3:30 32/48 31
  SS4 Whiteman Park West1 - 3.67km   2:40 37/48 32
  SS5 Whiteman Park West 2 - 3.67km   2:27 34/48 33
  SS6 OCA Zig Zag 1 - 2.79km   2:12 31/47 33
  SS7 Kalamunda 1 - 15.07km   cancelled    
  SS8 OCA Zig Zag 2 - 2.79km   2:10 37/46 35
  SS9 Kalamunda 2 - 15.07km   9:18 38/43 34
  SS10 Whiteman Park East 1 - 3.78km   2:29 26/43 33
  SS11 Whiteman Park East 2 - 3.78km   2:44 35/43 34
Leg 2 SS12 Racecourse 1 - 6.83km   3:34 28/47 31
  SS13 Racecourse 2 - 6.83km   3:32 33/47 32
  SS14 Coondle Highlands 1 (New) - 3.32km   1:41 34/47 33
  SS15 Coondle West 1 (New) - 4.27km   2:24 25/47 32
  SS16 Timberden - 4.5km   2:21 34/47 31
  SS17 Toodyay 1 - 8.55km   4:27 37/45 31
  SS18 Coondle Highlands 2 (New) - 3.32km   1:41 35/45 30
  SS19 Coondle West 2 (New) - 4.27km   2:23 29/45 30
  SS20 Toodyay 2 - 8.55km   4:27 32/42 29
  SS21 Timberden Reverse - 4.47km   2:29 34/43 29
  SS22 Bullsbrook Short 1 - 8.84km   5:04 33/43 29
  SS23 Bullsbrook Long 1 - 11.08km   6:03 23/42 27
  SS24 Bullsbrook Short 1 - 8.84km   4:46 25/42 26
  SS25 Bullsbrook Long 1 - 11.08km   6:00 25/41 25
Leg 3 SS26 Malaga 1 - 12.26km   8:05 25/42 23
  SS27 Malaga 1 - 12.26km   7:55 20/41 22
  SS28 Malaga 1 - 12.26km   7:54 20/41 22
  SS29 City of Perth 1 - 2.65km   1:57 19/41 21
  SS30 City of Perth 2 - 2.65km   1:56 20/41 21
  SS41 City of Perth 3 - 2.65km   1:55 17/41 21