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Alister McRae dominates Targa West
Sep 08, 2008

Former works rally driver Alister McRae dominated the Competition Classic category of this weekend’s Quit Targa West rally, held in Alister’s now-native Western Australia. The Scot won all but one of the event’s 31 stages to arrive at the finish with a margin of almost seven and a half minutes, giving him an emphatic win in the classic category and putting him on par with the event’s modern entry, which included Porsches and Lamborghinis.

The event was based around the capitol of WA, Perth and was the second Targa event Alister has competed in this year. The first was the Targa Tasmania and this weekend’s event was, according to Alister, just as much fun.

Driving a 1974 Porsche 911 run by K-Tec Porsche, Alister and co-driver Bill Hayes immediately set the pace in the Classic category and went on to take the stage win on each of the event’s 31 stages, with the exception of the penultimate test. On stage 30, their car suffered brief fuelling problems and they backed-off to prevent any further problems and ensure they reached the finish with the class win.

Even more encouraging was the crew’s pace overall. Prior to the event, Alister said that he hoped that the car would have the pace to be able to do well in the classic class but also compare favourably with the modern cars. Indeed, his total time for the event in the classic class would have placed him in sixth place in the modern competition category if he were included.

Commenting after the finish, Alister said; “I really enjoyed this weekend. The rally was really good and pretty relaxed. The stages themselves were not very long but high speed and because of the nature of the roads down here, there were lots of chicanes to keep the speeds down. But we were out in a fantastic car for three days in the sunshine, so who could complain!”

This was the first time that Alister was competing with experienced Australian co-driver Bill Hayes and felt that the event and the partnership worked very well. “This was the first time in the car with Bill and it went very well. He has lots of experience of rallying, all over the world as well as at home in Australia, so I’d like to try to do some more events with him if we can.”

Part of the success this weekend was down to the preparation work put in by the K-Tec team who built and ran the Porsche and who, according to Alister, did an excellent job. He also puts part of the success down to the use of the latest specification of adjustable Proflex suspension and the Kumho tyres used for the event, which worked extremely well as a package.

There was more to smile about for Alister and the team as well, since in addition to support from Moore Stephens, Alister was also sponsored by Golden Eggs, one of WA’s largest egg producers. Its catch-phrase raised a smile on anyone who saw the promotional girls around Perth over the weekend, as well as Alister’s Porsche; ‘I’ve just be laid in WA’. Alister was delighted to be supported by Golden Eggs and sported his trademark grin when he confirmed; “This is the only time I’ve been laid in WA and the wife hasn’t been there!”

Alister’s next event will be when he returns to Scotland to take part in the McRae stages, at the wheel of his BDA-powered Mk2 Ford Escort. However, he is also now looking to put together a programme to compete on the Adelaide Classic rally in November. “The Adelaide Classic is a huge event – an entry of something like 300 cars and it features all the drivers from this weekend’s modern event but in classic cars. That would be a fantastic event to do and I’d like to do it in the K-Tec Porsche again if possible. We just have to figure out how we can make that happen but I’d love to take part.”

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