Tapper hands over reins

Busselton Dunsborough Times

Ross Tapper is handing over the reins to the clerk of course role at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally to John Gibbons, after three decades at the helm of the event.

Gibbons will take on the role of clerk of course from 2018, while Tapper will take on the title of event director at the Forest Rally, which recently brought a weekend of high-octane action to Busselton and Nannup.

Tapper will continue as clerk of course for QUIT Targa West and Targa South West, and will also remain chairman of the WA Rally Advisory Panel.

He stepped into the clerk of course position in 1988 after starting in the sport as a competitor.

“John is younger, smarter, very keen to learn and loves his rallying,” Tapper said.

“I ask that everyone supports John and thank him for jumping in the deep end to take on the role.”

Rallying legend and Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee Coral Taylor paid tribute to Tapper and all he had done for the sport.

“I always think about Ross as the person that does more for rallying in this country than anyone else I know,” Taylor said.

“He’s very unique, very dedicated and is very competitor-friendly.”

John Gibbons has been involved in the local WA motorsport community for the last 13 years and for the past five has been working alongside Ross at both the Forest Rally and QUIT Targa West and other local events learning the ropes across all aspects of the events.

“From roles in rally headquarters to being out in the forest in course cars, working with the media teams, service park crews and road closures, I have been spending time gaining insight into all aspects of the event and learning from not only Ross but the team of officials he has in place,” Gibbons said.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity Ross has given me and look forward to working alongside him, to further secure the Forest Rally’s status as one of the premier events on the Australian Rally Championship calendar,” he said.

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