-TARGA TROPHY SPOTLIGHT-
With over six years of events under Targa Trophy’s belt, we felt it was time to let our fans in on some key players in the game. Taking a deeper look at who our sponsors, entries & staff are behind the madness. Tapping into strategy, things you may not know & words of wisdom. We are fired up to introduce “Targa Trophy Spotlight.” Stay tuned for more interviews posted monthly.
Name / Hometown: Jan Cilliers / Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Flame Artist
What was your first car: The driving age in South Africa is 18, so I ended up driving around during college in my Mum's BMW 318 Cab. I never actually had a South African drivers license or a car of my own over there though.
My first car that I purchased was my Dark Olive Metallic '07 Porsche Cayman S (The California 1000 winner).
What do you drive now on the regular: Mostly my beach cruiser bicycle to and from the office in Venice Beach. Otherwise, my first car is still my weekend warrior.
What was the first Targa Trophy event you attended & what was most memorable: My first Targa Trophy, I believe, was event #3 in 2009. It was also my first rally and I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be the most fun I'd ever had in a car (with my clothes on). It really turned me on to the world of rally events.
The most memorable experience was definitely this years Targa Trophy 1000. My Dad and I teamed up for the first time. He really had no idea what to expect. Well, we worked really well together after he acclimated to the driving style, and he pushed me harder than I would have gone with any other co-driver. Definitely a winning combination!
If you could have any car to call your own what would that be - Mods or keep stock: Tough question to which my answer changes daily. When I think about this I'm always torn between modern hyper exotics (918/P1/LaFerrari) and the ageless Classics. Today my fantasy garage houses a Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.
Name a personal fact not many people know about you: I was a child actor back in South Africa.
When your life isn't consumed with car related stuff what do you enjoy doing: I am usually traveling for three months out of the year. Exploring new cultures and countries is a big passion of mine. It's my goal to fill out my passport with stamps before it expires.
What was your Targa Trophy strategy for winning this years CA1000: I was honestly just trying to see how quick I needed to drive to make my Dad car sick. Apparently he doesn't get car sick, so I still don't know. Maybe next time.
How did you like this years CA1000: This was my first Targa Trophy 1000, and I must say, the roads, the parties and the people were all phenomenal. Everything was really well organized and thought out. It was an amazing experience!
Are you more of a cool calm & collected driver or would you consider yourself a petal to the metal fast & furious type: Hmm... Probably calm and cool I would say. On public roads, I think of my driving style in terms of attentiveness. Most drivers on the roads today are distracted. Whether they're zoning out from the radio or checking texts or making calls. Their attention is never 100% on the road. When I'm doing these rallies, I'm 100% here, ready to react to any potential situation.
What was your most recent ticket for: After the Targa Trophy 1000, I took a trip over to Oahu, Hawaii and got lasered doing 72 in a 55mph zone. I was just following at traffic speed but I got lucky and was picked out by highway patrol. Yay.
Words of advice for anyone looking to get into your industry: Work hard. Any career oriented job should never just be about going through the work motions between breakfast and dinner. It's a career that you can only be successful in if you're dedicated and willing to put in the time to be as efficient and prepared as possible.
← Back to Targa Trophy