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Targa New Zealand set to bring on one of the ‘big guns’ for 2015

13 October, 2015

 

Former V8 Supercar champion and Kiwi-racing great Greg Murphy will get his first taste of tarmac rallying when he fronts up for this year’s week-long Targa New Zealand event, which starts on Labour Day, Monday, October 26 in Auckland.

Murphy will be piloting the latest HSV Gen-F GTS, and part of his duties will include giving local dignitaries an insight into what it’s like to travel through selected special stages with an experienced race car driver. Murphy will also be offering ‘win a ride’ competition winners the same opportunity through closed special stages before the main competition field each day.

A second promo car will be driven by racing legend, and local motor-racing personality, ‘Racing Ray’ Williams, who will no doubt be providing passengers with an exhilarating experience.

The event finishes on Saturday, October 31 after 35 closed special stages comprising a total of 1035.5kms, linked by 1431.7kms of touring stages with overnight stops in Hamilton, New Plymouth (two nights), Palmerston North, and Havelock North before finishing back in Palmerston North (at The Square in the city).

For a full Targa programme and driver listing, be sure to check out the November issue of New Zealand Classic Car on sale October 19.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.