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Targaception: Targa announce two-day rally-within-a-rally for 2015 grand final

9 August, 2015

Organizers have revealed that the final event of the 2015 Targa New Zealand season will now include an additional two-day 14-stage meeting to be completed within the main event, titled the Targa NZ Regional Rally. It will start alongside the main 1000km Targa New Zealand event on October 20 — the second-to-last day of the six-day marathon — with both groups of competitors set to finish in Palmerston North on October 31.

The additional two-day meeting helps complement the already arduous 1000km-long Targa New Zealand rally, which The Motorhood profiled in July.

Event organizer Peter Martin has stated that the new two-day event will cater towards more casual drivers, or others wanting to sample Targa New Zealand before committing to the full six-day rally.

“People are busy, and many tell me that while they’d love to do our event, they simply do not have the time to do the full six-days … [the two-day meeting] gives people either new to motorsport, or new to Targa a chance to dip a toe in the water to see if a Targa event is for them,” Martin explains.

With the full six-day Targa event starting in Auckland on October 26, the two-day Regional Rally event will tag onto the main event for leg four and leg five, comprising of 14 stages in total. The two-day event covers off some of the more memorable stages in the Targa line-up, including Te Aute and Gentle Annie road stages.

More than 50 cars have already signed up for the full Targa New Zealand meeting, no doubt with many more to follow suit after this announcement. Make sure to keep tabs on The Motorhood for more coverage of the historic event!

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.