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Leading up to Targa Hawke’s Bay’s new two day format

11 May, 2017

The Hawke’s Bay leg has proved a popular staging post and end point for Targa New Zealand events over the last several years; so when Event Director Peter Martin was casting around for a second two day event to slot in between Targa Rotorua in March, and Targa New Zealand in October, his first preference was of course the ‘Bay (May 20-21)
 
“For a start there are the roads,” Martin said, “The roads in the ‘Bay are fantastic. You couldn’t ask for better for an event like ours. There’s also a strong and very active motorsport fraternity and some very supportive councils with which we have an excellent working relationship with.”

Things will kick off, and wrap up, in in Havelock North (at the Village Green) and the event incorporates 15 closed special stages covering 378.5 km and a total of 585.2km of touring stages across Hawke’s Bay.

Over 90 entries have been spread over the main competition field (50), concurrent but non-competitive Targa Tour (30), and Hawke’s Bay Car Club Rally of Hawke’s Bay (10).

Sharing joint favourite status after impressing at the Targa Rotorua event in May are Leigh Hopper and co-driver Michael Goudie from Orewa, north of Auckland, and Jason Gill and Mark Robinson from Auckland. Hopper and Goudie led the field on the first day of the Rotorua event in Hopper’s newly-built Subaru WRX Impreza, only to crash out of the event on the first stage on Sunday morning.
 
Gill and Robinson, in the Mitsubishi Evo 9, were never far behind on the first day — the gap overnight was just 36 seconds — and took over a lead they would never lose when Hopper went off the road. With work rebuilding the Subaru still going on, Hopper and Goudie will contest the Hawke’s Bay event in a leased Mitsubishi Evo 10.
 

The Rotorua event also saw the Targa debut of a second new Porsche GT3 RS in the hands of five-time Targa NZ winner Tony Quinn and co-driver Naomi Tillett. The pair spent most of that event in a pitched battles for third, then second, place with former Targa NZ winners, Martin Dippie and co-driver Jona Grant from Dunedin, in Dippie’s own Porsche GT3 RS.
 
Circuit-owning entrepreneur Quinn won a stage on Sunday but Dippie and Grant were ultimately quicker over the two days, setting the scene for a return match in the Hawke’s Bay this month.

Quinn and Tillett, and Dippie and Grant, are expected to set the pace in the Global Security Production 2WD class; while the new Global Securities Allcomers 2WD class is set to be a battle between the BMW M3 of Perth-based expat Robert Darrington and co-driver Dave Abetz, the Holden Torana A9X of New Plymouth husband and wife Ross and Carmel Graham, and the giant-killing Toyota Starlet of Auckland brothers Tom and Ben Grooten.

 The Hopper and Goudie and Gill and Robinson pairings are also, obviously, joint favourites to take class honours in the AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers 4WD class; while Aucklanders Joe Kouwenhoven and Carl Hannaford have the car — in the Nissan GT-R (R35) — to make the new AndrewSimms.co.nz Production 4WD class their own.
 
The Metalman Classic 2WD class remains a cornerstone of any Targa event, with Mark and father Chris Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington in a BMW M3; Bevan Claridge and Campbell Tannock from the Horowhenua in a Holden Commodore V8; and Nelson duos, Bruce Farley and Glen Warner in a BMW 325i, and Peter Jones and Mike Lea in a Ford Escort; all pairings to look out for.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?