Targa New Zealand

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The Targa New Zealand is a tarmac rally held annually on public roads typically throughout the North Island of New Zealand. The main Targa each year begins in the last week of October and is a week-long event which covers around 1500 km of touring and 750 km of closed special stages. [1] Smaller one- or two-day events are usually run during the year and have been variously titled Targa Bambina, Targa Dash, Targa Rotorua and Targa Tauranga. In 2014 Targa New Zealand for the first time was held in the South Island of New Zealand. Starting in Christchurch and finishing in Cromwell (Near Queenstown) the rally included every South Island race track including New Zealand's latest - Highlands Motorsport Park. Noticeable stages included Queenstown's Crown Range which is understood to be one of New Zealand's highest altitude public roads.

Originally intended as an event for owners of classic performance cars to display and race their vehicles, it has evolved into a serious competition event with modern purpose built race cars usually taking top honours.

The race started in 1995[1] and continually growing in popularity with over 200 cars entering the 2005 Dunlop sponsored Targa rally.

Racing is divided into classes to give everyone a chance of honours of some sort. These classes are based around age and engine size of the vehicles. Younger drivers are encouraged to compete in a controlled manner in a safe environment. Crashes happen but it is a very low percentage. Race cars need to have roll cages and safety gear except the Targa tour for first-time competitors. They drive under the guidance of the tour leader. Local groups providing hospitality areas, fundraising activities such as car washes, barbecues and 4000 lunches. [1]

Classes for Early Targa Events

  • Historic
  • Pre-classic
  • Classic
  • Post classic
  • Metalman super classics
  • Metalman all-comers
  • Early modern
  • Honda riders contemporary
  • Super GT

Classes for Current Targa Events

Classic 2WD

  • Category 0 0-1399cc
  • Category 1 1400-2299cc
  • Category 2 2300-4299cc
  • Category 3 4300cc & over

Modern 2WD

  • Category 4 0-1999cc
  • Category 5 2000-2999cc
  • Category 6 3000-4299cc
  • Category 7 (Super GT) 4300cc & over And includes all 2WD vehicles not eligible for Categories 0-6

Allcomers 4WD

  • Category 8 0-4299cc Sequential gearboxes are prohibited from this category. A maximum of 98 octane fuel is allowed.
  • Category 9 (Super GT) 4300cc & over And includes all forced induction vehicles not fitted with a 36mm restrictor and all other 4WD vehicles not eligible for Category 8.

Past winners[edit]

Year Driver Co-driver Car
1995 Greg Graham, Team Subaru NZ Jeff Judd WRX Subaru
1996 Greg Graham, Team Subaru NZ Colin Smith WRX Subaru
1997 Geoff Ray, Shane O'Hagan Mitsubishi Evo
1998 Chris Ramsay, Laurie Brennsell Mitsubishi Evo
1999 Greg Kirkham, Mal Clark Misubishi Mirage
2000 Craig Dean, Shane Beaumont Ford Mustang
2001 Anton Tallott, Anne Tallott Mazda RX-7
2002 Anton Tallott Anne Tallott Mazda RX-7
2003 Tony Quinn Keith Wenn Porsche 996 Turbo
2004 Jim Richards Barry Oliver Porsche GT3
2005 Jim Richards Barry Oliver Porsche GT3
2006 Joe McAndrew Sue O'Neil Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
2007 Joe McAndrew Sue O'Neil Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
2008 Richard Mason Sara Mason Subaru Impreza STI
2009 Tony Quinn Naomi Tillett Nissan GT-R R35
2010 Tony Quinn Naomi Tillett Nissan GT-R R35
2011 Tony Quinn Naomi Tillett Nissan GT-R R35
2012 Tony Quinn Naomi Tillett Nissan GT-R R35
2013 Martin Dippie Jona Grant Porsche GT3 RS
2014 Glenn Inkster Spencer Winn Mitsubishi Evo 9
2015 Glenn Inkster Spencer Winn Mitsubishi Evo 9

Well known Targa entrants[edit]

Murray Walker, Racing in Targa New Zealand. Also in picture Adam Spence on right.


  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Eric (2008-09-10). "Everything goes at Targa". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 

External links[edit]