A new-look, two-day Targa Bambina event in Pukekohe next month (Sat-Sun March 05-06) heralds a fresh Targa tarmac motor rally programme for 2016.
This year’s Bambina reverts to a full two-day ‘weekend Targa’ format (after several years as a single day ‘sprint’ event), with stages laid out cloverleaf-style from a central HQ and service park at Pukekohe’s A&P Showgrounds.
Targa New Zealand event director Peter Martin says change is inevitable in the fast-paced world of motorsport event management, hence a number of tweaks to the 2016 Targa schedule.
After two years as a three-day event in May, Targa Rotorua reverts to two days (May 14-15). And after 21 years, the flagship Targa New Zealand has a new, earlier, date (starting on Wednesday October 12 rather than Monday October 26), and a new, streamlined, four (rather than six) day competition format.
Martin is also introducing a new ‘classic class’ to the concurrent but non-competitive Targa Tour at the Targa Bambina event and says the response – to all the various changes including that one – has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s as if people were waiting for us to do something,” he says. “For some the issue has been budget, but for most it’s been more a matter of time. Time away from work and/or time away from their family.
“By identifying that and fine-tuning our events to suit we’ve won back some regulars who we haven’t seen for a while, as well as making it easier for those who have always wanted to ‘do a Targa’ to take the first step.”
The new-look Bambina event has attracted over 50 starters, with close to 40 across the various competition classes and an even mix of classics and modern cars making up the balance in the Targa Tour.
Entries are still open with as many as 10 more expected, including at least two from overseas.
Competitors and Tour participants will cover just over 160kms of closed special stages (13) and 340 kms of touring stages over the two days.
Stages range in length from the 6.6km Kern Rd between Ramarama and Paerata on the first day and the 17.39 of Maioro west of Waiuku on the second.