August 09, 2015
Andy Mygind and Anthony BakerAndy Mygind and Anthony Baker (Datsun 240Z) contesting the Targa Bambina event earlier this year.

Keen to see as many would-be competitors as possible experience this year's 21st annual Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally, event organiser Peter Martin has added a two-day 'event-within-an-event' to the 2015 'main Targa.'

The two-day Targa NZ Regional Rally 2015 starts in Palmerston North on the second-to-last day of the main event and has been added to the 2015 schedule for two reasons.

"The first," says Martin, "is that 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 second is that it gives people either new to motorsport, or new to Targa a chance to, if you like, 'dip-a-toe-in-the-water' to see  if a Targa event is for them."

The two-day Regional Rally starts on Friday October 30 and takes in the final 14 stages (Leg 4 and Leg 5) of the six-day main Targa NZ event.

Scrutineering and documentation are in Palmerston North on Thursday October 29 and the route includes several of the event's key stages like the run through the Gentle Annie road from Taihape to Hawke's Bay on the first day and (after an overnight stop in Havelock North) the return to Palmerston North on the second (and final) day via old favourites like Te Aute and Weber and new ones like a stage over the Pahiatua Track.

This year's six-day event starts in Auckland on (Labour Day) Monday October 26 and finishes in Palmerston North on Saturday October 31.

In-between are 35 closed special stages comprising a total of 1067kms linked by 1431.7kms of touring stages with overnight stops in Hamilton, New Plymouth (two nights), Palmerston North and Havelock North with the event finishing back in Palmerston North (at the city's Square) on Saturday October 31.

Response from the event's many regulars has been immediate and enthusiastic with over 50 entries in the competitive section and 25 in the concurrent but non-competitive Targa Tour.

Information on both the main (six-day) 2015 Targa New Zealand and two-day Targa Regional Rally events is available on the event website

To watch competitors in last year's 20th anniversary Targa South Island event cross the Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka click on the hyperlink;



Dubbed 'The Ultimate Road Race,' the annual New Zealand Targa event can trace its links back to the classic open road races - the Targa Floria and the Mille Miglia - popular in Italy from the early years of the 20th century until the 1970s. 

'Targa' is Italian for 'plate,' a reference either to a car's licence plate or to the rectangular bronze plate awarded to the winner of the Targa Floria.  

The first Targa New Zealand event, inspired by the success of Australia's Targa Tasmania event, was held in 1995, and since then the annual multi-day New Zealand event has been joined by other shorter, regional events under the direction of current owner and event director Peter Martin. 

Key to the on-going success of the main and subsidiary events is the unique New Zealand landscape with its unsurpassed network of sinuous sealed roads perfect for closed Targa stages.

Targa New Zealand events are organised with the support of sponsors Chicane, Ecolight, Federal tyres, Global Security, Kids In Cars, Metalman, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt and VTNZ.

Prepared by Ross MacKay FAST COMPANY on behalf of Targa NZ, photo credit Ben and Graham Hughes & Owen de Mooy PROSHOTZ Photography. To find out more about the various Targa events go to the Targa NZ website at