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Sun, 28 Oct 2018 - Record fifth Targa NZ win on the trot for Inkster & Winn?

They’ve done it! Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) have won the annual multi-day Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally for a record-setting fifth consecutive time.

The pair, Inkster a multi-talented gravel and tarmac allrounder from Patumahoe south-west of Auckland, who works as a sales manager for electrical supply industry specialist TransNet, and Winn, the owner of the company and Inkster’s boss, did it in style too.

They played second fiddle to fellow AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers class Mitsubishi Evo pair, Haydn Mackenzie and co-driver Matty Sayers, on the first day of this year’s southern South Island event, in and around Southland on Tuesday. But they assumed a lead they were never to lose when Aucklander Mackenzie and his Hamilton-based co-driver Sayers crashed heavily late on the afternoon of the event’s second day south of Dunedin.

As they have been in previous events, Inkster and Winn were particularly impressive in wet and cold conditions brought by a southerly change on the third day, winning six of the seven stages and setting up a lead of over two minutes from local pair and Global Security Production 4WD class leaders Martin Dippie and co-driver Greg Ball (Porsche GT3 RS).

Dippie and Ball remained a threat through Friday only to cop a total of six-and-a-half minutes of time penalties for exceeding a stage’s average speed. This effectively gifted the battle for the runner-up spot to Auckland pair David Rogers and Aidan Kelly in Roger’s Andrew Simms.co.nz Allcomers Class 10 Mitsubishi Evo 10 and Christchurch gravel rally specialist Marcus van Klink and his co-driver Matt Richards in van Klink’s unique 20B turbocharged Mazda RX8.

After elevating himself up the rankings with some spectacular tail-out driving on the wet roads of North Otago on Thursday, then edging past Rogers and Kelly on elapsed time on Friday van Klink held the narrowest of advantages – just seven seconds – heading into the final day today. However, Rogers and Kelly were back in front after being quicker over the 23.68km climb up and over the Crown Range.

A determined Dippie and Ball were also able to dispatch the by-now hard-pressed van Klink/Richards combination thanks to a quicker time through the event’s final stage at the Tony Quinn-owned Highlands motor racing circuit on the outskirts of Cromwell, to take third place.

However the time penalties allowed van Klink and Richards to retain third, from Dippie and Ball in fourth, and event regular Brian Green and his co-driver Fleur Pedersen from Palmerston North a standout fifth in Green’s locally-developed late-model Mitsubishi Evo-powered 4WD Mirage.

Green revelled in the conditions this year and claimed a breakthrough stage win in the short, tight 7km Littles Rd stage near Arthur’s Point this afternoon.

Tony Quinn driving the latest Porsche GT3 RS. was another event veteran to save his best to last, winning both stages (today’s first and last) at the circuit he owns (and helped design and develop), Highlands Motorsport Park at Cromwell.

That initially saw he and co-driver Kieran Anstis finish sixth overall, however that morphed into 11th when Quinn was also penalised six-and-a-half minutes for exceeding predetermined speed averages.

Perth-based expat Robert Darrington and co-driver David Abetz moved up a spot to sixth as a result, after another stand-out performance in Darrington’s E46 BMW M3 for the long-time event regulars.

Another, albeit later model, BMW M3 was seventh in the hands of event rookies, Eddie Bell and Blair Forbes with fellow Cantabrians Rory and his father Stewart Callaway eighth and first AndrewSimms.co.nz Production 4WD class pair home in the family’s Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

After battling back and forth from the first day until the last there was also a BMW M3 on top in the HWRichardson Classic 2WD class. This was the earlier E30 model of event stalwarts Mark and Chris Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington.

The pair finished ninth overall, albeit just 43 seconds in front of arch event rivals Derek Ayson from Gore and co-driver Gavin McDermott from Wyndham in classic gravel rally specialist Ayson’s Silver Fern Rally-winning Ford Escort MK 2, who completed the top 10.

And what of Haydyn Mackenzie and co-driver Matty Sayers? After a mammoth overnighter repairing the beaten up Mitsubishi Evo 10 Mackenzie returned to the event on Thursday barely slower. They won three of the five stages between Dunedin and Queenstown on Friday then Mackenzie underlined his potential as an outright winner of future Targa events by being quickest over the iconic Crown Range stage today.

That helped elevate he and Sayers back up to 16th place overall in a true case of what might have been.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze.

Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - Have Inkster & Winn done enough to take fifth Targa NZ title?

Have four-time and defending Targa New Zealand title-holders Glenn Inkster and Spence Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) done enough to claim a record-making fifth consecutive event win in Queenstown tomorrow?

That was the question being asked late this afternoon as the 57 remaining teams arrived in Heriot for the final stage of the penultimate day of the 24th annual multi-day Targa NZ tarmac motor rally, the 41.33km marathon over the epic Moa Flat road to Ettrick.

Having built up a lead of close to seven minutes after winning six of the seven stages held between Dunedin and Duntroon on Thursday the Auckland pair certainly looked hard to beat in the AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Extreme 4WD Class 10 and overall.

They were also almost half a minute quicker than second-placed fellow Mitsubishi pair Haydn Mackenzie and co-driver Matty Sayers on the first of two runs through the 29.91km George King Memorial Drive north east of Mosgiel this morning.

Surprise early event pace-setter Mackenzie went on to win the next three stages, though his car-bending crash and subsequent missing out on the final two stages on Wednesday means he is no longer in the hunt for overall event victory.

If Inkster and Winn do falter through the Moa Flat stage this evening or any of the four stages in and around Queenstown tomorrow, waiting in the wings are Auckland pair David Rogers and co-driver Aidan Kelly in Rogers’ Mitsubishi Evo 10. They went into the Moa Flat stage in second place, seven minutes plus change behind Inkster and Winn, but almost a minute up on third placed Christchurch rally ace Marcus van Klink and co-driver Matt Richards who lead the AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Extreme 2WD Class 7.

Like Glenn Inkster, van Klink revelled in the wet, slippery road conditions on Thursday from seventh place to third, though Rogers was back in front – and up to second in fact - after the second run through George King Memorial Drive this morning.

Fourth overall and leading the Global Security Production 2WD Class 6 heading into the final stage was top local pair Martin Dippie and Greg Ball in Dippie’s Porsche GT3 RS. They were just 20 seconds behind van Klink and Richards, but enjoyed a buffer of a minute-and-a-half over five-time event winner Tony Quinn and his co-driver Kieran Anstis.

In stark contrast to previous years, when circuit-owned entrepreneur Quinn has usually led from the front, this year he and Anstis have run very much under the radar, despite the Queensland-based Scot running one of the latest Porsche GT3 RS models.

Standout performances today were again put in by veteran gravel rally specialist Brian Green and co-driver Fleur Pedersen from Palmerston North in Green’s locally-developed Mitsubishi Mirage Evo, and by Christchurch son-and-father combination Rory and Stewart Callaway.

Green and Pedersen were fourth overall up the 12.9km Mt Cargill stage this morning, then an event-best second overall to Haydn Mackenzie and Matty Sayers in the 11.9km Hillend stage in West Otago after lunch. That left them sixth overall heading into the Moa Flat stage, just 2.1 seconds behind Tony Quinn and Kieran Anstis.

The Callaways, meanwhile, were just a minute back in seventh place – and leading AndrewSimms.co.nz Production 4WD Class 9 - after elevating themselves up the order in their Subaru Impreza WRX ST1 in the rain and cold of Thursday’s stages north of Dunedin.

Up to eighth overall and back in the lead of the HWRichardson Classic 2WD class, were event and category stalwarts Mark and his father Chris, Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington in their familiar E30 BMW M3.

Classic gravel rally specialist Derek Ayson and co-driver Gavin McDermott (Ford Escort Mk 2) edged ahead of the BMW in the final stage of the day on Thursday but a determined Mark Kirk-Burnnand claimed the class lead back with a performance today which saw him clock the fifth quickest time overall through the second run through George King Memorial Drive and head into the days final stage eight overall, over half a minute ahead again of Ayson and McDermott.

After a final overnight stop in Queenstown tonight the 24th annual Targa New Zealand event concludes with six further closed special stages, including the penultimate and highly anticipated 23.96km traverse over the Crown Range.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 - Inkster & Winn build on lead as conditions turn tough on Targa’s third day

With his ‘eye back in’ and the exhaust manifold problems which slowed him on the second leg behind him defending Targa NZ title holder Glenn Inkster and co-driver Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) spent a wet, cold Thursday slowly re-building a lead in this year’s southern South Island-based Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally the four-time winner hopes to hold until the finish line in Queenstown on Saturday.

After two days of sultry, hot temperatures and – in the main – dry, fast roads, Thursday’s rain and single digit temperatures favoured pairings used to such conditions – like Inkster and Winn, fellow former event winners (and leading locals) Martin Dippie and Greg Ball (Porsche GT3 RS) and Christchurch gravel rally specialists Marcus van Klink and Matt Richards (Mazda RX8); who managed to pip Auckland event regulars David Rogers and Aidan Keely (Mitsubishi Evo 10) for third place on the final stage.

Runaway AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers class leaders Inkster and Winn went on to win seven of the day’s stages, only conceding the return run through the 10.23km Trotters Gorge stage on the way back to the second overnight stop in Dunedin to the Porsche GT3 RS of Global Security Production 2WD class leaders Dippie and Ball.

Another Dunedin Porsche pairing, Regan Hall and Nathan Graham, were challenging Dippie and Ball at the end of the second leg on Wednesday. But they crashed out of the event on the first run through Trotters Gorge on Thursday morning.

Incredibly though, after crashing off the road and into a grove of small pine trees at the end of the tenth stage on Wednesday afternoon, early event leader, Aucklander Haydn Mackenzie was back in the event, and running at barely reduced pace, on Thursday.

Despite major damage to the rear suspension plus some panel damage an all-nighter by his crew and an army of local helpers saw the battered Mitsubishi Evo 10 leave the start at Dunedin’s Forsyth-Barr Stadium and run competitively all day.

Proving the accident hadn’t rattled him the former V8 Touring car ace who now races UTVs in the national off-road racing series, set the second quickest stage time behind fellow 4WD Mitsubishi Evo ace Glenn Inkster in three of the day’s stages and was in the top 10 in the rest, returning to Dunedin (despite having missed the final two stages on Wednesday) fourth overall for the day and back up to 32nd place overall.

Third overall for the day as well – now – as third overall, behind Inkster and Winn, and Dippie and Ball, is Christchurch gravel rally specialist Marcus van Klink and co-driver Matt Richards. Making the most of his experience in slippery road conditions Van Klink split Inkster and Dippie to claim a day-best second place in the first stage of the day then remained a fixture in the top six until the final stage when they eased ahead of the Rogers/Kelly Mitsubishi.

The other big mover in the rain today was former Mazda RX7 and V8 Touring car ace, Eddie Bell, and co-driver Blair Forbes from Christchurch. Event rookie Bell admitted taking it easy on the first two days but said he was feeling more confident, both in himself and his BMW M3, today.

Finally, Derek Ayson and co-driver Gavin McDermott (Ford Escort Mk 2) spent the day closing in on early HWRichardson Classic 2WD class leaders, Mark and Chris Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington, and managed to finally turn the tables on the E30 BMW M3 of the Kirk-Burnnnads in the final stage.

After the second of two overnight stops in Dunedin the 24th annual Targa New Zealand event heads to Queenstown on Friday on a penultimate day which includes six stages between Mosgiel and Ettrick.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze.

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 - Dunedin drivers to the fore on Targa's second day in the south

Dunedin pair Martin Dippie and Greg Ball (Porsche GT3 RS) were battling for the lead with defending title-holders Glenn Inkster and co-driver Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) at the end of a dramatic second day of this year’s southern South Island-based Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally this evening.

Another local pairing, Regan Hall and Nathan Graham (Porsche 997 Turbo) were also right up there, finishing just a tenth of a second behind Dippie and Ball through the penultimate 7.2km Saddle Hill stage south of the city and heading to the final one over George King Memorial Drive in fourth place, just 15.5 seconds behind third placed Auckland pair, David Rogers and Aidan Kelly (Mitsubishi Evo 10).

In a dramatic day, on and off the road, surprise Day 1 package Haydn Mackenzie and co-driver Matty Sayers (Mitsubishi Evo 10) held a lead of just over a minute until they crashed out of the event on the first stage after the lunch and service break in Milton, the 9.9km Finlayson Rd run from Waihola to Taieri Mouth.

That left four-time event winners Inkster and Winn holding both the overall event and AndrewSimms.co.nz 2 & 4WD Extreme class lead, however exhaust issues with their highly modified Mitsubishi meant they could only manage the 11th quickest time up through the Saddle Hill stage, and as they crossed the Taieri Plain and headed into the Maungatuas to the final stage their advantage over Dippie and Ball was just 17 seconds with just another 41 seconds back to Rogers and Kelly in third.

With their car repaired and back running at 100% Inkster and Winn not only retained their lead but built a buffer of just over a minute from Dippie and Ball through the 30km George King Memorial stage. Fourth best time, meanwhile, was enough to elevate Regan Hall and Nathan Graham to third spot overall ahead of Rogers and Kelly.

The open, fast and flowing nature of the day’s stages also helped Hamilton event regular Mike Tubbs an co-driver Mike Vincent elevate themselves to fifth place overall in Tubbs’ new BMW 2-seires.

As the field left Invercargill this morning the modified Class 10 Subaru Impreza WRXs of event regulars Leigh Hopper and co-driver Michael Goudie, and fellow Aucklanders Nick de Waal and Shane Reynolds, were also in the leading mix. Both cars broke down, however, either in (Hopper’s) or just as they were leaving (de Waal’s) the long first stage through the Catlins, putting both pairs out on the spot.

A failed engine sensor also saw highly favoured local gravel rally specialist, Derek Ayson and co-driver Gavin McDermott, both from Gore, late away from the start when Ayson’s Holbay-engined Mk11 Ford Escort failed to start first pop.

Once the sensor was replaced Ayson spent the day on the charge, however, working his way quickly up the order to be within striking distance of early HWRichardson Classic 2WD class leaders, Mark and Chris Kirk-Burnnand from Wellington, who entered the day’s final stage in 14th place, just 30 or so seconds and two places ahead of Ayson and McDermott but over two minutes ahead of the Mercedes-Benz 190 Cosworth of Aucklanders Mark McCaughan and Lyndsey Lyons who are currently third in class.

After the first of two overnight stops in parc ferme at the Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight the third day of this year’s five-day Targa NZ marathon on Thursday sees the competition field, allied but untimed Targa Tour and Vintage Cr Club of NZ Time Trial head north for eight closed course Special Stages between Waikouaiti and Duntroon.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze.

For more information go to www.targa.co.nz or check out the Targa NZ page on Facebook. Ends

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 - Event rookies show Targa hand early

Event rookies Haydn Mackenzie and co-driver Matty Sayers (Mitsubishi Evo 10) showed their hand early on the opening day of this year’s five-day Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally on Tuesday.

Defending – and four-time consecutive event winners – Glenn Inkster and co-driver Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) won the opening stage from just north of Invercargill to Wyndham. However fellow Aucklander Mackenzie and his Hamilton-based co-driver Matty Sayers were just 1.2 seconds back in second place.

Mackenzie and Sayers then grabbed the overall event lead with a win over the two late model Porsche GT3 Rs of former event winners Martin Dippie and Tony Quinn in the second stage from East Gore to Pukerau via the roller-coaster Diamond Peak Road and Kaiwera, and held it into the final stage of the day, the marathon 42km run through the Catlins from just south if Owaka to just north of Niagara which started just after 5.00pm.

Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn managed to claw some of the time back they lost overshooting a corner in the second stage with a win in the 20.33km Stage 4 from Waikaka to Waikoikoi. However fellow event regulars Leigh Hooper and co-driver Michael Goudie (Subaru Impreza WRX) from Orewa north of Auckland won the fifth stage from Heriot via Moa Flat to Ettrick with Mackenzie and Sayers second, the Subaru Impreza WRX of Aucklanders Nic de Waal and co-driver Shane Reynolds third and Inkster and Winn fourth.

This year’s is the 24th multi-day Targa event held in New Zealand, but only the second to be run on South Island roads, one of the reasons for the biggest entry in recent years; 65 in the main competition classes, 55 in the associated but untimed Targa Tour, and 22 in the new Time Trial section organised in association with the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand.

Heading into this year’s Invercargill-Dunedin-Queenstown marathon, it looked like there would be another epic battle up front between five-time winner, circuit-owning entrepreneur Tony Quinn and co-driver Tony Anstis and four-time winners Glenn Inkster and his co-driving boss, Spencer Winn.

Hayden Mackenzie and his co-driving mate Matty Sayers have thrown a spanner into those particular works, however, as 35-year-old Toyota dealership principle Mackenzie himself admitted at the lunch time service at Milton it is – very – early days yet!

“It’s very good to be up there where we are, and we certainly weren’t expecting to be going as quick as we are, but for us the most important thing is still just to ease into it, keep it on the black stiff and have some fun,” he said. ‘There’s a long way to go yet and as the old saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish!”

Though the pair did in fact finish - seventh at that - in a Toyota 86 at the Targa Hawke’s Bay event in May this year Mackenzie and Sayers have certainly got those in the field talking. While he has done plenty of circuit racing in the past, culminating in running in the BNT V8 Touring Car class at its height, of late Mackenzie has focused on the New Zealand Off-Road Racing series, running a Can-AM UTV in the national championship. Hence he has been circulating very much under the radar of the ‘Targa crowd.’

Despite that, competing in this year’s ‘main Targa’ is something of a family affair for Mackenzie, whose parents Andrew and Julie are following their son’s progress in a special limited edition Toyota Celica GT4 Group A car in the concurrent but untimed Targa Tour.

Though best known in the car trade for his time owning and running Auckland’s Albany Toyota (now in the hands of son Haydn) Andrew Mackenzie was born and raised in Balclutha so this year’s Targa event is something of a homecoming for him as well.

Heading into the final stage last night, Mackenzie and Sayers led the AndrewSimms.co.nz Production 4WD class and the event overall. Second overall and leader of the AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Extreme 2 and 4WD class (10) was Leigh Hopper and co-driver Michael Goudie.

Third overall and second in the Allcomers Extreme Class 10 were Nic de Waal and co-driver Shane Reynolds, fourth and third in Class 10, the hard-pressed Glen Inkster and Spencer Winn.

Fifth overall and leading the Global Security Production 2WD class was Dunedin driver Martin Dippie and new co-driver Greg Ball in Dippie’s Porsche GT3 RS while 16th overall but first in the HW.Richardson Classic class were Wellington pair Mark and his father Chris Kirk-Burnnand in their familiar E30 model BMW M3.

This year’s Targa NZ heads to Dunedin today (Wed Oct 24) via six stages from Niagara in the south to George King Memorial Drive north-west of Mosgiel.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze.

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 - Contenders line up to try and win second South Island Targa Event

Four-time Targa New Zealand event winners Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn (Mitsubishi Evo 8) from Auckland head south this week as favourites to win this year’s five-day tarmac motor rally marathon from Invercargill to Dunedin and on to Queenstown which starts on Tuesday October 23 and finishes on Saturday October 27.

Such is the attraction of the stunning, fast, open, beautifully-surfaced roads in the Deep South, however, that the 24th annual event – and only the second held in the South Island, the first back in 2014 – has attracted an unprecedented number of potential winners.

Five-time previous winner Tony Quinn, and co-driver Kieran Anstiss are back, this time in circuit-owning entrepreneur Quinn’s Porsche GT3 RS, and as in previous years, they top the list of combinations able to take the battle well and truly to former gravel but now tarmac specialist Inkster and co-driver Winn.

What really stands this year’s event apart from any previous ones, however, is the number of other combinations which – potentially – can run at or near the same pace as Inkster and Quinn, who between them have won eight out of the past nine multi-day Targa New Zealand events.

‘What it shows, I think,’ says event director Peter Martin of the Auckland-based Ultimate Rally Group, “is that we now have both a core group of people like Glenn, Tony and the likes of the Kirk-Burnnands in our Classic class, who are focused 100% on our Targa events, then you have any number of what you could call ‘ring-ins’ with a top-level gravel or circuit racing background who might do one event to see what it is all about, love it, and decide to do some more.”

All up this year’s southern South Island-focused event has attracted 142 starters, 65 in the main competition classes, 55 in the associated but untimed Targa Tour, and 22 in the new Time Trial section organised in association with the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand.

With the final 30-stage course now set entrants face 621.63kms of closed special stages linked by 1836.89km of touring stages from Invercargill on Tuesday October 23 through Southland and Otago before a ceremonial finish in Queenstown on Saturday October 27.

Joining Glen Inkster and Spencer Winn on the ‘possibles’ list from the AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Class 10 are long-time event supporter Leigh Hopper and co-driver Michael Goudie, and fellow Auckland Subaru WRX pair Nic De Waal and Shane Reynolds, as well as Mitsubishi Evo 10 combinations, David Rogers and Aidan Kelly, impressive event newcomers Hayden Mackenzie and co-driver Matthew Sayers, the category sponsor himself, Andrew Simms and co-driver Brianna Little, and NZ Rally Championship sponsor Brian Green and co-driver Fleur Pedersen.

On the ‘probables’ list from the Global Security Production 2WD Class 6 are 2013 Targa NZ winner Martin Dippie and his co-driver Jona Grant from Dunedin in a Porsche GT3 RS virtually identical to the Quinn/Anstiss one, and former circuit racer Eddie Bell and co-driver Blair Forbes in a BMW M3.

Out – literally – of the left field comes a couple of real dark horses as well. One is 2016 Silver Fern marathon gravel rally winner, Derek Ayson and co-driver Gavin McDermott from Gore who are contesting the HW.Richardson Classic 2WD class in Ayson’s 2.4 litre Holbay-Ford-powered Mk 11 Escort.

The other is another gravel specialist attracted to the tarmac-only Targa NZ event because it is in his own back yard, Marcus van Klink and co-driver Matt Richards from Christchurch, who are running in AndrewSimms.co.nz Allcomers Extreme 2 & 4WD Class 7 in van Klink’s Mazda RX8.

The concurrent but non-timed Targa Tour has again attracted a mouth-watering array of late model and classic exotica including no few than 13 Porsches, several Aston Martins and one of the very few Italo-US 1966 Iso Grifo V8 sports coupes – to be driven by Peter Lyttle with Geraldine mate Geoff Brien co-driving - still in active use anywhere in the world.

There will also be interest in the 002 promo car, the first new RHD Chevrolet Camaro produced by the Melbourne-based HSV company. It will be driven by four-time former Bathurst winner and now TV pundit Greg Murphy.

Finally, joining the field for a run over the world-renown Crown Range stage on the final day of the event will be New Zealand’s WRC ace Hayden Paddon, driving his 2018 New Zealand Rally Championship-winning Hyundai i20 AP4+.

The first car is due to leave Invercargill at 7.55am on Tuesday October and arrive at the finish line in Queenstown at 5.30pm on Saturday October 27.

Targa New Zealand events are organised by the Ultimate Rally Group with the support of sponsors AndrewSimms.co.nz, Chicane Racewear, Global Security, HW Richardson Group, Invercargill Licensing Trust, NZ Classic Car magazine, Race Brakes, Race4Life Trust, Racetech, TeamTalk, TrackIt, and Writeraze. For more information go to www.targa.co.nz or check out the Targa NZ page on Facebook. Ends

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 - Thomson completes season clean sweep

Christchurch’s Dylan Thomson has completed a multi-class clean-sweep of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast, with another strong victory.

Thomson came to the event having wrapped up the NZRC two-wheel drive, MotorSport New Zealand two-wheel drive and Junior championships with a round to spare.

Knowing that he had only pride to play for and keen to bring the Total Lubricants Ford Fiesta ST home straight in what will be his final outing in the car.

The opening stage saw Thomson struggle to find the balance of speed, having backed off from his normal pace, and unusually found himself sitting third in class at the opening service. Uncomfortable driving at the slower speed which saw him making mistakes, the 23-year old and 17-year old Co-driver Amy Hudson returned to his regular pace from the third stage and won five of the following six special stages to take victory. That secured Thomson’s perfect record of six wins from six starts in each of the three championships he was chasing.

“This result really was the icing on the cake for an amazing season for our whole team, everyone has put in so much work, not just this season but in the three years we’ve run this car. I backed off in the morning and it was horrible, I won’t be doing that again! But we fought back and having a battle certainly made it exciting,” said Thomson. “I can’t thank everyone enough who has been involved with running the Fiesta, especially Amy, who has put up with plenty and always done a great job, we both can’t wait to get in the Specialised Auto Services Subaru next season.”

The team now have a busy off-season working with the Specialised Auto Services team to prepare their new Subaru Impreza STI with which they will step up to the premier open four-wheel drive class of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship and fight for outright honours.

Dylan Thomson Rallysport’s campaign is supported by Total Lubricants, Riordan and West Transport Pukekohe, Drew + Accounting, Harrier Signs, Rustorations, Specialised Auto Services, Mark Rose Construction, LJ Hooker, Fowler Homes South Auckland and New Zealand, Northwood Beaurepaires, Ford Ultimate Motor Group, Jivan Produce, Dunlop, Hunt Diesel, Ferodo Racing Pads and GHL Tempfence.

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 - Sheehan on the podium at series finale

Queenstown’s Mike Sheehan has finished his rookie campaign in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship with a second placed class finish at the Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast.

Sheehan came to a North Island rally for only the second time in his short career looking for an improved performance after a tough Coromandel Rally, but also well aware that the competition was as strong as ever in the NZRC two-wheel drive class.

After a fourth fastest time in the opening stage, Sheehan was second fastest through the second, Matira, which uses a large section of the infamous Te Akau North stage used in World Rally Championship events. It is also now a stage Sheehan rates as his favourite.

A series of third place stage times through the next three stages saw Sheehan elevate himself into third, a position he was able to hold despite struggling with worn tyres first time through the legendary Whaanga Coast. After bolting on some new tyres for the final pair of stages, Sheehan was able to set a pair of second fastest stage times that elevated him to the runner up spot after his rivals struck trouble in the final stage.

“Obviously we’d love to have secured the result entirely on our own pace but we drove sensibly all day and pushed on where we could. Our speed was good and it was a great way to round out the season,” said Sheehan. “I have to take this chance to really thank everyone that has made this season possible, it’s been an awesome adventure and we’ve really stepped up across the season. Next year is going to be an awesome battle with Jack and Robbie, I can’t wait already!”

The team now turn their attention to the Lawrence Rally for one final hit out before the end of the seson.

Recent Results
PosDriverTotal 
1New ZealandAndrew Graves41:10.5
2New ZealandJob Quantock+21.7
3New ZealandCarter Strang+38.9
4New ZealandJohn Giltrap+1:17.8
5New ZealandDerek Ayson+1:29.0
6New ZealandJohn Spencer+1:42.1
7New ZealandGaret Thomas+1:54.0
8New ZealandSean Haggarty+2:21.3
9New ZealandJeremy McIlwick+2:22.2
10New ZealandAri Pettigrew+3:47.0
11New ZealandRichie Chadwick+3:47.9
12New ZealandMike Sheehan+4:01.4
13New ZealandBrodie Anderson+4:12.6
14New ZealandMurray Marshall+4:43.0
15New ZealandNigel Lawson+4:51.1
16New ZealandRiley McCallum+4:51.2
17New ZealandGavin Read+5:07.5
18New ZealandZeke King+5:08.0
19New ZealandBrent Rawstron+5:28.6
20New ZealandJeff Judd+5:34.6
21New ZealandBrett Maddren+6:05.2
22New ZealandDave Jenkins+6:10.7
23New ZealandCraig Cormack+6:20.0
24New ZealandJarrod Glass+6:20.4
25New ZealandCory Saxton+6:38.4
26New ZealandNeil Dodds+6:41.9
27New ZealandScott Paul+6:59.3
28New ZealandMurray Garrick+7:13.8
29New ZealandRaimon Wilkinson+7:15.0
30New ZealandAlan Garrick+7:22.2
31New ZealandDeborah Kibble+7:28.4
32New ZealandKevin Lynch+8:07.8
33New ZealandIan Elliot+8:15.8
34New ZealandScott Gouman+9:03.1
35New ZealandTim Smith+10:24.8
36New ZealandJordyn Whyte+10:30.9
37New ZealandChris Hogan+11:41.4
38New ZealandMurray Christofferson+11:53.8
39New ZealandGreg Keen+12:02.4
40New ZealandJay Ritchie+12:40.2
41New ZealandGarry Mechen+13:14.5
42New ZealandDaph O'Rourke+16:59.8
43New ZealandBrayden King+25:08.4
PosDriverTotal 
1New ZealandGlenn Inkster3:29:13.8
2New ZealandDavid Rogers+9:10.0
3New ZealandMarcus van Klink+9:31.1
4New ZealandMartin Dippie+10:44.8
5New ZealandBrian Green+11:00.6
6AustraliaRobert Darrington+11:55.2
7New ZealandEddie Bell+13:03.8
8New ZealandRory Callaway+13:59.1
9New ZealandMark Kirk-Burnnand+15:50.9
10New ZealandDerek Ayson+16:35.7
11AustraliaTony Quinn+16:50.9
12New ZealandAndy Oakley+16:53.8
13New ZealandAdam Kaplan+17:09.9
14New ZealandShane Walden+20:03.9
15New ZealandGraeme Drummond+20:56.9
16New ZealandMax Perkins+23:07.4
17New ZealandGarry Cliff+23:28.8
18New ZealandScott O'Donnell+23:31.6
19New ZealandJohn Rae+24:33.9
20New ZealandMaurice Shapley+26:07.6
21New ZealandMark McCaughan+26:27.8
22IrelandJeff Mccandless+27:13.0
23New ZealandChristopher Lewis+27:42.7
24New ZealandJohn Thomson+28:10.5
25New ZealandNathan Luckey+28:45.2
26New ZealandRobert Webster+29:37.4
27New ZealandBarry Kirk-Burnnand+31:52.6
27New ZealandAndrew Simms+31:52.6
29New ZealandMike Tubbs+33:23.1
30New ZealandMike Lowe+35:14.0
31New ZealandRichard Ramson+35:39.9
32New ZealandAnthony Butler+36:07.1
33New ZealandBrandon O'Callaghan+36:16.2
34New ZealandBob Boniface+36:30.2
35New ZealandBrent Hill+36:34.9
36New ZealandTed Merewether+38:30.7
37New ZealandMatthew Wales+38:37.6
38New ZealandRick Finucane+45:27.1
39New ZealandPeter Jackson+46:23.8
40New ZealandJohn Buchanan+47:02.1
41New ZealandMike Brooks+48:31.8
42New ZealandKeith Penny+50:55.2
43New ZealandMark Hellier+55:04.4
44New ZealandGraham MacDonald+57:12.2
45New ZealandJohn Hancock+1:00:54.1
46New ZealandDavid O'Neill+1:07:26.8
47New ZealandAdam Cullen+1:14:24.9
2018 Points
PosNamePoints
1FranceSébastien Ogier204
2BelgiumThierry Neuville201
3EstoniaOtt Tänak181
4FinlandEsapekka Lappi110
5FinlandJari-Matti Latvala102
6NorwayAndreas Mikkelsen84
7SpainDani Sordo71
8United KingdomElfyn Evans70
9IrelandCraig Breen61
10New ZealandHayden Paddon55
11NorwayMads Ostberg48
12United KingdomKris Meeke43
13FranceSébastien Loeb15
14FranceBryan Bouffier4
15Czech RepublicJan Kopecký1
PosNamePoints
1Scott McLaughlin3656
2Shane Van Gisbergen3642
3Jamie Whincup3175
4Craig Lowndes3117
5David Reynolds2918
6Chaz Mostert2669
7Fabian Coulthard2450
8Scott Pye2410
9Rick Kelly2377
10Nick Percat2221
11Tim Slade2138
12Mark Winterbottom2024
13Garth Tander2010
14James Courtney1866
15Will Davison1825
16Cameron Waters1747
17Michael Caruso1657
18Anton de Pasquale1395
19Lee Holdsworth1290
20Simona De Silvesta1212
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandHayden Paddon173
2New ZealandBen Hunt130
3New ZealandJosh Marston104
4New ZealandMatt Summerfield102
5New ZealandRaana Horan92
6AustraliaNathan Quinn84
7New ZealandEmma Gilmour80
8New ZealandJohn Silcock68
9New ZealandDylan Thomson67
10New ZealandJack Williamson63
11New ZealandRegan Ross53
12New ZealandBrian Green49
13New ZealandDavid Taylor44
14New ZealandDylan Turner43
15AustraliaBrendan Reeves37
16New ZealandWayne Pittams36
17New ZealandPhil Campbell34
18New ZealandGreg Murphy32
19New ZealandMike Sheehan30
20New ZealandRobbie Stokes27
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandJosh Marston160
2New ZealandJeff Judd105
3New ZealandMatt Summerfield103
4New ZealandDavid Quantock100
5New ZealandGaret Thomas93
6New ZealandDeane Buist85
7New ZealandRichard Bateman79
8New ZealandMarcus Van Klink77
9New ZealandMike Sheehan66
10New ZealandJohn Silcock65
10New ZealandGraham Ferguson65
12New ZealandSean Haggarty61
13New ZealandDarren Galbraith58
14New ZealandPhil Collins57
15New ZealandEric Clark55
16New ZealandDavid Gee43
17New ZealandRegan Ross40
17New ZealandDylan Thomson40
19New ZealandGarry Cliff36
19New ZealandJohn Giltrap36
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandGrant Blackberry96
2New ZealandBrynley Smith87
3New ZealandMatt Adams86
4New ZealandDylan Thomson59
5New ZealandSteve Cox53
6New ZealandWayne Pittams50
7New ZealandWarwick Redfern45
8New ZealandAnthony Jones41
9New ZealandAmy Keighley32
10New ZealandDaniel Alexander31
11New ZealandAlex Gilmour19
12New ZealandPaul Fraser14
13New ZealandClinton Cunningham2
PosNamePoints
1New ZealandMark Kirk-Burnnand250
2New ZealandMartin Dippie240
3New ZealandMark McCaughan222
4New ZealandRory Callaway212
5New ZealandMike Tubbs210
6New ZealandDavid Rogers204
7AustraliaRobert Darrington193
8New ZealandAndy Oakley187
9New ZealandNic De Waal174
10New ZealandBrian Green173
11New ZealandShane Walden170
12New ZealandGraeme Drummond166
13New ZealandRick Finucane159
14New ZealandRichard Ramson149
14New ZealandChristopher Lewis149
16New ZealandJohn Rae143
17New ZealandGlenn Inkster142
18New ZealandJohn Thomson135
19New ZealandDerek Ayson134
20New ZealandHaydn Mackenzie132