Targa Bambina’s three-day format is designed to simulate a mini Targa New Zealand – challenging, but not too demanding and a great way to prepare for Targa New Zealand in October
ay One starts with a leisurely tour from the Simunovich Olive Estate, with the first stage being held over smooth rural roads. Highlights on the day will include the demanding Lake Waikare stage as the field heads towards Thames to tackle the Coromandel Climb, a stage that winds up and over a mountain range — ten kilometres of sideways heaven! The day finishes in the picturesque town of Whitianga. The following day, the Targa cars take on Pumpkin Hill before heading towards Tairua. The day’s action includes several wellused Targa stages such as Richmond Downs, while the final stage of the day sees Targa entering the realm of Middle Earth for a blast around Hobbiton. There’s no truth to the rumour that Bilbo Baggins will be on hand as a block marshal on this stage. The day finishes in Rotorua at the Rydges Hotel. For the final day, Targa promise something new to keep competitors on their toes before getting back to some favourite roads — here the drivers will have to contend with slippery roads and sunstrike. However, the undoubted highlight of the day will be the marathon Ngakuru/waikite Valley stage — at 67 kilometres this stage will provide for a truly exhilarating drive. Finally, the cars swing back to Rotorua for the grand finish. Targa Bambina includes over 400 kilometres of special stages and only 640 kilometres of touring — all over three actionpacked days; a worthy prelude to the Ultimate Road Race that is the main Targa NZ later this year.
Graham Macdonald and co-driver John Mulrennan have taken part in a number of Targa Rallies since 2005. They are looking forward to the challenge of the new South Island roads, as are their service crew of Andrew Walker and Jol Wiren. This year marks the fifth major rally in their trusty 1990 BMW 320i. The BMW is essentially standard, which is a requirement for the BMW Race Driver Series, so the team will be working a lot harder to stay ahead of some of the highly-modified Targa competition! The team would like to thank KITCHENMANIA for supporting its race and rally endeavours over the past year, as well as Hick Bros, Attwoods Packaging, and P & S Automotive for their continuing assistance. Follow the team’s progress at kitchenmaniaraceteam.wordpress.com.
KITCHENMANIA, Unit 1, 20 Sylvia Park Road, Mt Wellington, Auckland Phone: 09 588 4045 Website: kitchenmania.co.nz
Leigh welcomes Ben aboard for this event in the absence of Simon Kirkpatrick, who is accompanying his family overseas. ‘Hodrive’ has had its body straightened, plus engine issues addressed and tuned after an altercation with a bank on the first day of Targa South Island. All systems ran well in the recent South Auckland Targa Sprint with the assistance of Mach 1 Engineering (Rick Grey), GDS Automotive, and Team Rally Art. Leigh says, “The team is looking forward to the Bambina and some of the challenging roads along the route, particularly around the Coromandel with its spectacular scenery — not that there’s much time to look!
19 Tamariki Avenue, Orewa