Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Proctor Bringing Back 'Old Favourite' for Targa Event

11-07-14

Proctor Bringing Back 'Old Favourite' for 20th Anniversary Targa Event

True to his word, high-profile New Zealand motorsport personality Clark Proctor has confirmed he will contest this year's 20th anniversary Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally in his iconic Ford Escort.

Proctor, the man behind nationwide metal recycling business, Metalman, parked up the wild, wheel-waving turbocharged V6 Nissan-engined Escort in 2010 in favour of an altogether more sophisticated Nissan GT-R35.

But in a decision he is happy to admit had as much to do with sentiment as it did strategy he has sold the GT-R to fellow businessman and racer Peter Baker and commissioned a complete nut-and-bolt rebuild of the venerable Escort ahead of this year's special six-day Targa event from Christchurch to Queenstown.

"We did the 10th anniversary Targa in the Escort and I said at the time I would drive it in the 20th so that's what I'm going to do. Obviously, after seeing what Tony (Quinn) was doing with his GT-R we went and bought one of our own, but I've still been using the Escort in things like street sprints and hill climbs so when Peter (Baker) expressed interest in buying the GT-R I didn't have to worry about what I was going to replace it with."

Proctor hasn't exactly turned his back on Nissan's hi-tech, high performance GT-R35 either. His Metalman team will run his old car for Baker, as well as provide servicing support for fellow Aucklander Andrew Nichol in his GT-R35 in the main event and for Queenstown GT-R35 owner Mal Price in the associated (but non-competitive) Targa Tour.

Proctor and co-driver Sue O'Neill are one of over 80 earlybird pairings to have confirmed their intention to compete in the 20th anniversary Targa New Zealand event, being run - for the first time in that 20 years - in the South Island.

Others include last year's outright winner, Dunedin man Martin Dippie and his co-driver Jona Grant, five-time (four-consecutive) winner Tony Quinn and co-driver Naomi Tillett, and recent Targa North Island event winner Leigh Hopper and his co-driver Simon Kirkpatrick.

The prospect of the event in their own backyard for the first time has also encouraged a number of top South Island-based drivers to enter including circuit, rally and hillclimb veteran Trevor Crowe from Christchurch, and Ashburton rally ace Wayne Muckle.

Targa New Zealand event director Peter Martin has just returned to his Wiri, Auckland, base from a quick trip to the South Island and he says there is a real buzz about the event already.

"Everywhere I went this time, and that included Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown, people wanted to know about 'the Targa rally that's down here this year.' We've also got our sign-written community and volunteer liaison vehicle down there at the moment and, again, the feedback has been very good.

"If people don't already know that the event is coming they want to know all about it; where it starts, where it finishes, how many cars are going to be in it, what roads we're using? The level of interest this early in the piece is fantastic."
The 20th anniversary Targa New Zealand event starts in Christchurch on Labour Day Monday (October 27) with scrutineering, documentation, drivers' briefing then prologue at Mike Pero Motorsport Park (nee Ruapuna).

On Tuesday the field heads south for stages in mid-Canterbury, before the first of two overnight stays in Dunedin.

After a day full of stages in the Otago hinterland on Wednesday the field returns to Dunedin before heading south on Thursday to Invercargill - and a day's end stage at Teretonga Park.

Friday October 31 is then spent completing stages between Invercargill and Queenstown finishing at Cromwell's Highlands Motorsport Park (owned by five-time Targa NZ winner Tony Quinn).

Competitors then spend the final day (Saturday November 01) in the Lakes County with stages across the Crown Range and up Coronet Peak before the official finish in downtown Queenstown and the prize giving function the next day.

TARGA HISTORY

Dubbed 'The Ultimate Road Race,' Targa New Zealand 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 was held in 1995, its organiser, Mike John, having been inspired by the success of Australia's first Targa event, Targa Tasmania, in 1992.

Since then the annual multi-day New Zealand event has been joined by several other shorter, regional events with current owner and event director Peter Martin taking the helm in 2008.

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 Ecolight, Federal motorsport tyres, Instra Corporation, Kids In Cars, Metalman, NZ Classic Car magazine, TeamTalk, TrackIt, VTNZ. and Woolrest Biomag.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news