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

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news