Targa Bambina Motorsport News
2002 Targa Bambina - Day Of Fun In The Sun
By: Lance Hastie www.car.co.nz
Stinger or scorcher? Two words many entrants to this years Targa Bambina will use to describe Sunday 24th of March.
Things move in Taumaranui, quite literally. For anyone who used the opportunity to follow the event, they would know that the passing of an event like the Targa Bambina, that they would experience the ground move beneath their feet. For the near 100 cars who lined up early on the Sunday morning, they were greeted with a thick blanket of fog that lay in the valley in which Taumaranui lies - this was to be the first sting to the day - cold weather!
However, for those in the know, it was Taumaranui's way of saying 'hi' before a scorcher of a day, and what a scorcher it was.
Summer had struck with vengeance, leaving many drivers battling to cope in the conditions. Local stores were clocking up record sales of water.
For many, luckily this was to be their only major battle, for others (i.e. an Audi RS4) their battle centred on how to correct the two brand new headlights - by stopping them from facing each other. Such incidents in motor racing occur and the Targa Bambina was one such event that grows around tales of 'how we parked a brand new car in a tree and left plenty of rubber to mark where we took off from'.
There was no doubt the day was enjoyed by all, and none more so than those with open top cars who put the extra ventilation to good use in the high temperature high humidity King Country.
Looping east and west of the highway between Taumaranui and Te Kuiti, the route allowed the competitors to enjoy their day in the sun.
The numerous classes that make up the field in the Targa Bambina, allow drivers to compete in smaller groups, rather than for an outright placing.
While it was great to see the return of many well-known 'Targa' competitors, it was noted that many opted for different cars. Such examples include event winner from 2001 - Anton Tallot, who was driving a Peugeot 106 Clubsport, rather than his usual RX7.
Attracting entrants from far and wide, Dunedin's Emma Gilmour started her first rally event in the driver seat. Sitting in the co-drivers seat for prior events sure paid off, as Emma was on the charge right from the first stage. Not only did she claim a class win, but a 6th overall in outright time.
The diverse array of cars included classics such as Greg Locke's Humber 90 through to Taranaki's Kevin and Sue O'Neill who placed a 15th in the 'Modern' class, driving a Mazda RX7.
Winner overall in the 'Index of
Performance' was Auckland's Tony Herbert in the Lotus Elan
S2 - a convincing win ahead of the ambitious Auckland to
Wellington version of the 2002 Targa, which starts on the
28th of October.