After a huge prologue day at Hampton Downs yesterday, the Targa NZ cars were officially launched this morning from the Telstra Pacific Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland. It’s a hardcore day of racing ahead for competitors with 4 Special Stages before lunch in Otorohanga, then 3 more Specials before overnight in New Plymouth. That’s 182 kms of Special Stages and 351kms of Touring.
Yesterday was officially Day 1, and for good reason, it was the day of documentation for the Drivers, Co-Drivers and for the cars they have to pass an engineering and safety scrutineering.
A solid crowd had gathered at the Manukau City’s Telstra Events Centre because there was other motorsport activities as part of Full Throttle Weekend.
Then in the Genesis Theatre there was the Briefing sessions, held separately for Targa Tour participants, then all Service Crews and then Driver and Co-Drivers. These are compulsory sessions and cover a broad range of important topics.
At 1 pm the cars headed off to Hampton Downs for Prologues 1 and 2. Essentially these are the sessions where the cars are given their last ‘shakedown’. Some were bedding in new brakes and others used it as an opportunity to take sponsors for several hot-laps of this exciting circuit.
Naturally there was much interest in the appearance of the four Nissan GT-R35s. Ex —pat Kiwi Steve Millen from California in his very own Stillen GT-R and it is a work of art. It has been lightened everywhere with extensive use of carbon fibre. The carbon ceramic brake disks fill the inner circumference of the alloy wheel.
Tony Quinn from Queensland has had his VIP Pet Foods GT-R35 here before and whilst it looks standard, we know it’s not — it and Tony are fast and that is why he is No.1 seed.