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Targa NZ is one of the last Tarmac Motorsport Events in the world that involves public roads, attracting racers from all over the world. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Targa rally planned for rural roads

An upcoming event could draw the car enthusiasts and the curious to the rural roads of Maramarua, Mangatawhiri, and Mangatangi this March.
Targa New Zealand is planning on bringing its Bambina 2024 tarmac rally to rural Hauraki over the weekend of March 16 and 17.
Ultimate Rally Group managing director Peter Martin said Targa has been running in New Zealand since 1995, and during this time, they have regularly hosted events around the Hauraki district.
“But it has been about five years since we were last in this particular area as we try to change the course for every event,” he said.
Targa NZ is a road race series in which competitors race against the clock in ‘Special Stages’ and compile points over each race leg (up to eight per day), to arrive at a series champion. These legs are held as part of an event, two or three times per year, with each taking place within a few hours commute from Auckland.
Peter said getting from the big smoke to rural Waikato was simple, as each participant sets off in one minute intervals.
“In terms of normal travelling around on the open roads, the rally cars don’t interfere with the normal flow of traffic because it’s not like there’s 50 of them bumper to bumper. They’re each separated by a minute,” he explained.
The March Targa will be based out of Te Kauwhata College as the central service park, with the cars returning to the school throughout the day.
When speaking to The Profile, Peter was out plotting the course, with the road closure proposals already being lodged with Waikato District Council.
The proposed road closures for the Hauraki area relate to the first day of the event on March 16. They are: Coalfields Road; Kopuku Road; Monument Road; Miranda Road; Mangatangi Road; Mangatawhiri Road; Jeffs Road; and McKenzie Road.
“Once we have council approval for the road closures, we will then create recommended areas for spectators to view the passing cars, in addition to the school stop where spectators can meet the drivers,” Peter said.
The organisation acknowledged that the proposed road closures may cause inconvenience to residents, however, they hoped people would take the opportunity to watch New Zealand’s leading tarmac rally drivers and cars “in action”.
“Targa NZ is one of the last Tarmac Motorsport Events in the world that involves public roads, and as such attracts people from all over the world, such as Australia, Japan, USA, UK and Europe, just to name a few,” Peter said.
“[There’s a] wide range of vehicles, from vintage early 1900’s through to the latest 2024 Supercars, so there is a diverse mix of machinery that will appeal to a variety of people, so don’t miss the show and get along to view some of the best tarmac drivers displaying their skills.”
DETAILS: For more info on the event, visit For full list of road closures and times, visit the Public Notices page of