Targa rally set to roar around Hawke's Bay over the weekend
Hawke's Bay will be petrolhead heaven on Saturday and Sunday, with more than 90 race cars taking to the region's roads to compete in the Targa rally.
The two-day event – starting and finishing at Havelock North's village green – includes 15 closed special stages covering 378km and 585km of touring stages held from north of Napier to south of Woodville.
A single-day "event-within-an-event" on Saturday, the Rally of Hawke's Bay, has also been organised in conjunction with the Hawke's Bay Car Club and will run as part of the larger event.
A number of rural roads around the region will be closed for up to several hours throughout the weekend to accommodate the various stages.
A Targa event has previously been held in Hawke's Bay in October but event director Peter Martin said organisers had chosen the region for a two-day event between Targa Rotorua in March and Targa New Zealand in October.
"The roads in the Bay are fantastic. You couldn't ask for better for an event like ours," Martin said.
"There's also a strong and very active motorsport fraternity and some very supportive councils with which we have an excellent working relationship with."
Saturday's seven stages are centred on Havelock North with a morning service at the Pettigrew-Green Arena in Napier and an afternoon one at Otane before a return to the Village Green for an overnight parc ferme.
Sunday's eight stages start with a short publicity stage on the Tuki Tuki Rd east of Havelock North before heading southwest with morning services at both Waipukurau and Dannevirke and afternoon ones at Mangatainoka and Dannevirke before a ceremonial finish at Treachers Lane back in Havelock North.
During last October's rally in Hawke's Bay, driver Kim McLeod had to be helicoptered to hospital – and was considered lucky to survive a 167kmh crash – after his car rolled onto a paddock after he failed to take a bend on Crownthorpe Settlement Rd.
Information on rally, including timings of the various stages and road closures, is on the Targa website.