FAST COMPANY/GRAHAM HUGHES
This year’s Targa Rally has been cancelled due to so many drivers and volunteers being stuck in Auckland.
RALLYING: This year’s Targa New Zealand tarmac motor rally has become the latest victim of the Government’s tough stance on travel out of Auckland under Covid-19 alert level 3.
The rally was due to start in New Plymouth on Tuesday, October 26 and finish in Havelock North on Saturday, October 30.
Owner and event director Peter Martin waited as long as he possibly could before making a decision, but in the end, decided on Monday to postpone it until May.
“We simply ran out of time,” he said. “Because of the closed-car nature of our event, I was confident that we could run our event under level 1 or even, at a pinch level 2 … which so far anyway all of our planned route was under at the moment.”
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The stumbling block was Auckland and the travel ban for all residents under level 3.
“A lot of our competitors either live and or store, or have their cars worked on somewhere within the super city boundaries.
“Plus many of our key volunteers come from Auckland. And to be perfectly frank, without them we wouldn’t have an event.”
Following the government’s latest Covid-19 update on Monday, and with no firm indication of when Auckland might join the rest of the country at level 2, Martin was forced to postpone the event until May in anticipation of fewer restrictions.
“With so many factors to consider, such as the availability of support services (officials, medical, recovery and RallySafe), council approval processes, resident consultations and traffic management just to name a few, we believe it is the prudent thing to do so that we can now get on with planning our 2022 calendar.
“Already we have a possible two-day March event in the North Island, then an October two-day event, followed by the NZ Silver Fern Rally in November, both in the South Island.”