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Thread: Targa Bambina 2015

  1. #1

    Targa Bambina 2015

    Please forgive me Steve for hijacking your forum but I don't know of anywhere else to post this question.
    Targa Bambina starts in just under a week with what I would consider to be very small fields in both the competition and tour. I would imagine that many who visit this forum would be present or past entrants. How many of you are not doing the Bambina (and for that matter the main event) this year? Is the problem the entry cost, or the cost of competing, or the issue of having to run on Federal tyres or other issues like "been there done that, whats next"? Or are there other reasons? I have done six as a co-driver and the South Island event as support crew, and if I look past the crashes, engine blows and clutches I have thoroughly enjoyed every one. I even have some finishers medals and tin plates to show for it.
    Please don't use this post to slag the event or it's organizers or the mandatory use of Federal tyres, which incidentally we found to be perfectly adequate on the right car.
    Allan Cameron

  2. #2
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    I think that maybe Targa needs to look backwards a wee bit. When it first started, it was very much biased towards Classics but over recent years, the bulk of the competitors seem to be running moderns. When there were 280 cars, it really was a massive spectacle that fired up competitors and spectators alike, not to mention local communities. I always went to the motor shows and acted as a support crew for part of one event, but in recent years, even as a spectator, it has lost its appeal.

    Running older classics whether for circuits or Targa's gets increasingly difficult as well as expensive.

    Expensive? Sure is. One Targa or several race meetings?

  3. #3
    I'll second that Ray. I used to go to as much of each Targa as I could "back in the day", and was a service crew for 3 years. For me, the more it becomes "modernised" with the cars, the less interest and appeal it has for me, both as a spectator and as a possibly-again competitor. Very few other old cars to "compete" against, and I don't find the camaraderie the same among the modern-car brigade, but maybe that's just me.

    I'd love to put my old MGB in it, but the ( main Targa ) cost is prohibitive. I did run the old MGB in Targa Bambina in Taumaranui once ( 2001 I think? ), and that was great.

    I can't really see the tyre situation being much of a problem though, as you are going to knacker a set of tyres on the event anyway, regardless of what brand they are.

  4. #4
    I have been co-driver in a total of 10. The majority in "main" Targa, but a few of the smaller. Also timed 3 of the main ones.
    I lost interest when the cars I was in, IMHO true classics, were against cars with an old bodyshell but new mechanicals, Tremec gearboxes, LS2 etc. Sure they are a lot easier (read cheaper) to run, but I believe they should be dated by the newest of the major components. Yes I know there are now capacity classes but... I even offered a trophy for the "Highest Place True Classic" but that was declined.
    As a modern tarmac rally I have no interest at all.
    I don't believe that the tyres are an issue, I have been told by people I know that they are happy with the Federals, size limitations can be a problem, but that existed with Dunlop too.
    I don't think the entry fee was (don't know about this year) too high IF you consider miles or minutes of competition compared to say a hillclimb where you might pay $150 for 5 runs of under a minute. Sure it is in one lump of dollars, and a fair few of them but if you did that many minutes of circuit events in one year it would be much the same? Likewise, accommodation, fuel, meals etc.
    One of the factors for me personally was the addition each year, it seemed, of newer version timing gear, Monit, rally meter, compulsory Hans etc.
    Another which a number of the people I spoke to was the cost of Motorsport licences for one event if you just did the one. All adds up doesn't it.

  5. #5
    A couple of points on my mention of Federal tyres. When they were first used we finished a early morning stage in the Wairarapa during which we passed a car running of Federals that should have been quicker than us. When they finally came in behind us they said that had survived a few scary moments where the road was not totally dry because of the shelter from the trees and they were not impressed with the tyres.
    After we destroyed our FIAT in the 2012 Bambina we switched to the Toyota Celica that we had previously run on Dunlops and bought a set of Federals so we could do the last day. The first stage we did was the Whiritoa hill and roared of cautiously not knowing what to expect. On the more powerful and heavier car the Federal were great despite the fact that following consultation with other competitors we discovered we were running the pressures a little too low.
    The thing I did hear down south was a comment from a competitor to the effect that if he had to run Federals he would be not be running.
    I hope this explains my comments on the tyres. JAFA after a hard days running those tyres showed very little wear so you could probably get more than one event out of a set.

  6. #6
    Have they implemented the Federal tyres primarily because of sponsorship, or because they are a harder compound race tyre, and hence most people will get the whole main Targa out of 1 set, rather than taking ( and needing ) spares and getting the associated time penalties?

  7. #7
    Location and competitiveness for me. I did two of the 2 day events (Tauranga and Rotorua) and a couple of the last days when the main Targa finished in Wellington (now living here) and loved every minute of it. Entry cost was quite reasonable for the competition distance, tyre and brakes last a couple of years, no breakdowns - standard low powered car has some benefits - but there were fewer cars I could compete with and today looking at the entry I'd be struggling just hanging onto the back of the field (same with the Taupo 2wd rally). Hans device and the move away from Wellington for the main event finish was it for me.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JAFA View Post
    Have they implemented the Federal tyres primarily because of sponsorship, or because they are a harder compound race tyre, and hence most people will get the whole main Targa out of 1 set, rather than taking ( and needing ) spares and getting the associated time penalties?
    As far as I know most people got the whole event out of 1 set of Dunlops, perhaps with the extra 2 tyres which were allowed. We had difficulty with different sizes front and back in complying but usually achieved it. When Dunlop change of staff had the company withdraw their very generous sponsorship the event went looking for someone else as a supplier, and Federal stepped up. From what inside info I was given at the time there was no other reason.

  9. #9
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Interesting that when I built my project car (a 10 year struggle) I specifically put Dunlop tyres on it, and on two of the spare wheels, just in case either I or a subsequent owner, might want to do a Targa event. I certainly wouldn't be biffing the 6 unworn tyres just to do an event, that is for sure.

  10. #10
    I do believe that Targa tested a number of different makes of tyre before deciding on the Federal. The increase in tyre allocation from 6 to 8 was to allow competitors to run a set of semi slicks and have a set of 595s (I think) to use in wet conditions. For those who ran on 185/60-14 Dunlops the change means a new set of wheels as well as there are no 14 inch Federals available.

  11. #11
    I've competed in - and completed - seven Targas (always the main 5/6 day event). The two cars I used were both NZ-built specials / kitcars, and both were rear wheel drive with 1970's components (ie: no ABS, traction control, turbos, etc).

    Initially Targa NZ was a great event with lots of older, 2-wheel drive cars, but in the last couple of years it became impossible to compete in the 'Modern' class against cars with all the modern trickery like the Porsche GT3, Audi RS4 and Mercedes.

  12. #12
    Thanks for your replies and comments which all seem to follow a similar pattern.
    I think what has happened is the emphasis has changed from the original classic (ie 40 years old) to the 1993 cut off date currently used. As we all know we could argue the "classic" point until ISIS take over the world and never agree but I definitely agree with Old Fart on the classic car with modern mechanicals not fitting the spirit of the competition. IMHO the classic date for both body and major mechanical components should be 1980, but making agreed allowances for hard to source or excessively expensive parts.
    We did look at running in the Bambina this year but despite the fact that we live in the area so accommodation costs would have been negligible it would still have been a nearly $10K exercise.
    But I do agree with everyone that it has been an awful lot of fun to have been part of.

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