Petrolheads rejoice: Introducing Whaleoil Race Team

Whaleoil’s going racing, come join us.

Petrolheads rejoice, Whaleoil is going racing!

Now any of you who have read my bio would know that I am a certified petrolhead (bonsus-V8icus). My Discus avatar is a Mustang for goodness sake, and you know that anyone who has a car as their avatar is reasonably seriously disturbed and will probably only have one eye for their favourite make.

I have been known to shout obscenities at racers on the TV and when it comes to Holden drivers, don’t get me started, I am as one-eyed as a Canterbury supporter, (I’m looking at you here Hookerphil!)

So it is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Whaleoil, in conjunction with Targa NZ,  are forming the Whaleoil Race Team.

And you can be part of it too!

Targa is a world-renowned, week long, tarmac road rally. This year it is being held down in the best part of New Zealand, starting on October 22nd in Invercargill and ending up six days later in Queenstown.

Along the way we will pass through Dunedin, Gore, Cromwell etc, completing nearly 700kms of closed road stages. That’s some seriously good racing right there folks.

I have completed about seven different Targa events to date, mostly doing the Targa Tour both for fun and as an official, but also racing in the competition, even winning our category back in the 2016 Targa Bambina event held around Pukekohe, although that was in a BMW so it doesn’t count.

Pretty good car, won our category, but meh, it’s a BMW.

So the Whaleoil Race Team will this year be helping out as an official vehicle within the Targa Tour, running as a midpoint car. Mid-point cars are spaced about every ten vehicles in the pack, we have radio communications with the organisers and other official vehicles and it will be us who deal with any incidents, help with instruction if needed, herd cats etc.

My partner in crime and esteemed co-driver is our own Oiler, HR. He used to be in the same job as I was and is one of the few people on the planet that I am happy to have drive me, at full whack, in my car. He is one of life’s true good buggers and is also one of the only guys on the planet who would be happy to sit beside me for a week listening to Dad Jokes and bitching about Julie Anne Genter.

Two ExPFC’s are always better than one!

So what exactly is Targa I hear you cry? Well, there is a pretty great history.

The word Targa means ‘Plate” in Italian and is derived from the trophy which was awarded in 1906 to the winner of the first Targa, known as the Targa Florio. This event was held in Sicily and ran from 1906 until 1973 through some of the most spectacular mountain roads and villages of the island, initially all on open roads! OSH and other issues forced it all to an end though, until 1992 when the inaugural Targa Tasmania was held.

Going bigger and better, Targa NZ was formed in 1995 by a dedicated group of volunteers headed by Mike John and has grown massively to now have fields in excess of 200 vehicles at times.  One of Mike’s early Safety Cars for the event is none other than the mighty Mustang that I own today.

Bruce the Mustang. Whaleoil Race Team vehicle of choice.

This year’s event looks set to be one of the biggest and will be held in the South Island for only the second time in the event’s history. And we want you to be part of it.

In the honourable tradition of the Whaleoil Gun Club, we are setting up the Whaleoil Race Team.

The current owner of Targa NZ is a friend of mine, Peter Martin. Peter has generously offered a special discount for Whaleoil readers who would like to enter either the race portion of the event or the Tour. (Trust me, it’s a good one!)

The Targa Tour is pretty much the most fun you can have with your pants on. It was created to allow people to drive their road registered cars through closed roads, in a safe, structured environment and in a manner and speed not allowed on the open road.

Drivers get the chance to see and experience some of the best roads in the world, without the pressure of competition. They travel along the same route as the competition vehicles including the closed road sections, at speed, on both sides of the road and use the same route book. It’s amazing!

The Tour is for people who want to drive our spectacular winding roads and experience their car the way it was intended to be driven by the manufacturers in an exciting and social atmosphere.

There is a Classic Tour that has a slightly lower maximum speed and you don’t have to wear a helmet, but most people prefer the Modern Tour with a higher speed limit where you can really push your car. This is where you will find the Whaleoil Race Team.

The Tour is led by experienced drivers in exotic cars. They set the pace and are responsible for keeping us all safe. We drive in a convoy, fastest cars to the front behind the leader and the more sedate cars to the rear, so you are always able to drive to a speed that you are comfortable with.

This year’s Modern Tour Leaders are a couple of ex-co-workers of mine, they like to drive fast! Keep up if you’re up to it!

Tour vehicles range from the sublime Audi R8, to the awesome 1979 Mustang, and everything in between.

But there’s only a month to go so you are going to have to get onto this or you will miss out!

Peter tells me that one of the biggest barriers to people partaking in the Tour is that they find it hard to make the call to do it by themselves. People who have other mates wanting to do it at the same time find it much easier to convince themselves (and their partners) that this is what they need in their lives.

So with that in mind, the Whaleoil Race Team are here to help. HR and I will be there to look after everyone. We have both done plenty of events and are more than happy to pass on our knowledge, help you to organise everything you need, push you along when needed and generally make sure you have the best time of your life.

All you need is a co-driver and a decent road legal car that will handle a week of driving fast. It doesn’t have to be a race car and it doesn’t have to be expensive, everyone’s cars are different and we all become mates very quickly. You will need a basic motorsport licence, some decent brake pads/fluids and the tyres will need to be suitable to last the week. Other than that it is just a few safety items like helmets, fire extinguisher, tow rope, etc. Even Holden drivers are welcome, as long as they keep their pants on!

You will find more info on what you require here. You can register directly to enter the event here,  just tell them you are part of the Whaleoil Race Team, or contact me at [email protected] for all the good oil and I will personally make your life better than it was and help get everything organised with you.

Hey it’s not budget racing, but there is nowhere else in the world that you can do the type of thing we do here, even the other Targa events in Australia and Newfoundland wish they could do it like us here in little ole NZ, but spectating is always free and we would love to see you supporting the team, so make sure you come and say hi.

Over the next couple of weeks I will let everyone know more about what we will be up to and during the event I will be posting regular updates for everyone so you know where we have been and where we are heading next etc so you can join in with us, check out the amazing vehicles, get your photo taken with Bruce the Wandering Whale and generally have a great time.

Another souvenir for Bruce’s suitcase
PHOTO supplied Whaleoil

Oh, and if anybody wants to help out with getting us there, we would be forever in your debt and we would be happy to highlight your business and generosity everywhere we go.

Right, I’m off to design the paint scheme for the Stang. I’m thinking something like this!

Bruce Junior, (Ford KA edition, not to be confused with big brother Bruce, Mustang edition)

 


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ExPFC, ex lots of things. Husband to a great woman. Father to great kids. Traveller, teller of tall tales, wannabe capitalist property magnate. I’m a passionate user of fossil fuels, a proud Kiwi, Ford over Holden, Indy over F1, V8’s over everything else.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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