Whaleoil Race Team’s new friend Murph, in a RHD Camaro!

Murph will pilot the latest RHD Camaro on promo duties

Well as I alluded to in the last couple of Whaleoil Racing Team posts, I am now pleased to let you all know about an exciting addition to the Targa team.

We finally have confirmation that the one and only Greg Murphy, racer extraordinaire, will be coming to play with us again. But this time he will be hooning in the latest weapon from General Motors in Australia, the newly re-manufactured Camaro in right-hand drive.

Holden’s performance arm, HSV are undertaking the switching of the cars to RHD, but it’s going to be a pretty rare beast on this side of the ditch with only 35 allocated here. They are being snapped up, despite their price tag which is a little over $100k.

That’s a pretty nice place to sit!

Murph is going to be a great addition to the team and he certainly knows how to pedal. A little while ago I sat next to him while we completed a cone weaving exercise at a corporate training day that I was instructing at Highlands Motorsport Park down in Cromwell. Murph came very close to beating my time! Good thing we weren’t in a Holden as he probably would have wiped the floor with me.

Anybody who knows the slightest bit about me knows that I am partial to a good Ford. I think my all-time favourite vehicle is my newly purchased bach car, an old 2002 Falcon station wagon, which just happens to be the most practical car in the world. What else could you fit three-metre sheets of corrugated iron into with all the doors closed and still drive home? I’m on my fifth one now.

But truth be told, I am an equal opportunity petrolhead. I actually have an old Commodore race car as well and some Backchat commenters may recall my bright orange ’76 Chev C10 pickup from my extremely petrol hungry tiki-tour from Arrowtown to Mangawhai Heads last November.

As my esteemed co-driving oiler HR will tell you, sometimes when your Mustang breaks down, you might just have to whack a Targa Tour windscreen banner onto the company Holden Colorado Ute and finish the last three stages in that, complete with much tyre squealing and plenty of cheers from the good locals of Wellington! Go the Holden.

The Colorado ute, better than a Mustang?

There will be lots of different cars to ogle during the upcoming event, and the best places to see them all are at the lunch stops and end of day lineups in each town. I will let you all know where these will be closer to the event start on Labour day.

One of the coolest things about Targa is the variety of vehicles. This year we will see the Vintage Car Club time trial with all sorts of amazing older machinery and in the race are some of the coolest cars around.

I hear that Tony Quinn, five-time winner of Targa, may be bringing his brand spanking new Porsche 911 GT2RS out to play so I am looking forward to seeing how that will go. One recently just smashed the Nurburgring lap record doing a frankly incredible 6.47 mins!

TQ’s one is yellow too. 700hp anyone?

But it’s not all about the latest and greatest, sometimes the little old cars are just as much fun, at least that’s what the Havelock reception committee thought.

Hawkes Bay finish line greeters!

And there is usually the odd crash of course although we never like to see that. Especially when it’s one of your mates falling off the road at the infamous Cop Corner.

Black stuff Raymond, you’re supposed to keep it ON the black stuff!

You never know, you might even see one of those new-fangled Hover cars out there but can I suggest you don’t try this at home!

Leigh Hopper forgets that he isn’t in his helicopter. Regrets attention lapse.


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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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