Ford New Zealand and legendary Kiwi racing driver Steve Millen today confirmed that Millen will race an iconic Ford GT40 in the upcoming Dunlop Targa New Zealand race on October 22-29.
Speaking from California where he currently resides, Millen was excited about the upcoming race and the opportunity to once again compete in the challenging Targa New Zealand event.
"This will be the sixth time I've competed in Targa, and it's a fantastic event - I can't think of a better car than the Ford GT40 to compete in it," he said of the vehicle which is one of only a handful in New Zealand and worth over $NZ380,000.
The GT40 is a reincarnation of the iconic model that won at Le Mans in 1966 and is powered by a super-charged and intercooled Ford 5.4 litre V8 delivering 375kW and 670Nm of torque through a six-speed gearbox.
"It is amazing the way the team at Ford has designed and built the GT40 - it is a fabulous car for driving and for racing, and working on it is just like working on a race car.
"We have made many racing modifications to the suspension, brake, exhaust system and engine to prepare the car for the Targa - all of the work was done in-house at my business Stillen in California.
"With these modifications and the super-charged V8 engine of the GT, I think we've got a real chance of running in the top five," said Millen who boasts a strong international racing resume including numerous rally and race victories including two IMSA GT's Drivers Championship titles.
The navigator's seat in the distinctive Tangello orange Ford GT will be shared by John Lamm, the editor of leading American car magazine 'Road and Track' and Millen's son, Kyle.
"2006 commemorates 40 years since Kiwis Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren led Ford to its first victory and to a Ford 1-2-3 at the famous Le Mans circuit and it is fitting that we are pleased to be able to support Millen's entry in a GT40 in Targa NZ," said Clare Ponton, Media Relations Manager, Ford New Zealand.
Millen's entry in Targa will be supported by Ford New Zealand, Yamaha and Reid Construction Systems.
The distinctive GT40 racecar will be on display to the public at Ford New Zealand's Head Office (70 Plunket Ave, Manukau) on Thursday October 19 before the Dunlop Targa New Zealand begins on October 22.