NZ V8s front-runner Paul Manuell will be contesting his third Dunlop Targa in October, driving a supercharged V8 VE Holden Commodore. Manuell, who is again contesting the BNT NZ V8s championship this summer in his Orix Commodore, is using the Targa event, which is run on closed sealed tarmac public roads from October 27-November 1, to sharpen his driving skills ahead of the V8 series.
“Although the Targa Commodore is very different in many ways from my NZ V8s racing car, there’s nothing like driving quickly to sharpen your race-driving skills,” he says. “Drivers call it getting ‘seat time’ and although I will have raced the Orix Commodore in the first round of the NZ V8s championship at Taupo on October 4-5, this additional mileage will help prepare me for the second round of the championship at Pukekohe on November 8-9.
“The Targa is a great fun event but with some serious competition as well. It covers a variety of roads, which is a challenge in itself, as against racing on a circuit.”
Manuell’s VE Targa Commodore, originally built a couple of years ago especially for the Targa and similar events, has been extensively checked, rebuilt and modified since last year.Co-driving for Manuell will be Glenn Middleton, Manager Operations for Orix New Zealand. Middleton has more 20 years’ experience as a rally co-driver at national level, but had retired because of career and family commitments.