Petrolheads rejoice!


The Targa Rally New Zealand is returning to Queenstown, bringing an estimated $25 million worth of rally and race cars and $2m in economic benefit.

Racing will be on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road and Crown Range Rd on Saturday, October 27, with road closures in place.

This is only the second time the rally has come to the South Island in 24 years.

When it last hit Queenstown in 2014, resort real estate big cheese and novice rally driver Brendan Quill took part in a 2004 Porsche GT3 Cup 6.

He blasted the 23.7km from the bottom of the Crown Range zig-zags to Cardrona Hotel in just 11 minutes and 21 seconds.

Up to 200 cars with support crews are likely to take part in this year’s rally.

Targa New Zealand spokesman Paul Shanahan says the two-day Queenstown stopover will boost the resort’s economy by a couple of million bucks.

“This is over and above the cost of running their cars,” Shanahan says.

“Typically, Targa competitors are well-heeled middle-aged visitors seeking superior accommodation and hospitality experiences.

“When you add in all the support crews and officials, the total number of visitors runs into the hundreds.”

International competitor spend is typically $2000 per person per day and team size is typically seven people. Domestic teams spend an average of $1000 a day.

Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn’s a five-time winner and one of the event’s main supporters.

Shanahan says landowners and homeowners along the rally route have already been contacted.