Colourful rally drives into Hawke's Bay

By Morgan Tait

Race cars have rolled into Hawke's Bay for the weekend, as the 2012 Targa New Zealand competitors hit town.

More than 100 racers arrived at the Havelock North Domain yesterday afternoon, after crossing the Gentle Annie from Palmerston North during the day.

The charity rally that raises money for Cure Kids, started from Auckland on Tuesday morning, and will spend today driving over eight special stages with service stops in Waipukurau, Dannevirke High School and central Hastings. Celebrations will continue in Havelock North into the evening.

Havelock North Business Association president Adrienne Pierce said Targa participants were welcome guests in the village.

"The cars and drivers create a colourful and vibrant atmosphere in the town centre," she said. "We have developed a very good relationship with the Targa management and enjoy working with them to create a fabulous end to an amazing event."

"We have got flags up and all the accommodation is full ... publicans have been doing quite a bit of work and retail is looking forward to having everyone in town," Mrs Pierce said.

"These are high-end visitors to Havelock North and Hawke's Bay so the fact that we are turning it on for them and hosting them with the hopes that they come back to visit again."

A prizegiving ceremony will be held at Hawkes Bay Opera House in Hastings on Sunday night.

Targa NZ was founded in 1995 and has grown from a 74-car entry list to around 200 entries and from one event a year to a three-round series.

More than $470,000 has been raised for Cure Kids.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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