The husband informed me that the Mercedes Club members were getting a chance to drive part of the Targa rally route with a driver and a navigator. He just got the look “my car, I’m driving.”

On the 19th August Daryl and I meet up with the other enthusiastic drivers at BP Dury before heading down to Hampton Downs to meet our instructor.

What was the first thing I noticed? It was all the boys, no other girls to be seen, until with much relief I spot Sue and Arthur.

At Hampton Downs cafe we got a rundown on the instruction book every car gets when they are on the Targa rally. This gives in-depth instructions on road symbols, the route, the degrees of the corners, and time each part of the route should take, all set out in little boxes called Tulips. I ask the boys “why Tulips?”. They all looked at me blankly so they didn’t know any more than me. But would Sue and I be able to keep up with the boys?

Out on the route we go, taking us around the back roads of Pukekohe and north Waikato, then back to Hampton Downs. The route was exciting and I got a lesson from the husband on how to drive turning at the apex of the corners so the car stays balanced.

Apparently, the car is made to take the corners fast and tight. Funny how a few weeks ago he informed me the car was made to go fast down the straight German autobahn. She’s such a cleaver car being made to go fast on all road conditions.

After one wrong turn, not my navigator’s fault, we stuck to the road like fast and furious and completed three sections of the official route.

Did us ladies drive as fast as the boys? I’m afraid not but I also don’t think we embarrassed ourselves either?

Back at Hampton Downs we got to see the workshop where all the planning happens and a few questions were asked about entering next year.

Daryl’s question was “is it ok for the slower drivers to enter?” Think he was asking for a friend.


Janine Jeffrey

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