The Targa that came to Tea: the family rallying activity

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Targa Rallies can provide a great introduction to those wishing to start in rallying, and can be undertaken as a family. Starting in Stage Rallies is a significant investment in money and time, however Targas offer a far lower cost starting point and offer a great ‘community’ vibe, usually everybody helps everybody else. Talent can also shine through quickly, even in standard cars.

Suze Endean is a regular on these highly enjoyable events, both as an experienced organiser and successful competitor. Perfectly illustrating the large number of opportunities available right now, in the past weeks she has been at three different venues. She carried out Car Zero and Test Commander roles on recent Exmoor and South Oxon Targas before driving on the Rushmoor Targa, an event she has won twice as a navigator. She plans to fit in one more, as a navigator, before the year is over.

“I do them because they are tremendous fun and they make me happy,” grinned Endean. “What’s more you get double the buzz of competing in a car with someone else. It’s very much a shared experience, which adds enormously to the overall enjoyment.”

“Targas are not only very accessible and affordable but they also appease all appetites – they cater for those who just want to have some good fun as well as those who, perhaps, want to take things a little more seriously,” she said without revealing on which side of the fence she happens to fall!

“Moreover, for many participants a Targa season will be the pinnacle of their desires while, for others, these will be a really great stepping stone for a move up into full-blown stage rallies. Cars seen on Targas are often seen competing in other disciplines too, which helps add to the appeal.

“The varied nature of the events on offer also helps to cater for different types of competitors and budgets – some are sealed surface, some are on gravel tracks and some are just on a grass field. Some are cheap-to-enter single venues, others slightly more costly multi-venues – so there’s a great range of different styles on offer right across the country.

“The Exmoor, for instance, took place in forests and some safety equipment like rear cages and harnesses were required, whilst other things such as a sump guard were recommended. Equally there are Targa Rallies which take place on old airfields and you can enter those in a totally unmodified car.”

Quite apart from the thrill of competing in such a cost-effective and engaging form of motorsport, Endean enjoys the family-friendly atmosphere which surrounds the sport.

“It’s particularly gratifying to see so many parents using Targas to introduce their children to the real buzz that motorsport produces,” confirmed Endean.