What is a Targa Rally?

When it comes to ‘smiles per mile’ it’s hard to beat competing in a Targa Rally, one of the fastest growing and most entertaining ways to have some excitement in your standard everyday car. You don’t need any training or special equipment – just the burning desire to have some great fun on four wheels. 

With driving becoming increasingly hard to enjoy on public highways, a growing number of motor clubs are setting up Targa Rallies. And these are open to all-comers; you just need a valid licence, including a free RS Clubman.  

Combining the against-the-clock thrills of a Rally with the precision driving skills of an Autotest, most take place on private land. A twisty course is set out and marked with cones – cars then zoom and skid around the prescribed route in the fastest possible time, mostly averaging 30mph, which feels very quick in tight corners. Twists and turns keep speeds down and add to the challenge while a navigator helps drivers to stay on course while avoiding penalties for taking the wrong way. What’s more, cars can be shared at some single venue Targas, so drivers and navigators can swap seats and get twice the kicks! 

To ensure safe, fair and fun competition, events are run to regulations laid out by Motorsport UK. As one of the sports organised under the governing body’s ‘Streetcar’ programme, Targas are strictly reserved for road cars – this not only keeps costs down and provides easy access but also provides a more level playing field. Targas are therefore easily accessible for those at all levels of rallying experience. 

Vehicles just need to be road legal with a valid MOT and be taxed and insured. Crews don’t require racesuits or even helmets, just a RS Clubman licence from Motorsport UK. Then join one of the many motor clubs now organising Targa Rallies, pay your entry fee and dump the clutch. Simple!   

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