When it comes to grabbing attention in Targa competition, Mike Lowe’s name instantly springs to mind. A veteran Targa competitor, competing in events in both Australia and New Zealand, Lowe has become famous for his exploits behind the wheel of his diminutive 1964 Fiat Abarth.
Lowe has enjoyed the support of ENZED for over 25-years, claiming it to be “the longest running sporting sponsorship in New Zealand” while also spruiking the virtue of being “world famous”.
But perhaps his most famous moment came when the little Fiat, nicknamed “Barty” was seen lurching, then tipping into a low-speed rollover - with the facial expressions of both driver and navigator in full view for all to see. Lowe states that “Barty’ had nothing more than “a little lie-down” and quickly after Lowe had tooted the horn the car was quickly flipped back onto its wheels by spectators, and was swiftly back on its way, having lost little more than 30-seconds of time.
This year witnesses the 25th Anniversary running of Targa NZ, an event which Lowe has only missed once - due to illness, an effort that no other competitor has come close to matching. Having retired “Barty” to the National Motorsport Museum after the 20th Anniversary Targa NZ event, for this year Lowe has been asked by Targa NZ organisers to bring back “Barty” as the ‘poster-boy’ entry for one last Targa sortie. With the giant-killing combination having been sadly missed by spectators and media alike the return of the ENZED-backed car will no doubt be eagerly anticipated.