Bourne Subaru set to re­turn to clas­sic race

Scots­man McRae to drive in Race to Sky

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

One of the best-known rally cars in the coun­try – the late Pos­sum Bourne’s ex-World Rally Cham­pi­onship Subaru hill­climb car – is re­turn­ing to the Race to the Sky with popular rally star Alis­ter McRae at the wheel.

The Australia-based Scots­man was in­vited to drive the two-door Subaru WRXSTI by long­time rally sup­porter and Bourne’s for­mer co-driver Craig Vin­cent of Van­tage Mo­tor­sport, af­ter the car’s ear­lier driver, for­mer WRCs­tar Ken­neth Eriks­son, was not avail­able.

It is McRae’s first tilt at the Snow Farm hill climb but he says he’s re­view­ing pre­vi­ous event footage to help get an idea of the na­ture of the road.

Bourne died from in­juries re­ceived in a two-car col­li­sion in non-com­pet­i­tive cir­cum­stances on the Snow Farm Rd in 2003.

‘‘I knew Pos­sum; it’s a long time ago and it was a tragic ac­ci­dent but to have the op­por­tu­nity to drive his car on an event I know he was very pas­sion­ate about and very good at, it will be good to do that. I’m pos­i­tive that New Zealan­ders will be happy to see the car back out there,’’ McRae said.

McRae will also con­test the Otago Clas­sic Rally three weeks af­ter Repco Race to the Sky.

In other Race to the Sky news, three Vic­to­ria-based Aus­tralians are ex­pected to put up a fight as they cross the ditch to take part New Zealand’s Race to the Sky event.

Brett Hay­ward, Steve Ri­ley and An­thony Kovco will com­pete in var­ied ma­chin­ery – a pur­pose-built open wheel hill­climb racer, a Holden 4x4 ute and a 4WD Nis­san buggy re­spec­tively.

Hay­ward has con­tested the event five times and in 2007, when there was a class specif­i­cally for open wheel­ers, he set the record of 8 min­utes and 41 sec­onds for the 14.5 kilo­me­tre hill­climb course in the Cardrona Val­ley.

He is also the cur­rent state hill­climb cham­pion and out­right record-holder in South Australia, Queens­land and New South Wales events.

Ri­ley, a for­mer Aus­tralian of­froad mo­tor­cy­cle champ, placed sec­ond in Race to the Sky in 2002, and his team have built a 4x4 cross-coun­try spec Holden ute, which was de­buted in the Aus­tralasian Sa­fari Rally in Au­gust.

Pos­sum Bourne’s Van­tage Subaru will re­turn to Cardrona with Alis­ter McRae at the wheel.

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