Bourne Subaru set to return to classic race
Scotsman McRae to drive in Race to Sky
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.