Re­vived Race to the Sky de­lights fans

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

Fans of this year’s Race to the Sky hill climb gave an em­phatic ‘‘yes’’ on Sun­day to or­gan­iser and High­land Mo­tor­sport Park owner Tony Quinn when he asked if they wanted to come back next year.

Com­men­ta­tor and race founder Grant Aitken summed up the thrills and spills: ‘‘We’ve had break­downs, we’ve had en­gines blow, we’ve had the lot.’’

Course record holder Mon­ster Ta­jima of Ja­pan es­caped un­harmed when his Toy­ota Su­per 86 left the road on the fourth cor­ner of Sun­day’s qual­i­fy­ing run, with the re­sult­ing dam­age putting him out of the race.

Scot­tish driver Alis­ter McRae, in Pos­sum Bourne’s Subaru WRC98, and Am­ber­ley quad su­per rider Ian Ffitch blew up their en­gines and had a race within a race to get back on the road, fin­ish­ing first and third re­spec­tively. Aus­tralian driver Brett Hay­ward was sand­wiched be­tween. Their cham­pag­ne­fu­elled podium cel­e­bra­tion was ex­u­ber­ant.

Ash­bur­ton rider Bren­don Price was in­jured and taken to Dunedin Hos­pi­tal af­ter crash­ing his Honda 1137 Quad su­per. A pa­tient af­fairs spokesper­son said on Mon­day that Price was pro­gress­ing favourably in the or­thopaedic ward.

More than 7000 peo­ple were es­ti­mated to have at­tended. From left, win­ner Alis­ter McRae of Perth in back (in Pos­sum Bourne’s for­mer car), third place Ian Ffitch, of Am­ber­ley (also win­ner of the Quad class) and sec­ond over­all Brett Hay­ward of Australia.

High­land’s Mo­tor­sport Park owner and com­peti­tor Tony Quinn, left, be­ing in­ter­viewed by TV3 re­porter Shaun Sum­mer­field.

Pic­tured on Sun­day rac­ing up the hill for the fi­nal time is Carl Yal­lop of Auck­land in his Mit­subishi Evo 3, caus­ing a huge wave of gravel.

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