Revived Race to the Sky delights fans
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.