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Race to the Sky has a new king

28 April, 2015

After taking an in-depth look at the Possum Bourne Motorsport–built Subaru WRC car, we knew the team, and driver Alister McRae, had a good shot at winning the resurrected Repco Race to the Sky hill-climb event in Cardrona Valley. Boasting over 850hp, the Subaru was a real monster, which it had to be with the likes of Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima returning to claim the throne with his purpose-built Super 86, as well as super-quad racer Ian Ffitch said to rustle some feathers.

However, there could only be one winner and Alister McRae was on fire all weekend, until Sunday morning when the worst happened during a practice run. Alistair pushed hard during the morning session, until there was a mechanical failure. It was irreparable at this stage in the weekend and the spare motor had to be installed before the final run — fine of course, but it makes 150hp less than the first engine. With less power than the initial motor, the team weren’t as confident, but after Alister’s final run of 8:17:06 was enough to secure the win, he was crowned the new king of the mountain.

Australian Brett Hayward was consistent throughout the weekend in his self-built supercharged Suzuki-powered open wheeler.

His consistency was enough to see him place second overall during the final run (left on the podium).

Kiwi Ian Ffitch, from Amberly, also suffered an engine failure on Sunday morning, but his efficient team had the quad back up and running in no time. Ian placed third overall and took home the Repco Race to the Sky Fastest Kiwi trophy.

Unfortunately for Monster, he suffered a very serious aero failure, which had him veer off the road along one of the highest-speed sections of the climb. Monster was looking quick throughout the event and it’s a real shame that he didn’t get the chance to contest the final. Monster was very disappointed in the outcome, but will be back to contest the popular event the next chance that he gets.  

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?