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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.  

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.