Race to the Sky has a new king

Posted in News, Motorsport

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.  

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.