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Leongatha racers in top ten

THE Race to the Sky event in New Zealand saw Leongatha drivers Brett Hayward pipped for first place honours and Steve Riley ninth in the world’s longest motorsport gravel hill climb.
Held in the Cardrona Valley between Queenstown and Wanaka on the South Island on the weekend of April 17 to 19 the track is more than 14 kilometres in length and features 135 corners.
From 1500 feet above sea level at the start line it rises to 5000 feet at the finish line.
The resurrected event was last held in 2007 and is planned to be held every year from now on.
Hayward competed in five of the previous events, and started work on a new car for the event this year as soon as the event was confirmed.
He completed his new RTTS Special in less than six months and had limited testing before the car was shipped off for the event.
The car was extremely fast from the moment it appeared on the Race to the Sky track with Hayward heading the timesheets in a number of the practice sessions.
He quickly became one of the favourites to win the event.
The event winner is determined by one run on the Sunday afternoon, and although he set an outstanding time of eight minutes 24.5 seconds, Hayward was beaten to the trophy by international rally driver Alister McRae driving the Possum Bourne Motorsport WRC Subaru.
McRae scorched up the hill in a blistering eight minutes 17.6 seconds.
Hayward managed to eclipse his previous best time up the mountain from past visits by nearly 20 seconds, setting a new record for open wheel vehicles, but he had to be content with second position overall.
There is absolutely no doubt Hayward will spend the next 12 months refining the RTTS Special, and he will be back racing for a win in 2016.
Leongatha dairy farmer Steve Riley also competed in the event in a completely different type of vehicle, a 1000 HP 4 wheel drive Holden utility which was modified greatly after first appearing in the Australian Safari in 2014.
Riley had also competed in the event in the past, and finished second, and believed the mighty ute might be the best way to go compared to his previous twin engine buggy. This turned out not to the case, and Riley finished in ninth position with a time of nine minutes 02.9 seconds.

Next time: Leongatha’s Brett Hayward built his own 4WD in six months, shipped it to New Zealand and finished second to a world rally car driver in the world’s longest gravel hill climb. Photos by alastairritchie.com

Next time: Leongatha’s Brett Hayward built his own 4WD in six months, shipped it to New Zealand and finished second to a world rally car driver in the world’s longest gravel hill climb.
Photos by alastairritchie.com

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=14688

Posted by on Apr 28 2015. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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