Christchurch’s Deane Buist and Andrew Sim have won the inaugural Water View Cars Port Hills All Tarmac Rally held on Banks Peninsular near Christchurch on Saturday. Held in hot temperatures, Buist in a Mk2 Ford Escort battled with Regan Ross until he gained a significant advantage when Ross clipped a rock upsetting the steering on his car.
Kaiapoi’s Marcus van Klink was expected to be favourite for the win in his Citroen C2 S1600 but had to switch to his Mazda RX7 Group B replica after the wrong pistons arrived from Europe for the Citroen. He claimed third overall ahead of Leigh Marston in a Subaru WRX.
Twenty-two starters took to the compact six stage rally. Two stages were used between Dyers and Gebbies Pass along the Summit Rd. Each was run three times from Dyers to Gebbies and then Gebbies to Dyers Pass.
Paul McCulla and Andrew MacLean (the Gallic crew, Paul from Ireland where tarmac rallies are common place and Andrew of Scotland) put in an outstanding drive in their Peugeot to come in 5th overall.
Father and daughter crew of Darryl & Melanie Smith in their Impreza RS shared the driving with Mel putting in faster times than her dad.
Australian Grant Walker drove a Mk2 Escort prepared by Palmside to a credible 8th place
Retirements included Rob McCallum in his Mk2 Escort who had brake fade issues causing him to spin. Dave Ollis driving an Impreza station wagon retired after SS3 with probable engine bearing failure. Nigel Ross in a Ford Fiesta ST, retired after SS5 with gearbox problems. Bruce Asher in his newly built Mk2 Escort retired after SS5 with diff diff failure. Peter Scharmach retired after SS 5 with blown turbo.