Motorsport: Hey wins rally sprint for fourth year in row

Chris Hey
Chris Hey
Mosgiel's Chris Hey has a good reason to keep returning to the Ashley Forest rally sprint in North Canterbury - he has now won the 2WD section four years running.

"I'll have to go back next year for a fifth," he said yesterday after the weekend's event.

Although he was 2sec slower than his 2010 time in the Toyota MR2 he has been campaigning for the past seven years, his final posting of 1min 6.53sec was fast enough for 12th overall and more than a second quicker than closest class rival Donn McLaren, of Ashburton.

"It was snowing on Sunday morning so the road going up the hill in the shaded area was a lot more slippery but coming down it was better," Hey said.

Driving Steve Murphy's hybrid Cordia V8 for the first time, Hayden Paddon edged out defending champion Glenn Inkster in his Mitsubishi Evo 6.5 rally car by 0.41sec in a thrilling final outing on the 1.7km shingle road.

The recently crowned Production World Rally Champion, Paddon showed his class by reducing his qualifying time of 59.78sec to 57.16sec after the last elimination run.

He said the Cordia was an "incredible buzz" to drive and he loved every opportunity to be let loose in the 750hp monster.

"It has big power and does everything you want it to. It makes the hairs stand up on back of your neck."

Alternating turns with Paddon, the car's owner, Murphy, a former triple rally sprint title holder, had to settle for third.

New Zealand rally champion Richard Mason, driving his Subaru WRX, survived a roll-over in the early elimination runs to claim fourth.

Paddon, of Geraldine, is only the third South Island driver to win the event in its 25-year history. Christchurch's Trevor Crowe won the 1985 title and Outram's Glenn Frew, who finished seventh at the weekend, was victorious in 2007.

Kaitangata's Duncan McCrostie finished 10th overall and Oamaru's James Bee was second in his 0-1300cc class. Dean Bond, of Balclutha, was out early after his Mitsubishi Evo 6.5's motor blew up 300m into the first run.


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