Hometown knowledge proved crucial in the Wanganui Car Club's dual hill climbs over the weekend, with Damian Johnson leading the charge in his Mitsubishi Galant, breaking records along the way.
Johnson posted the fastest times on both the Pukerimu Rd track near Maxwell on Saturday and on the Brunswick Rd circuit on Sunday. Racing in the 4wd E class, Johnson posted the only sub-minute run on Pukerimu Rd with a 57.47s pass and then franked that form with a quick 1.19.48 run on the slightly longer Brunswick Rd track.
These fastest times broke the longstanding records on both tracks by a substantial margin.
His performances gave him overall fastest times on both days and a win in his class.
Whanganui drivers completely dominated on Saturday, winning every class they competed in, leaving Hutt Valley's Alan Austin to take the 3900cc+ D Class in his Mazda RX7 as the only competitor to clock an official time with his 1.01.05 run.
Austin also won the D Class on Sunday with a 1.19.79 pass, which was second fastest of the day on Brunswick Rd. It also broke the longstanding Brunswick Rd record, although that was superseded later in the day by Johnson.
Ironically, Austin is from Whanganui, but drove out of the Hutt Valley Motorsport Club over the weekend.
Whanganui drivers Stu Robertson and Luke van Dalen won their respective classes on both days - Robertson the 1601cc-2000cc B Class in his MK1 Ford Escort, clocking 1.04.77 on Saturday and 1.28.90 on Sunday. Van Dalen claimed the 2000cc-3900cc C Class both days in his Toyota MR2 with 1.02.46 and 1.26.41 runs.
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Austin's Hutt Valley Motorsport clubmate Andrew Thomas was the only other visiting driver to win a class on either day, when he pushed his Toyota Corolla to victory in the 0cc-1600cc A Class on Sunday with a 1.28.54 pass.
Saturday, November 23
Fastest time: Damian Johnson 57.47 Mitsubishi Galant Whanganui
Class A 1st John Gray 1.05.41 Toyota Corolla Whanganui
Class A 2nd Andrew Thomas 1.05.49 Toyota Corolla Hutt Valley
Class A 3rd Jane Stella 1.11.63 Toyota Tureno Dannevirke
Class B 1st Stu Robertson 1.04.77 Ford Escort MK1 Whanganui
Class B 2nd David Graham 1.05.90 Datsun Manawatū
Class B 3rd Brett Tasker 1.6.68 Datsun Whanganui
Class C 1st Luke Van Dalen 1.02.46 Toyota MR2 Whanganui
Class C 2nd Michael Carrick 1.11.93 Triumph 2500 Wellington
Class D 1st Alan Austin 1.01.05 Mazda RX7 Hutt Valley
Class E 1st Damian Johnson 57.47 Mitsubishi Galant Whanganui
Class E 2nd Mark McGinniss 1.03.15 Subaru Imprezza Whanganui
Class E 3rd Ken Lilford 1.04.78 Nissan Skyline Whanganui
Sunday, November 24
Fastest time: Damian Johnson 1.19.48 Mitsubishi Galant Whanganui
Class A 1st Andrew Thomas 1.28.54 Toyota Corolla Hutt Valley
Class A 2nd Greg Hart 1.37.40 Toyota Levin Hutt Valley
Class A 3rd Jane Stella 1.37.45 Toyota Tureno Dannevirke
Class B 1st Stu Robertson 1.28.90 Ford Escort MK1 Whanganui
Class B 2nd John Gray 1.29.95 Toyota Corolla Whanganui
Class B 3rd Gareth Stanley 1.31.93 Honda Integra Manawatu
Class C 1st Luke Van Dalen 1.26.41 Toyota MR2 Whanganui
Class C 2nd Jared Neilson 1.31.49 Honda Civic Taranaki
Class C 3rd Paavo Torkkola 1.43.90 Rover SD1 Taihape
Class D 1st Alan Austin 1.19.79 Mazda RX7 Hutt Valley
Class D 2nd Paul Tulloch 1.26.55 Toyota MR2 Whanganui
Class E 1st Damian Johnson 1.19.48 Mitsubishi Galant Whanganui
Class E 2nd Mark McGinniss 1.25.96 Subaru Imprezza Whanganui
Class E 3rd Ken Lilford 1.28.16 Nissan Skyline Whanganui