Balclutha rally driver Dean Bond has successfully defended his title of the fastest man up the hill at Kaitangata for another year.
The Bob Scott Memorial Hill Climb, held over the weekend and hosted by the South Otago Car Club, drew 20 entries, ranging from exotic hand-built historic hill climb racers dating from the 1960s to modern specials.
Bond held on to first place with his recently rebuilt Mitsubishi EVO 6.5, recording his fastest time of 1min 21.54sec on the last of four runs up the 2km road.
He was just 1.2sec faster than Craig Molloy, of Dunedin, also driving a Mitsubishi EVO (1min 22.78sec), and Chris Hey of Mosgiel (Toyota MR2) who turned in a best time of 1min 23.92sec, despite suffering grip problems with his specialist hill climb car.
Bond said it was good to be back in the driver’s seat after his enforced layover following the Catlins Rally last year, when his car needed some major work done on the engine. “The car is going extremely well now after the rebuild. I’m very pleased at how fast it is going and all that work has paid off,” he said. “The only thing now is for me to get my head around the speed. ‘‘When you have been out of the car for a while, it does take time to get back into the mode of driving fast safely. “My first couple of runs up the hill showed how rusty I had become but I soon shook that off and got down to business.
“We had a great road to drive on this year and that’s all thanks to the work the forestry people and Blackhead Quarries have done.
‘‘They’ve removed several dangerous sections of the road and recovered it with quite a few loads of gravel.’’