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Eriksson To Drive Possum's Hillclimb Car

Eriksson To Drive Possum's Hillclimb Car

Possum Bourne's ultimate Subaru Impreza rally car will be driven at this year's Queenstown Race to the Sky Hillclimb by Swedish driver Kenneth Eriksson.

The late Bourne's team built the 600 horsepower car for last year's Queenstown Race to the Sky Hillclimb, but the Pukekohe driver never got the chance to drive it in competition after he suffered fatal injuries in a traffic accident on Good Friday.

The much modified Impreza World Rally Car is now owned by Architectural Profiles and long time sponsor Vantage Aluminium. This partnership was formed by Craig Vincent, who co-drove Bourne to many of his successes from 1996 to 2001.

"One of the last conversations I had with Possum was what he was going to do with the Hillclimb car after he retired," said Vincent. "Putting other high profile drivers behind the wheel was always intended."

Eriksson was both a team-mate and rival of Bourne's. They battled one another in the Asia Pacific Championship during the 1990s, and Eriksson also drove for the Subaru World Rally Team.

The Impreza will appear in the same Vantage Aluminium silver and black livery as it was prepared for Bourne to drive in last year's event.

"It's the last rally car Possum drove," said Vincent. "He tested it before the hill-climb and was really fizzing about the prospect of winning the event again."

Vincent said Eriksson was serious about victory next month. "We're sourcing the best tyres and Possum's team have built a spare engine."

"This is a one off appearance by the car, which is then likely to go on display in a museum."

Eriksson will bring a vast amount of experience to the Queenstown event. He has been a regular competitor in New Zealand since 1986 and won the Rally of NZ in 1997 driving an Impreza WRC. In all he has won five WRC events and he took the Asia Pacific title three times in 1995, '96 and '97.

"There have been lots of rumours about who might drive the car," said Vincent. "Kenneth has guaranteed his availability."

The hill-climb takes place over Easter weekend from April 9 to 11. On the following evening there is a charity dinner and auction in Auckland, the proceeds of which will go to the Possum Bourne Family Education Trust.

© Scoop Media

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