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Southern Twin Peaks Challenge Returns


Southern Twin Peaks Challenge Returns

After a successful introduction last season the Southern Twin Peaks Challenge will be contested again at the two major hillclimbs in the Otago and Southland region in the coming months.

The challenge commences at the Kaitangata Promotions Bob Scott Memorial Hillclimb on Saturday 11 October at Whites Road, City Forests, Kaitangata with the second round scheduled for Bluff on Saturday 7 March.

The Kaitangata event, a 1.2 kilometre gravel hillclimb, was used in the 1960's and 70's to host a National Gold Star event and was brought back to life after a thirty year absence in 2007. The Bluff "where the journey begins" Sealed Hillclimb was first held in 2006 and when the Kaitangata event was resurrected the following year the Southern Twin Peaks Challenge was born.

The challenge rewards the competitor who achieves the fastest overall elapsed time in their best runs combined from both events. The overall winner receives a $500 prize while class winners over both events will also be rewarded.

The inaugural winner, crowned earlier this year, was Duncan McCrostie of Kaitangata. McCrostie finished second behind Gore driver Andrew Graves at the opening round last year, his home event in Kaitangata. His time of 55.802 seconds when added to his record setting, winning time at Bluff nearly four months later made him the inaugural Southern Twin Peaks Challenge Champion.

Both events allow competitors four official runs throughout the day with the fastest run counting towards a drivers overall placing in each event. There will be five classes with 2 wheel drive classes for 0-1300cc, 1301cc - 1600cc and 1601cc and over. There is also a class for 4 wheel drive cars and a sports and racing car category.

The Kaitangata Promotions Bob Scott Memorial Hillclimb honours the achievements of local man, the late Bob Scott. In the late 1950's and early 1960's Scott was the owner/operator of Scott's Garage in Kaitangata. Race cars were hard to come by in those days so Scott built his own, the Scott Special, and went on to win three South Island Grass Track Titles as well as many other circuit races, hillclimbs and events.

The Kaitangata event is a joint promotion between the Kaitangata Promotions Group and the Eastern Southland Car Club while the Bluff event is a combined project between Bluff Promotions, the Southland Sports Car Club and the Eastern Southland Car Club.

The town of Kaitangata lies 67 kilometres south-east of Dunedin and 10 kilometres south-east of Balclutha on the banks of the Clutha River. Known to the locals as Kai, the township was first settled in 1853 and today has a population of of 810. Coal mining was a mainstay of the town's economy from the 1870's until 1972 when the last State-owned underground coalmine closed. However one open cast mine still operates, the Kai Point Coal Co Limited which supplies coal to two of the main industries in South Otago - Fonterra Stirling and PPCS Finegand.

Meanwhile Bluff is 27 kilometres south of Invercargill. The town was first settled in 1824 making it the oldest continuously settled European town in New Zealand. Famous for the iconic Bluff Oyster, the international Stirling Point Signpost, the Port Of Bluff and Bluff Hill which dominates the local landscape the town is home to approximately 1800 people. Bluff is known as the town "where the journey begins" due to it's location at the beginning of State Highway 1, the fact it is where the Bluff Oyster begins it's journey to the nation, it's place in the European history of New Zealand and because it is the gateway to Stewart Island.


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