Congratulations to Ben Thomasen who became NZ Hill Climb Champion last weekend in Westport. Below is an event report from Ben.
EVENT: NZ Hillclimb Championship Final Round – Westport
DATE: 23 – 24 February 2013
Saturday 5.8 km Tarmac – 3rd overall, 2nd in class
Sunday 2.2 km Gravel – 1st overall, 1st in class
Just a quick report on our weekend in Westport. We left Tauranga at 3am on Friday morning and arrived in Westport at 6.30pm, just in time for doco and a few beers with a few of the South Island competitors.
Had 3 runs up an awesome piece of road. Had a bit of everything – fast, tight, 6 hairpins, 1700 ft climb in just 5.8ks and 89 corners. We didn’t get a practice, just 3 timed runs, so learning the road was a challenge and with our main competition knowing the road and running unrestricted we could only manage 3rd for the day. The winning time was 3:59.64 and our time 04:01.11. It was pretty close. Saturday night we were a little bit disappointed with the day as we were now sitting 9 points down in the championship which meant Sunday was do or die for the overall championship.
Was very determined for a dominant performance and I knew the power difference wouldn’t be such an issue on the gravel. Cool piece of road to a mine. Started off tight before climbing up the hill then opening out very fast toward the end. The car was working awesome on the smooth gravel and we managed to be quickest in every run from the beginning with an end margin of 3.2 seconds over the 2.2ks.
The gravel victory was enough to give us the overall NZ Hillclimb Championship by 7 points which we were absolutely thrilled about! It was a very nerve racking day for the whole team as there would have been nothing worse than driving all the way home without the results we were hoping for.
I would like to thank Phil Campbell for helping me out and sitting beside me for the series and Dad and Shannon for their support.
I would also like to thank Mike Pittams from Force Automotive, Jeff Lewin from Mount Wheel Alignment, Dave and Linda from PF Automotive, Garry Skinner, Wayne Pittams, Jason Byrne from A Little Bit Sideways and Mike Torr. You’ve all helped me immensely and I really appreciate it. I couldn’t have done it without all of your support.
I’m now focusing on the NZ Clubsport Championship this coming weekend at Baypark.
Thanks heaps Ben for your report. Good luck this weekend at the Clubsport Championship!
Here’s a few images we managed to get of Ben over the last few months, along with some of his in-car footage.