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Armiger retains 2WD mountain crown


Northland driver repeats his 2006 2WD victory at the 2007 race to the Sky near Wanaka.

April 11, 2007, 5pm. Mazda RX7 driver Barry Armiger overcame a series of problems to win the two-wheel drive class in last weekend's Raxce to the Sky at Cardrona, near Wanaka.

Armiger's time of nine minutes 47.7993 seconds in Sunday's final run was enough for him to win the class by around 5.5 seconds from Chris Hey.

But mechanical problems meant he was off the pace of last year when he set the 2WD record of 9m 32.0144s.

"In the second run on Saturday the ball-joint let go and the right hand wheel went out at a right angle to the car, Armiger said. "We very nearly went over a steep drop."

Armiger's crew worked into the night to fix the suspension and to correct a vibration in the driveshaft, but Armiger sais he was nursing the car throughout Sunday.

"In the back of my mind was 'is it going to break?' and a bent strut made the car feel funny.

"Everybody's times were slower this year - when we did our first run I didn't believe what I was hearing (when hearing the time) but we came back with a class win."

Trevor Crowe, driving a rear-engined turbocharged Subaru Justy, set a new 2WD record of 9m 29.0621s."

Photo caption: Barry Armiger and co-driver Michelle Mitchell.


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