The Marlborough Express
Gee whiz at Riverlands
David Gee made sure local knowledge counted for plenty when he took out Sunday's two-car shoot-out final of the 10th annual Picton Tools and Tyres Riverlands Sprint event.

Held over a testing course around the Riverlands industrial estate just south of Blenheim, Gee beat fellow Marlburian Patrick North by the narrowest of margins. His fastest lap was 1 minute 31.59 seconds, while North kept him more than honest with a time of 1:32.09.

Nine of the cars, including Gee's, were by shared by two drivers, with Gee powering Chris Hill's Subaru to victory ahead of a strong field of 28 entries from Marlborough and Nelson.

Each driver had three timed runs and the top 16 then split into a knockout series with the field being halved after each race, leading to the two-car final shootout.

North, Gee, Richard Bateman and Kevin Newton made the top four. Hill made the top 16 in his Subaru but almost spun outand lost too much ground to make up.

Defending champion Neil Webb, driving a 1600cc front-wheel-drive Mirage, did well to make the top eight as he usually drives a turbo-charged Mirage, which is being repaired.

Newton was the hard-luck story of the day. A power steering hose broke on his Mitsubishi Evo.

Bateman, president of the Marlborough Car Club, which hosted the event, took out the Marlborough Car Club title calculated on the three timed runs.

He was thrilled with the way the event ran - incident-free in ideal conditions, after an early shower of rain, and watched by several hundred spectators.

- The Marlborough Express
29 August 2012