The Marlborough Express
Gee digs in to retain title
Dave Gee fought off a strong challenge from fellow Marlborough driver Richard Bateman to successfully defend his title at the Marlborough Car Club's annual Picton Tools and Tyres Riverlands Street Sprint on Sunday.

Again piloting Chris Hill's Subaru WRX, Gee and Bateman were the fastest throughout the day and squared off in the top two shootout after the 28 other competitors had been eliminated.

Despite the track cooling off and times getting slower, both drivers did not disappoint in the title decider and recorded the fastest times of the day.

However, it was Gee who eventually prevailed, rocketing around the 2km course at Riverlands Industrial Estate in 1:29.09 to post the day's best time. Bateman, driving his Mitsubishi Evo, was a close second just 28 hundreths of a second adrift in 1:29.37.

Along with the overall crown, Gee was the winner of the Marlborough Car Club Webb Street Sprint Trophy and class D (open 4WD) honours.

Another Marlborough driver, Paddy North, finished third with a best time of 1:30.69 in the top eight shootout, while the other member of the top four shootout was Kevin Newton, also from Marlborough. Newton's fastest time of 1.33.20 came in that top four shootout.

Joining Gee, Bateman, North and Newton in the top eight shootout was Jeremy Dew, Rob Uddstrom, Stefan Collins and Daniel Harris.

Meanwhile, the class B title for cars from 0-1600cc was claimed by Bryce Mitchell, one of five Ashburton competitors, in 1:39.425. Marlborough's Jason Clark and Scott Alexander rounded out the podium.

Ryan McNabb, of Marlborough, came out on top in class C for two-wheel drive cars, clocking 1:35.37 to comfortably win from Amberley's Geoff Combe and Marlborough's Colin Harvey.

The large variety of vehicles in attendance included plenty of Mitsubishi Evos and Toyota Starlets, a Lada and a Starlet powered by a motorbike engine. Event sponsor Julian Cameron was a crowd pleaser in his well-presented Nissan 300ZX, while Harris turned up with gravel tyres on his Evo and was entertaining on his way to the top eight shootout.

Riverlands Street Sprint results:

Class B (0-1600cc): Bryce Mitchell (Ashburton) 1.39.92, Jason Clark (Marlborough) 1.41.31, Scott Alexander (Marlborough) 1.43.69.

Class C (2WD): Ryan McNabb (Marlborough) 1.35.37, Geoff Combe (Amberley) 1.40.38, Colin Harvey (Marlborough) 1.41.73.

Class D (open 4WD): Dave Gee (Marlborough) 1.29.09, Richard Bateman (Marlborough) 1.29.37, Paddy North (Marlborough) 1.30.69.

Top eight shootout: Dave Gee 1.29.29, Richard Bateman 1.30.56, Paddy North 1.30.69, Kevin Newton 1.33.05, Jeremy Dew 1.34.01, Rob Uddstrom 1.35.08, Stefan Collins 1.35.39, Daniel Harris 1.44.94.

Top four shootout: Dave Gee 1.29.28, Richard Bateman 1.29.61, Paddy North 1.31.81, Kevin Newton 1.33.20. Top two shootout: Dave Gee 1.29.09, Richard Bateman 1.29.37.

Overall: Dave Gee 1.29.09, Richard Bateman 1.29.37, Paddy North 1.30.69. .

- The Marlborough Express
10 September 2013