Wednesday, Jan 15 09:19am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Alex Kelsey, Tony Quinn among Golden 1200 Hillclimb entry list

A star-studded line-up of rally racers is set to ascend the Ben Nevis Station Golden 1200 Hillclimb this year.


Event organiser Hayden Paddon has released the full unseeded entry list, which includes some familiar names from the domestic rally scene.


In total, 90 competitors have entered the event across the 12 classes, bringing the entry list to capacity months out from the event. As such, a waiting list has been established for prospective competitors should any of those that have entered drop out.


Among the headliners are Paddon himself with his Hyundai i20 AP4++ in the Class 1 division. Joining him, and battling for outright honours, will be former Ashley Forest Rallysprint record holder Sloan Cox in his highly modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.


Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn will take on the Otago stage in his Nissan GT-R powered Ford Focus silhouette hill climb monster.


Perhaps the most noteworthy inclusion is that of Alex Kelsey who returns to the rally scene after an extended hiatus. He’ll bring the infamous ‘Mad Creation 2’ out to play, a Peugeot 207-based rally car powered by a screaming 3.5-litre V6 engine used in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.


A mix of AP4 and Group N rally cars will also compete in Class 1 while Class 2 will see a variety of entries including several Semog X-Cart race cars recently imported to New Zealand by Paddon.


Other notable entries are Race to the Sky legend Ian Fitch on his ‘Super Quad’ bike. Stu Webber will bring his ex-Possum Bourne Prodrive 555 Subaru Impreza WRX STI out as well.


In total, 16 motorbikes and quads, four ATVs, four offroaders and four Semog X-Carts will compete. Former New Zealand Rally Championship stalwart Mark Tapper will also compete in an X-Cart.


Led by the Paddon Rallysport Group, the event is also supported by three local motorsport clubs: Eastern Southland Car Club, Queenstown Car Club and Central Otago Motorsport Club.


The hill climb uses 6 km of the Nevis Road, a remote high-country route between Bannockburn and Kingston which is the highest public road in New Zealand.


Event sponsors Ben Nevis Station host the service park and the hill climb starts on the station before heading over the Nevis Road towards Bannockburn.


Timing and results will be live streamed from the event along with regular video and news updates from the dedicated media team.


Spectator access to the designated viewing zones is free this year and offer spectators high octane motorsport among Central Otago’s breath-taking scenery. Access and parking will be via the Nevis Road from Bannockburn.


CLICK HERE to see the full Golden 1200 Hillclimb entry list