Cox makes winning start to NZ Hillclimb champs

Rotorua’s Sloan Cox has made the perfect start to the New Zealand Hillclimb Championship, taking dominant victories in both legs of the opening round, held near Gisborne over the weekend.

The series format sees two events held over two days, with Saturday’s event being held on tarmac and Sunday’s event being held on gravel.

Saturday’s event, held at Kanakanaia road, a 2.55 kilometre tarmac road with 31 corners including six hairpins, saw Cox on the pace straight away, setting the winning time of 1 minute 46.7 seconds on the second run.

The 20-year old set a faster time of 1 minute 44.8 seconds in the third run, but was judged to jump the start and had a 10 second penalty applied. Cox’s time was 2.1 seconds faster than second placed Brian Chadwick.

Sunday’s gravel event, held on Waitangi Terrace road, was slightly longer at just under five kilometres, but it didn’t stop Cox’s dominance as he powered the Taslo Engineering backed Mitsubishi Evo 10 to another comfortable victory. Cox’s time of 3 minutes 20.5 seconds saw him 6.5 seconds faster than second place Chadwick and gives him a strong lead after one of the two North Island qualifying rounds.

“I had an outstanding weekend, it’s an awesome way to start the New Zealand Hillclimb Championship,” said the 2010 junior rally champion. “I’d like to thank the Gisborne Car Club for holding two very well run events on some great roads, I would definitely recommend the events to anyone in the future.”

The second and final North Island qualifying round will be run by Hamilton Car Club on February 25-26.
– Credit: BB Media