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Matt Penrose claims 2024 NZ Gold Star Hillclimb Championship

Christchurch’s Matt Penrose has claimed the 2024 NZ Gold Star Hillclimb Championship after dominating both days of competition in Stratford.

Hosted by the South Taranaki Car Club with the support of Dign4u Ltd, the 2024 edition of the popular championship saw competitors tested on a sealed surface on Saturday before moving to gravel on Sunday.

Penrose, piloting a Semog Cross Car, was just under four-seconds faster than his closest rival on Saturday’s Mangaotuku Road leg. Sunday’s Junction Road leg, made famous during the Motogaurd Rally in the late 1970s, was an even more dominant affair for Penrose, setting the fastest run by nearly ten-seconds.

Overall, Penrose’s combined time for the event was 13-seconds faster than that of second-placed Jarrod Owens, also in a Cross Car. Joshua Trybula secured the final spot on the overall podium, nearly six-seconds adrift of Owens’ overall time. In addition to the overall placings, the same three drivers finished in the same order for the separate Cross Car class.

Winning both the Gold Star and Cross Car Championships adds to Penrose’s Hillclimb Championship tally, having won the Gold Star previously in 2017 and 2018 as well as the Cross Car class in 2021.

Taranaki local John Bouzaid drove his Subaru Impreza to the four-wheel drive title with Hasting’s Nathan Tough winning the two-wheel drive title in his Honda Civic.

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