Alister McRae wins second straight Leadfoot title
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Alister McRae is back-to-back winner of the Leadfoot Festival in Hahei, Coromandel with a time of 49.15 in a two-day event that was affected by weather.
The fifth annual event saw Indy star Scott Dixon compete in a 2017 Honda Civic Type R, along with Greg Murphy in the all-new Holden Commodore up the famous 1-mile (1.6km) drive.
Saturday’s clear weather saw Scottish rally champ McRae record the fastest time of 49.95s in the 1998 Subaru WRX STi, just behind his winning time at the 2017 Leadfoot Festival of 49.23s.
But today, despite showers overnight and a slippery tarmac, McRae beat that time to take out the 2018 Leadfoot title.
Second was Kiwi Sloan Cox in his 2004 Mitsubishi Evo 8 with 50.71 while Dean McCarroll finished the podium with 50.10 in his 2013 Juno CN 50.10.
The annual Leadfoot Festival was established by Kiwi motorsport great Rod Millen and his American wife Shelly Campbell Millen with motorsport drivers invited to race up the famous driveway.
Millen won the 1960 to 1975 category in his 1974 Mazda RX-3 with a time of 53.67. But in the top 10 shoot out Millen had to contend with a fourth place with 51.54s in his Pikes Peak winning 1994 Toyota Celica.
Bathurst winner Murphy was fifth with 51.88s in his 2016 Holden Barina.
Dixon’s best time was 60.97 that didn’t see him get in top 10. But he hoped to return again and “maybe one one year win” he told the prizegiving crowd.
McRae jokingly told Driven that the reason he was number one was because “he was fastest up the hill”.
But the slippery track followed by diesel spill saw McRae’s second to last drive up the hill more cautious.
“I was holding back up bit in that run but the final run I gave it 100 per cent,” he said.
McRae is hoping to “have a car to drive and be invited back” next year to make it three in a row.
1. Alister McRae (1998 Subaru WRX STi) 49.15s
2. Sloan Cox (2004 Mits Evo 8) 50.71
3. Dean McCarroll (2013 Juno CN) 50.10