Rees wins dramatic Gladstone hill climb

Tuesday 26 March, 2019

The Mount Gladstone Hill Climb has seen some of its closest action in recent years with 25 drivers putting on their best performances across six runs.

Gareth Rees ended the event on top after a thrilling day of action.

Behind the wheel of the Nissan Skyline, Rees started the day off strong and set the standard of the competition with his time of 43.821 seconds, before 18-year-old Nick Coote grabbed the lead with a brilliant second run time of 43.113 seconds.

The Subaru Impreza WRX pilot’s time led the field through another run until Rees put in a blistering performance on the fourth run to break the 43 second barrier and storm into the lead. His time of 42.284 seconds was one second faster than any other of his recorded times in the lead up.

An inspired Coote made a brave attempt during his fifth run to catch Rees breaking the 43-second mark in the process, but he was unable to topple the leader, the WRX driver's impressive time of 42.923 seconds putting him in second.

Neither driver was able to break the 42 second mark again as Rees eventually held onto his lead and finished the intense battle on top and as winner of March’s Mount Gladstone hill climb.

Rounding out the podium was another WRX pilot in Andreas Proesser. Proesser posted his time of 43.316 seconds on his second to last run of the day and was more than a second faster than fourth placed Simon Smith.

All four drivers were part of the Type 3 AWD class, highlighting the dominance of the class, while Type 4 AWD class' Alex Hendricks ended up as the best of rest, steering his WRX to fifth outright with a time of 44.827 seconds. 

Remarkably, Hendricks posted that time on his first attempt at the hill climb with his performance being the third fastest out of the field.

Hendricks looked set to challenge both Coote and Rees throughout the event, but his day was cut short in the second run after facing serious issues and struggling to make it across the line.

The remainder of the top 10 was made up of the other Type 3 AWD class drivers with Garry Proesser and Geoffrey Stubbs coming in at sixth and seventh respectively, while Ben Hastings finished just inside the top 10.

Completing the top 10 in eighth and ninth was Type 1 / 2 AWD class competitors David Pallummo in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and David Wicks in the Nissan Pulsar GTiR.

Another notable performance during the event was that of Jakson Brown-Flack, the young teenager improving on his first recorded time by 10 seconds to finish the afternoon with a time of 62.65 seconds.

Anthony Barford finished the day with two class titles in two different cars, taking out the Type 1-2 2001-3000cc class behind the wheel of the Skoda Fabia R5, before switching to the Holden Barina to win the Type 1-2 1601-2000c class.

Click here for the full results. 

Motorsport Australia: Return to Race