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Bourne's lucky number is six

Catch me if you can: Possum Bourne kicks dirt in the faces of his competitors during the Rally of Melbourne.

Possum Bourne claims the Rally of Melbourne and his sixth national title in a row

Subaru logo3 Sep 2001

By BRUCE NEWTON

SUBARU'S Possum Bourne wrapped up a record sixth consecutive Australian Rally Championship with wins on both days of the Rally of Melbourne Super Series finale at the weekend.

The New Zealander and co-driver Craig Vincent fought back from a leaking brake calliper in Saturday's rally to overhaul Toyota's Neal Bates and Coral Taylor to take the win.

Bourne led all the way on Sunday in his Impreza WRX world rally car to complete the double.

Just to add some icing to the cake, Cody Crocker and co-driver Greg Foletta won the Group N production car round and championship in their Impreza WRX.

Crocker defeated Mitsubishi's Ed Ordynski for his fourth production title, the Lancer Evo driver unable to match the Subaru's pace in the sometimes greasy conditions.

The result means Bourne has won an incredible nine out of 10 ARC heats conducted this year, dropping only one heat to Bates' Corolla when a strut failed in Western Australia.

It also means he moves ahead of West Australian rallying legend Ross Dunkerton, who won five ARC titles.

"I'm ecstatic," said New Zealander Bourne. "This means so much to the whole team who work all year to make it happen. The driver gets the glory but without the work of the service crews and the support team it wouldn't all happen.

"Personally, this means a lot to me. We started the year with a new car and that made us vulnerable because we had to go through a whole new learning curve.

"As it's turned out we've had the best year in any of the six that we've won the title.

"It is also great to get the record to ourselves. We've been sharing it with Ross Dunkerton for 12 months but now it is all ours.

"I've got to pay a big tribute to Craig (Vincent) as well. After twelve months out of the sport he's come back in and performed brilliantly. We are going faster than ever and his job is more important than ever. He never misses a beat.

"Full credit to Cody and Greg as well. They are really world class and I'm sure they will prove that later this month in New Zealand at the WRC (World Rally Championship) round." Heat One Results
1 Possum Bourne/Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC2000 Group A 54:59
2 Bates/Taylor Toyota Corolla WRC Group A +0:10
3 Crocker/Foletta Subaru Impreza WRX Group N +1:42
4 Ordynski/Stewart Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Group N +2:59
5 Herridge/Carlton Subaru Impreza WRX Group N +3:07
6 Warren/Judd Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV Group A +3:18 Heat Two Results
1 Possum Bourne/Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC2000 Group A 54:13
2 Bates/Taylor Toyota Corolla WRC Group A +1:02
3 Crocker/Foletta Subaru Impreza WRX Group N +2.27
4 Herridge/Carlton Subaru Impreza WRX Group N +2:54
5 Warren/Judd Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV Group A +2:55
6 Evans/Evans Subaru Impreza WRX STi Group N +3:08

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