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with very tight corners and ideal for the turbo Caps but the naturally aspirated Honda Beat had us well and truly beat (excuse the pun).

The 16 year old owner was the youngest person ever to obtain a full race licence in NZ, at the time he was too young to even sit his learner’s road licence. Well he certainly showed us that cornering fast has very little to do with horsepower or tyre technology.

After lunch at a local pub in Kaiwa we all took off ending our run at Miranda Hot Springs near one of the main state highways and after a quick photo shoot of the cars we all parted company and made our separate ways home.

It was Easter weekend when my son and I travelled to Cardrona in the South Island. This otherwise deserted ski town was alive with the annual Silverstone Race to the Sky hill climb event.

The defending champion, the man himself Monster Toshima, was there with his 1000hp Suzuki Vitara (Escudo) Hill Climb Special. I had travelled here to catch a glimpse of him and his amazing machine in action, but was blown away to be able to meet and talk to him and tell him about our own Suzuki Club. He’s a great guy and an excellent ambassador for the Suzuki cause, I wished him well with his up and coming WRC challenge and let him get on with his race preparation. See me above with the Monster!

His run was late in the afternoon after all the other varied vehicles had made their attempts at claiming the mountain, no pre-race test start ups for this machine. One whine of the starter and it fired into life, The sound was almost disappointing, sounding very much like a humungus four-stroke bike at idle. Slowing proceeding to the start line waiting for the all clear from the marshal, track clear the 2700cc motor screams into life as the huge twin turbos spoil up and fire the 800kg monster on its way. Around the short rally course track and over the bridge to the start of the hill climb, up the first straight and round the corner to the fastest section of the run; doing close to 400km per hour on the rough gravel road the dust trail looked like the vapour trail behind a space shuttle on take off.

Many came from all over the world to take his trophy off him but again this year he proved to be the king of this mountain, it was a good day for Suzuki, Number 1in the quads, Number 1 in the specials and fastest overall. Sadly this is the last year it will be held in NZ, I’m so fortunate to have got there this year and to meet the man and his machine “magic”.

Best wishes to all SCORE Readers from the depths of the Southern Hemisphere!


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