But we have hundreds more just like it!
But we have hundreds more just like it!
2001 Subaru Impreza Group A Ex Possum Bourne Asia Pacific Rally Winning Car
- Outright winner of the 2002 Hokkaido Rally - The first international rally in japan and Bourne’s last rally victory.
- 2nd Overall on the 2002 V-Rally Alpine Rally.
- Built by Possum Bourne Motorsport to Group A Specification for the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Built from an Impreza STi Type RA 16” (1 of 173) road car by Possum Bourne Motorsport, the car was completed to International Group A Specification for the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. This very car received the iconic “ROJ” registration plate on the 22nd June 2001. Possum Bourne applied this registration to all his key rally cars in memory of his former co-driver Rodger Freeth who was sadly killed in 1993.
ROJ was sent out to Japan for the Rally Hokkaido where Possum Bourne and Mark Stacey would take to the wheel. Hokkaido would be the first International FIA event held in Japan, Subaru’s home territory. Subaru and STi would be very keen for Possum to overcome the stiff competition from former and defending APRC champions Katsuhiko Taguchi and Karamjit Singh in order for Subaru to take victory on the first running of the event. Subaru’s main rivals Mitsubishi would lay on a full Ralliart Works specification Evo 6.5 for Taguchi in hope of victory.
Possum, a 3 Time Asia Pacific Rally Champion and 6 Time Australian Championship would need to rely on all his experience after a heavy rainfall left 20% of the competition out of the running after only two stages. However Bourne would win the first two stages and by the end of leg one would see his advantage stretched to 17 seconds over Taguchi, but it wouldn't come without any incidents! Now running with a loss of performance after an excursion into the foliage, leg two would see four stages repeated twice. Bourne would take control again winning three of the morning's four stages to extend his lead to 41 seconds, however the afternoon loop of stages would not be as easy. With the roads heavily rutted after the first loop and a wrong tyre choice, Bourne’s advantage would be reduced to only 8 seconds at the end of leg two.
For leg three it would be a case of getting home to the finish, with the car using an increased amount of oil and water after the first leg’s damage. With heavily rutted roads, Bourne would storm home to win the event, the first international victory for Subaru on their home territory!
ROJ would be rebuilt out in Japan ready for the V-Rally Alpine Rally only six weeks later, the event would be the first full tarmac rally Bourne had ever competed on. With Toshi Arai in a full Works Prodrive Subaru World Rally Car leading the field away in mixed conditions and stiff opposition from Taguchi in his Works Ralliart Evo 6.5. Bourne would finish a fine 2nd overall in the Group A car, securing a 1-2 finish for Subaru on what would be a candidate event for the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Sadly this very car would be Possum Bourne’s last ever rally winning car. Bourne would succumb to his injuries after being involved in a road traffic collision before the 2003 Race to the Sky event. Throughout his career, Bourne remained loyal to the Subaru brand and claimed 3 Asia Pacific Rally Championships, 7 Australian Titles, and 1 championship in his native New Zealand.
Following his death the car remained in the Possum Bourne Motorsport workshops still wearing the ROJ plate, in October of 2004 the car would be rebuilt and sold to multiple New Zealand Rally Champion Bruce Herbert. During the rebuild the car would also be converted to Right hand drive. Now wearing Herbert’s “MODEM” plate, the car would only be used on a handful of occasions before being sold to John Ludlow in 2007. Now run by WRC Developments, set up by former Prodrive engineers Graham Neale and Warren Heath, the car would be used on Targa rallies, hill climbs and sprints throughout New Zealand over a ten year period.
More recently the car has been road registered in the UK, issued with a Motorsport UK logbook and competed on the Eifel Rallye Festival and Rallylegend back in 2019. The car has been professionally maintained since and is eligible for Rally Legend, Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Eifel Rallye Festival and many others. The Motorsport New Zealand passport, New Zealand registration history, comprehensive image file and a small package of spare parts are included with the car.
Viewing in the UK at Rally Replay HQ based in Chichester, West Sussex, walking distance from the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit. Personalised videos available on request. Global shipping available.