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PETER RAYMOND GEORGE "POSSUM" BOURNE (13 April 1956 – 30 April 2003) was a champion New Zealand
New Zealand
rally car driver. He died under non-competitive circumstances while driving on a public road that was to be the track for an upcoming race.

CONTENTS

* 1 Awards * 2 Family * 3 Car of choice * 4 Roj * 5 Death * 6 Career results * 7 References * 8 External links

AWARDS

Peter "Possum" Bourne (Rally Queensland 1998)

He was a three time winner of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and the Australian Rally Championship
Australian Rally Championship
seven times consecutively, amongst many other titles. In 1993 he becamethe first New Zealand
New Zealand
resident to have a works contract in a FISA rally championship, when he drove a Subaru Legacy for Prodrive .

YEARS WON EVENT

1991 New Zealand
New Zealand
Rally Championship

1992 Australian Rally Championship
Australian Rally Championship
( Group N )

1993-1994, 2000 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship

1996-2002 Australian Rally Championship
Australian Rally Championship

1989, 1991, 2000 Ashley Forest Rally Sprint

2001 Queenstown Race to the Sky

2002 Hokkaido Rally Japan
Rally Japan

2002 Rally New Zealand
New Zealand
( Group N )

FAMILY

Bourne lived in Pukekohe
Pukekohe
, Auckland
Auckland
, near his workshop. He lived with his wife, Peggy Bourne, and three children, Taylor, Spencer, and Jazlin. Bourne earned his nickname, "Possum", on the night he crashed his mother's Humber 80 , while trying to avoid a possum in the middle of the road.

His autobiography, Bourne to Rally, was completed just days before his death. A bronze memorial statue of Bourne, unveiled a year after his death, stood overlooking the event he loved the most. The statue was moved to Pukekohe
Pukekohe
town square in April 2013, unveiled alongside the 2013 ITM 400 V8 Championship parade. In 2005, Peggy Bourne entered Race to the Sky , despite having had no formal rally driving experience, as a tribute to her late husband. In 2013, his oldest son Taylor Bourne competed in the 2013 Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Memorial Rally with his stepfather and MP Mark Mitchell as co-driver. When Taylor completed the event, he went on to say "It's easy understand why he loved it so much".

CAR OF CHOICE

Bourne was best known for his exploits behind the wheel of Subaru cars, initially the RX (the turbocharged version of the Leone), then the Legacy (rebadged as the Liberty for the Australian market because of a perceived clash with charity organisation Legacy Australia ).

But it would be the Impreza WRX that he would become most associated with, driving for the Subaru
Subaru
World Rally Team in Rally New Zealand
New Zealand
, Australia
Australia
and also in Indonesia , partnered by Kenneth Eriksson
Kenneth Eriksson
in the mid 1990s, before going on to win multiple Australian titles with his own team.

Subaru
Subaru
Japan
Japan
gave him a black, limited edition Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX STi for personal use.

ROJ

Possum's best friend and co-driver, Dr. Rodger "Roj" Freeth , died in a horrible accident during the 1993 Rally Australia
Australia
, and the crash almost ended Possum's career. After encouragement from the Freeth family he returned to the driver's seat. After Freeth's death, Bourne displayed a "ROJ" license plate on the front of his rally cars.

DEATH

Bourne received serious head injuries in a non-competitive car crash on 18 April 2003, and died in Dunedin Public Hospital on 30 April 2003 after life support was withdrawn. He was driving the Race to the Sky track, on the Waiorau Snow Farm Road which is normally a public road, for the event held in Cardrona , near Wanaka
Wanaka
, New Zealand. Driving his Subaru
Subaru
Forester , he collided head on with a Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee
driven by rally driver Mike Barltrop who claimed that Possum was speeding. This treacherous road has over 100 corners and at least 15 hairpins, hence its appeal for rally driving. Mr Barlthrop was later arrested on a dangerous driving charge. After pleading guilty to aggravated careless use causing death, Barltrop was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court to 300 hours' community work, disqualified from driving for 18 months, and ordered to pay $10,000 reparations, divided between the intensive care unit of Dunedin Public Hospital and the Possum Bourne Education trust.

At the time of his death, Possum had just re-entered the world stage, driving a production-class Subaru
Subaru
Impreza in the PWRC .

CAREER RESULTS

SEASON SERIES POSITION CAR TEAM

1983 World Rally Championship 28th Subaru
Subaru
RX

1984 World Rally Championship 43rd Subaru
Subaru
RX

1985 World Rally Championship 51st Subaru
Subaru
RX

1986 World Rally Championship 49th Subaru
Subaru
RX

1987 World Rally Championship 23rd Subaru
Subaru
RX

1988 World Rally Championship 72nd Subaru
Subaru
RX

1988 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 3rd Subaru
Subaru
RX

1989 World Rally Championship 49th Subaru
Subaru
RX

1990 World Rally Championship 14th Subaru Legacy RS

1991 New Zealand
New Zealand
Rally Championship 1st Subaru Legacy RS

1992 World Rally Championship 34th Subaru Legacy RS

1992 Australian Rally Championship
Australian Rally Championship
3rd Subaru
Subaru
Liberty RS Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1993 World Rally Championship 31st Subaru Legacy RS

1993 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 1st Subaru Legacy RS Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1993 Australian Rally Championship 3rd Subaru
Subaru
Liberty RS Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1994 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 1st Subaru Legacy RS Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1995 World Rally Championship 14th Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX

1996 World Rally Championship 26th Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX

1996 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1997 World Rally Championship 15th Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX

1997 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1998 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1999 World Rally Championship 15th Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

1999 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2000 World Rally Championship 21st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2000 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2000 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2001 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRC Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2002 Australian Rally Championship 1st Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX STi Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

2003 Production World Rally Championship
Production World Rally Championship
14th Subaru
Subaru
Impreza WRX STi Possum Bourne
Possum Bourne
Motorsport

REFERENCES

* ^ A B "Kiwi rally hero dies". BBC Sport. 29 April 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-16. * ^ A B Anderson, Donn, ed. (March 1993). "Bourne's busy year". New Zealand Car. Auckland, New Zealand: Accent Publishing Cnr. 7 (5): 62. ISSN 0113-0196 . * ^