Peter “Possum” Bourne
Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne was another of those Kiwis who won over the Aussies in his adopted country, even while he towelled them on their own territory.
He was like us, with his love of life and his no nonsense enthusiasm for rallying, at which he excelled.
Loyal to Subaru in the 21 years of his career, which went right up to his death in a non-competitive drive on a public road leading to the Race to the Sky racetrack, Possum won the New Zealand rally championship, the FIA Asia Pacific championship three times and, spectacularly, the Australian Championship eight times, including seven consecutively.
It was too cruel that Possum would be involved in a fatal crash in 1993 in Rally Australia, which killed his great mate and codriver, Roger Freeth.
Freeth’s family talked Possum out of his initial decision to retire. Most of his championship successes came after this tragedy.
Ten years later, as he was resuming his international rally career in the Production car section of the world championship, whilst also competing in the Race to the Sky in New Zealand, which he’d won two years earlier, he had his fatal accident.