Possum Bourne

Broadcast: 2/5/2003


Rally driving has lost one of its heroes with the death of New Zealander, Possum Bourne.

And if I had to sum him up in a couple of words you would say he was a tough gritty bugger - you know he was very focused very passionate about the sport and he was a tough competitor.

REPORTER (NICK EDWARDS): Late on Tuesday night, motorsport lost one of it's most colourful, passionate and talented characters...

47 year old Peter Possum Bourne, lost his battle for life in a New Zealand hospital, after his family decided to turn of the life support system following a road accident....

ORDYNSKI :We've competed together for many many years and you get to know people it's like a traveling family and we were just devastated when we heard the news.

REPORTER:This is what Possum Bourne did best....
But it's a sight and sound that Canberra rally fans will never see or hear again.
He was the reason that most supporters flocked to the Rally of Canberra - where more often than not the New Zealander was the one to beat.
Canberra's own rally champion Neale Bates knows better than most the racing talent Bourne possessed.

NEALE BATES: He was always someone very quick who we had to try incredibly hard to beat and unfortunately he beat me more often than I beat him, but he was someone who everyone aimed and aspired to try and beat because he was very very good.

REPORTER: And then there's that nick-name...
As a young man.... Bourne swerved to avoid a possum... rolling his car, while the startled animal scurried away uninjured... and the name stuck.
The Subaru driver's career achievement list is full of highlights.
Four times Rally of Canberra winner...
New Zealand rally champion...
7 times Australian rally champion....
3 times Asia Pacific rally champion...
He was also a willing spokesman for the sport he loved.... and even take the odd Stateline reporter for the ride of their lives, was never a hassle.

Before the last weekend's Canberra rally, most drivers thoughts were with Bourne, who a the time lay in a coma..
Bourne had been the heart and soul of the Subaru Rally team for almost 10 years and his team mates raced on pure emotion - and one - doing it for Possum.

CODY CROCKER: (and as you said you were doing it for Possum.) Oh, yeah, absolutely, we tried to play it down this weekend and the significance of this win goes far beyond winning the rally.

REPORTER: Possum Bourne is survived by his wife Peggy and three young children.

NEALE BATES: A very sad week in motor sport. Obviously he was at the very top of the sport. He was a very well liked character and very much a character.

REPORTER: Bourne had stated that he wanted to be remembered as an honest competitor, but to all that knew him he'll be remembered as one of the best.

POSSUM BOURNE ( ex stateline file footage): I want to win I go to every event to try and win I don't go there to try and come second, but to achieve that in this event, means we are going to have to have our act seriously together, we are going to have to drive perfect every corner and we are going to have to drive flat out every corner.