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Pressing on . . . Gordon Beeby in the Datsun 120Y. PHOTO: AARON STAPLES PHOTOGRAPHY

Timaru’s Gordon Beeby is just happy to be back at Catlins this year.

Over the 20 years of the Catlins Coast Rally, Beeby thinks he has done the event four or five times.

“I remember doing the Gore and Wyndham Rallies but only a few Catlins,some of the early ones but there was a gap of about 13 years before I did it again, about four years ago.

Two years ago, he missed the event for a good reason, as he had just undergone triple bypass heart surgery.

“I got away with that one,” he says.

He would have been back last year but wife Vicki was “crook” for that one. Vicki is co-driving for Gordon at this year’s event.

“She used to service but she did our local rally when my co-driver was away fishing and she is in the car for this one.”

The car is a Datsun 120Y with a Nissan FJ20 engine.

“I have had it about 12 years. It is a cool wee car.”

Beeby has a penchant for cars and competition and had a Mini with a Honda motor which he sold and now has a 2008 Audi VR6 4-wheel-drive and is working on the turbo to get it to produce 600hp-700hp.

Beeby decided to return to Catlins this weekend after talking to assistant clerk of the course Roger Laird, at the Ben Nevis Station hillclimb.

“Roger said he was stepping down from his current role as it was the 20th year. I thought I better make the effort!”