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Beautiful Autumn weather in Victoria’s North East region greeted the 50 crews in this year’s all-bitumen Forest Classic Rally which was based in Wangaratta. With great support from the NSW Classic Rally Club (in which the event was a qualifying round), it was the largest field ever assembled for the annual event.

Revelling in the conditions over two days of action that included 700 kilometres of competitive driving, the event resulted in a tie for first place in the hotly-contested Challenge Class. The Melbourne crew of husband and wife team, David and Kim Burn, clean sheeted both days in their Fiat X1-9, tieing for first place with Rob Worboys and Jeff West (TC Cortina).

Ken Harper and Graeme Vaux in a Ford Mustang. CRC president Lui MacLennan and Darren Taylor brought their Mini Cooper S into fourth place.

Ross and Kim Warner (E Type Jaguar)  and Sue and Terry Godde (Datsun 260Z) shared the well-supported Tour category outright placing by clean-sheeting both days, and were closely followed home by Stephen and Rhonda Smith (Alfa Romeo Montreal) in third placing and Bernard and Madelon Corbett who were having their first run together, in fourth.

The Apprentice category went to the Canberra crew of Jonathon Hawkins and Andrew Towndrow. They brought their Mazda MX5 to the finish with a loss of just 23 points, four ahead of Jacqui Collihole and Greg Hannah in a Porsche Boxster Convertible, and Dominic and Kim Votano (Mitsubishi Evo) who were equal third with Tony South and Laurie Mason in an Escort.

This year’s event used roads around the Hume Dam and the Upper Murray region on Saturday, roads classed as being some of the best in the state, while Sunday’s route went through more picturesque country around Whitfied, Mansfield and Glenrowan. Crews were ecstatic over the quality of the roads, rating them amongst the best they had driven on.

Unlucky crews to experience mechanical problems that forced them to withdraw were Dianne and Wayne Gerlach (Porsche 911), Richard Banks and Chrissie Jeffery (BMW 2002), and Arthur Howie/ David Alexander (MGB). This year’s Forest Classic Rally, the seventh running as a tarmac Touring Road Event and directed by RallySport Magazine’s Jeff Whitten, was voted an outstanding success which is sure to attract an even bigger field next year.

Provisional Results:
Challenge:
=1.    David Burn/Kim Burn        Fiat X1-9        0 points
=1    Rob Worboys/Jeff West        Ford Cortina        0
3.    Ken Harper/Graeme Vaux        Ford Mustang    1
4.    Darren Taylor/Lui MacLennan    Mini Cooper S    5
5.    Gavin Strongman/Phil Nicholas    Datsun 260Z        13

Apprentices:
1.    Johnathon Hawkins/Andrew Towndrow    Mazda MX5    23 points
2.    Jacqui Collihole/Greg Hannah    Porsche Boxster    27
=3.    Dominic Votano/Kim Votano    Lancer Evolution    30
=3.    Tony South/Laurie Mason        Ford Escort        30
5.    Ian Packard/Phil McFarlane    Renault 10        48

Tour:
=1    Sue Godde/Terry Godde        Datsun 260Z            0 points
=1    Ross Warner/Kim Warner        E Type Jaguar        0
3.    Stephen Smith/Rhonda Smith    Alfa Romeo Montreal    31
4.    Bernard Corbett/Madelon Corbett        Lancer Evolution    40
5.    Eric Young/Jenny Young        Fiat 124            42

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