2014 Australian rallying Hall of Fame inductees
- 2nd March 2014, 10:40pm
At a lavish gala presentation overnight in Canberra the Australian rallying community welcomed the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame. In total 10 distinguished individuals were introduced ranging from drivers, to co-drivers, to officials and administrators.
In alphabetical order the Hall of Fame inductees are Colin Bond, Barry Ferguson, Evan Green, Fred Gocentas, Graham Hoinville, Frank Kilfoyle, David Officer, Kate Officer, Ed Ordynski and Jim Reddiex.
The following highlights mark each Hall of Fame inductee:
Colin Bond is the most versatile top-level driver Australian motor sport has seen. Trained as a motor mechanic, he became interested in motor sport and after trying track racing and rallies, won the NSW hill climb championship driving a supercharged Lynx-Peugeot. He joined the Mitsubishi rally team run by Doug Stewart in 1967 and immediately scored top results in the Southern Cross Rally: fourth outright in a Colt 1000 in 1967 and third outright in a Colt 1100 in 1968.
Harry Firth then selected Colin for the Holden Dealer team, and he won the Bathurst 500 race in 1969 in a Monaro 350 co-driven by Tony Roberts. The pair followed up with a win in the Surfers Paradise 12 hour Race, and Colin then went on to success in the ARC, winning three national titles as well as the Australian Touring Car championship and the Southern Cross rally, all achieved in Holden Dealer team XU1 Toranas. Colin was inducted into the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame in 2002.
Bond managed the Ford Rally team in the late 1980s, running BDA Escorts in a fierce battle with Howard Marsden’s Datsun’s and winning an ARC title with Greg Carr driving. Colin was unlucky not to win a fourth ARC title that year, missing the first round of the series due to a racing commitment. Ford brought Bjorn Waldegaard and Ari Vatanen to Australia to drive in Bond’s team in their efforts to win the Southern Cross Rally.
Colin is popular with his fellow competitors, happy go lucky and always ready to join a discussion, tell a story or impart his knowledge. In fact, his hearty laugh was and is his trademark. Colin Bond is warmly welcomed into the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
‘Fergie’ was Australia’s master of long distance events. Born in country NSW he learned to drive around paddocks in old cars, which also gave him some mechanical knowledge. Not too much though, as when he rebuilt the diff of a Rugby the car had one forward gear and three reverses. Beginning rallying at state level in 1961 Barry won the NSW Rally championship no less than nine times, mostly driving VWs, which he modified himself.
In 1965 Barry organized the Goulburn 500 rally, eliminating navigation and choosing the twistiest roads he could find. The format was very popular, and the Southern Cross rally was modeled on this event.
Barry drove at Bathurst 10 times, as well as numerous other long distance track events. He drove in the 1968 London to Sydney marathon, won the Southern Cross rally in 1967 and 1970 and was runner up to Andrew Cowan in that event four times. With Tony Denham he won the Bathurst Golden Jubilee Rally, winning a new Mini for both he and his co-driver. In the 1977 London to Sydney he drove a Citroen, finishing 10th, and finished second to Peter Brock in a Commodore in the notorious Repco Reliability Trial in 1969 after an event long battle.
Barry also excelled at off road driving, competing in the Wynn’s Safari in factory Mitsubishi Pateros five times and winning the marathon class.
Barry Ferguson is one of Australia’s most respected and accomplished rally drivers. His ability to concentrate for long periods, his speed and his sympathy for his car have yielded many famous wins. No wonder he smiles all the time! Barry, welcome to the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
Evan was a motoring journalist, TV commentator, novelist and rally driver. Above all, he was a thorough gentleman, and he excelled in all of those areas. Working as a cadet journalist in Maitland he met Ken Tubman, which sparked his interest in rallying. He loved adventure and travel, and managed to combine these interests with his numerous occupations.
Green competed in the 1954 and 1955 Redex Trials in a Standard Vanguard with John Lefoe, he drove across Australia with Gelignite Jack Murray on a BMC publicity trip, he competed in the 1968 and 1977 London to Sydney marathons, the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup rally and the 1974 London to Munich rally via the Sahara desert. He also organized the 1957 Ampol round Australia Trial.
Green headed the BMC competition department and won the Bathurst race in 1966 with Rauno Aaltonen and Bob Holden in a Mini. He coordinated Donald Campbell’s world land speed record success at Lake Eyre and competed in the London to Munich World Cup rally in a Leyland P76. He had so many people tell him they would give their right arm to be going, that he wrote a book on the rally titled ‘A Boot Full of Right Arms’
The word gentleman to describe Evan Green was absolutely true. In the 1968 Marathon he was well placed late in the event, but still stopped to tow Andrew Cowan’s bogged Hillman back on to the road in the Flinders Ranges. Cowan went on to win the event.
As well as his factual books, Journeys with Gelignite Jack and Boot Full of Right Arms, Evan wrote a number of successful novels, which showcased his vast knowledge of the outback. The first, Alice to Nowhere was made into a two part TV mini series.
Evan Green died in 1996. The motor sport world mourned his passing, and we are very proud that he is now part of the Australian Rally hall of Fame.
The late Freddie Gocentas was a rally fanatic, and Australia’s most internationally travelled and successful co-driver. His drivers included Peter Lang, Greg Carr, Doug Stewart, Ross Dunkerton, Grahame Elliott, Bruce Hodgson and Peter Brock. However, such was his enthusiasm that he was just as happy to go with a novice driver as he was with a champion.
Fred started rallying in 1968 and soon found that his driving skills were somewhat lacking. It was said that he didn’t know what was not possible, so he switched to co-driving, and never changed again. He joined the Gerry Ball team in 1971 and won the Alpine Rally with Grahame Elliott. Gerry Ball tells how Fred refused to get out of Gerry’s rolled over and burning Datsun until he found all his maps.
He was known as ‘Freddie the winch’ from the time he co-drove for Andrew Cowan in the Southern Cross. The car went off the road and Cowan was walking away thinking they were out of the event when Fred produced a Tirfor winch and pulled the car back on to the road.
Fred competed in the Middle East, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand with Greg Carr. He also co-drove for the late Ray Lintott in tarmac rallies. The wide esteem in which Fred was held in the rallying world was evidenced by the hundreds who attended his recent funeral. His place in the Australian Rally Hall of Fame was always assured.
Graham has enjoyed a long and busy life, marked with motor sport milestones. It is very difficult to cover his vast career in just a few words.
Starting in the sport after World War 2 Graham began rallying in a Singer Nine sports, immediately scoring good results. In 1951 he met Harry Firth, and purchased a supercharged MGTC from Harry that he still owns. He ran races, hill climbs and trials in this car, back in the days when one car and one driver could do everything.
In 1953 Donald Thomson ran the first long distance rally in Australia, the 2000 km Sun Rally, several months before the first Redex Trial. Graham navigated in this event and did well, after which Harry Firth signed him up as a navigator. Together the pair became the most successful trials team in the country, winning the Sun Rally, three Experts Trials and five Alpine Rallies in the following years.
When Ford started a rally program in 1962 Firth and Hoinville were chosen to lead the team. They headed a three-car team of Ford Falcons in the East African Safari, and were the only Falcon to finish, 15th out of a field of 150 and beating the Mercedes and Ford UK teams.
Being a lubricants engineer at BP, Graham was not eligible to compete in the prestigious BP Rally of South Eastern Australia, so he assisted Donald Thomson and John Pryce with the organization of the event from 1958 to 1971.
In major events the Firth/Hoinville combination was unbeatable. Driving Ford Cortina’s they won the 1964 Ampol Round Australia, the inaugural Southern Cross Rally in 1966 and the inaugural Australian Rally championship in 1968. They also led the Australian team of Ford Falcons in the 1968 London to Sydney marathon, and although having a mechanical problem near the finish while highly placed, won the team’s prize, the Falcons finishing third, fifth and eighth.
Graham has been involved with CAMS since its formation in 1953, assisting in the writing of the National Competition Rules and serving in many CAMS areas over the years. He has represented Australia at FIA Historic Racing Commission meetings in Paris and worked tirelessly for rallies and historic racing.
Graham is 85, but his love of motor sport is as strong as ever. He owns an amazing collection of cars and motorcycles, and still competes occasionally in his beloved MGTC or his 1965 Elfin clubman.
Graham Hoinville’s achievements and contribution to motor sport and rallying have been immense. He is a prestigious addition to the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
The late Frank Kilfoyle was the greatest all round rally competitor this country has seen. As a driver, he won no less than five Alpine Rallies, and as a navigator won one Alpine and the premier Australian navigation event, the BP Rally of South East Australia, three times.
Frank’s record in the Southern Cross Rally is equally as impressive. He was second on three occasions and fifth once. He was Victorian Rally Champion twice, and won the Australian Rally Championship in 1969, the second year of its running. He was an inaugural inductee into the Victorian Rally Hall of Fame in 2005.
Not content to rest on his victory laurels, Frank was a great organizer, directing both the Alpine Rally and the BP Rally several times. In 1979 he was the road director for the notorious Repco Reliability Trial, which used some of the most terrible roads in Australia. Competitors in that event hated Frank and respected him at the same time.
Frank was an intelligent and thinking driver. He ran rally schools at Monash University in Melbourne explaining the effect on the car of various road surfaces, where to find the most traction, and when to take extra care. These schools were invaluable to a generation of budding rally drivers, and are still talked about. He also ran a business for a time selling maps and rally equipment, and would be happy to spend time with his customers, mentoring them. His favourite credo was: “there are no rough roads, there are only rough drivers”.
Well after he was an established star, Frank took a young spastic boy on several club rallies as his navigator. Although the lad could not even hold a map board, Frank gave him experiences that improved the quality of the young man’s life.
Frank Kilfoyle was a quiet achiever, intelligent and immensely skilled in all facets of rallying. He was a good person, and his presence in the Australian Rally Hall of Fame is richly deserved.
David earned the nickname Dinta early in his life. He worked with a mate in a city park, and they were named ‘Dinta’ and ‘Scratch’ after their efforts parking customers cars.
Dinta first rallied as a navigator in a Mini Cooper S, but after getting lost and crashing he decided driving was better. He built his own Cooper S, and having just met Kate Hobson, asked her to navigate for him. With few exceptions they have competed together since, and they have seen the transition of rallies from map reading and timing to the minute to the pace notes and split seconds of today.
Dinta was impressed by the performance of Mitsubishi products in the Southern Cross rallies, and decided to build a Colt Galant rally car. After a wobbly start, he and Kate got into their stride in 1983, winning the Victorian Championship and performing well in the ARC against the likes of Greg Carr, Geoff Portman and Hugh Bell. They tied for third place with Ross Dunkerton in the WA round; if they had beaten him by one second the pair would have won the championship.
In 1984 it all came together, the couple winning the ARC. These were the days of Group G cars, with no factory support, so winning the National title called for huge financial commitment. Their car used 38 tyres in the Alpine Rally alone. David then took time off to build a Mitsubishi Starion for the 1986 ARC, where Kate again won the co-drivers championship and David was runner up driver.
The Officers then moved into off road, driving Pajeros for the Ralliart team. The pair finished second in the 1988 Wynns Safari and Dinta won the event with Ross Runnalls in 1989 while Kate was busy having babies. There were also some forays to New Zealand for the World championship round, where 5th and a 4th placings gained Dinta an FIA drivers B seeding.
In the 20,000 km Mobil 1 Round Australia event in 1995 Dinta and Kate led the event for five days in their EVO Lancer before having gearbox trouble in remote South Australia.
Kate’s rally results are similar to David’s, so we will focus on her unique achievements. She was the first woman to win the Victorian rally championship, the first woman to win an Australian title in motor sport, and of course the couple were the first husband and wife to do so. She is the first female co-driver to win the Australian Safari and the Alpine Rally.
Despite her dedication to motor sport Kate has found time to have two lovely daughters and establish a household. In fact after winning the Safari in 1991 she surprised everyone by announcing that she was pregnant. Presumably it did not happen during the event.
Dinta and Kate retired from big time rallying in 1995 after achieving a good finish in Rally Australia, but they have continued in the sport in the Historic Rally field. They won the 7,000 km Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial in 2008 in a Galant, and are frequent historic rally winners in Victoria.
Kate has served as membership secretary and President of the 900 strong Historic Rally Association in Victoria, while Dinta has served on the Victorian Rally Advisory Group and been Competitor Relations Officer for the VRC. He was awarded the Victorian Rally Service Award in 2011.
Dinta and Kate Officer are a shining example of dedication to the sport of rallying. They are a popular and greatly respected couple, a real team. We salute them and welcome them to the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
Ed Ordynski is two people. The Ed we know is polite, smiling, quietly spoken and a thorough gentleman. But put him behind the wheel of a rally car and he is the ultimate professional, with intense concentration and steely resolve.
Ed started rallying win a $200 Toyota Corolla while training to be a teacher. In 1975 he entered his first ARC event, winning his class and finishing 14h outright. In 1986 he won the South Australian championship in a Subaru RX Turbo.
In 1989 Ed became the first Australian to win at World Championship level when he won the Group N (showroom) category in Rally Australia. He went on to win the Australian Rally championship outright in 1990.
Group N has been Ed’s forte. He had eight wins from 11 starts in Rally Australia and won the Australian Group N championship four times. He has contested Group N World Championship rallies in New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Australia, taking nine wins in all. He starred in Rally Australia in 2001, winning Group N against the current World Champion Gabriel Pozzo and 2000 champion Manfred Stohl.
Ed became one of Mitsubishi’s longest serving factory drivers, and won a special gold plate for winning their “Driver of the Year” award six consecutive times. Ed won the Ralliart Driver of the Year eight times in all.
In 1995 Ed won the 20,000 km Mobil 1 Round Australia Trial in a Holden Commodore, beating archrivals Peter Brock and Ross Dunkerton in similar cars. His cool head and precise driving were ideal for this tough event.
Ed retired in 2005 when Mitsubishi ceased their rally activities worldwide. He immediately went economy driving, wringing 5.1 litres/100 kms (56 miles per gallon) from a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV in the 2009 Global Green Eco Challenge. He also joined the Advisory Committee to the SA Motor Sports board and has been Chairman of the Australian Rally Commission.
Despite his quiet manner, Ed is viewed by his peers as a hard and fit competitor who shows the toughness and commitment of a champion. We warmly welcome him into the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
The names Reddiex and Citroen are synonymous. Jim started his work career as an apprentice working on Citroens at Maxim Motors in Brisbane. Before long he had taken over the workshop, and by 1967 he owned the franchise.
His well-known expertise in the marque won Jim the job of assisting the official factory mechanics to service Lucien Bianchi’s Citroen in the 1968 London to Sydney marathon. It was a bitter blow when Bianchi’s car, which had the marathon well and truly won, was put out by a head on crash near the end of the event. Bianchi’s co-driver Jean Claude Ogier returned to Australia in 1970 determined to win the Ampol Round Australia Trial, and finished equal first in a Citroen prepared by Jim Reddiex.
Jim was doing club and state rallies when he was asked to prepare a Citroen for the 1974 London to Munich World Cup rally and join the team with Andre Welinski and Ken Tubman. The crew won the rally in amazing circumstances, fighting their way through the Sahara to take a huge lead while others were lost or bogged.
Jim also competed in the Citroen team in the 1977 marathon, preparing four cars for the event and teaming with Barry Ferguson and Doug Stewart. They finished 10th and won the teams prize. Jim also prepared a car and ran with Andrew Cowan and Jeff Beaumont in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial.
Switching makes, Jim competed in off road events with the Mitsubishi team, again run by his old mate Doug Stewart, in a Pajero. He took over the role of service manager, mentoring and managing such drivers as Ross Dunkerton and Dinta Officer.
Jim has been a stalwart member of the Brisbane Sporting Car Club since the 1970s, serving as President and also as Director of ARC and QRC rallies. He serves as Competitor Relations Officer for Targa Tasmania and assists in many other major events.
In 1982 Jim was awarded the French National Order of Merit, the Order of National Merit- Chevalier, an honour awarded by the French President, for his contribution to the automotive industry. All hail Sir Monsieur Jim!
Jim Reddiex has a long and outstanding record of contributing to rallying. He is good natured, highly respected and knowledgeable, qualities that make him an ideal competitor relations officer. Jim, you richly deserve your place in the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
* Photos courtesy of Charles and Kelly Wannop
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