It's amazing what you find in the archives when you start searching! We discovered this in an old Datsun brochure after the purchase of a Datsun 240K in the early 1970s ......
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Datsun cars made impressive starts to the local 1973 rally season by winning the opening championship events in two states.
In each case a Datsun 180B SSS won against strong competition in difficult night driving conditions.
Victoria’s 1972 rally champions, Gil Davis and Peter Haas, showed they had lost none of their winning form in beating 44 other starters in the 300-mile Penfolds Trial, the first heat of the 1973 Victorian championship.
Davis and Haas spearheaded the Datsun rally team in the same 180B SSS crewed by team manager Bruce Wilkinson and Roger Bonhomme in the previous year’s Southern Cross Rally, and by John Roxburgh and Mike Mitchell in the Dulux Rally.
They were consistently quickest over all sections of the route and thoroughly deserved their win.
Dust was the major problem throughout the trial, conducted over a wide variety of road conditions in north east Victoria.
A Channel 9 cameraman captures some of the action as Ross Dunkerton kicks up the dust in his Datsun 180B SSS.
The victory gave Davis and Haas nine points toward the 1973 championship.
Earlier, driving the 180B SSS, they had won the HAC Total Invitation Trial, used by many as a warm up for the first event of the State Championship.
Equally impressive was the performance of Ross Dunkerton and John Large in the 400-mile Wolfsburg Trial which opened the State rally season in Western Australia.
Dunkerton, the 1971 state championship winning driver, and Large, three times champion navigator, teamed well in the Datsun 180B SSS, which was entered by Perth’s Chanel 9 television station.
They were the front runners for most of the event, then were headed in the second last division, only to snatch back the lead four sections from home.
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