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Rally Recall: 1996 Coffs Harbour Rally

“This victory is for Rodger.” That was Possum Bourne’s comment after winning the 1996 Australian Rally Championship after an all-the-way win in the Bridgestone Rally of Coffs Harbour on October 19 and 20.

After Bourne and Rodger Freeth competed in the 1992 and 1993 Aussie Championship, Freeth lost his life at Rally Australia in 1993, before the pair could win the championship they had put so much effort into.

Bourne's Coffs Harbour win, with co-driver Craig Vincent, secured the championship with one round remaining, and gives Subaru their second national championship from three attempts.

Neal Bates' Celica was second in Coffs Harbour after a determined drive, but the Canberra driver was unable to bridge the gap between his Toyota and the Subaru after an early spin cost him valuable time.

In third place was Ed Ordynski after a rally plagued with all sorts of problems, while Stewart Reid grabbed the Group N win in his Lancer after rally-long leader, David West, crashed out three stages from home.

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Author

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.