John Rawson and Simon Brown proved to be the team to beat when they won last weekend’s “BP Ultimate Rally” ahead of a top class field of trials and rally crews. Driving a Datsun 180B SSS, Rawson and Brown led home Graham Wallis and Phil Nicholas (Peugeot 404) while Alan Upton/Mark Laidlay (Datsun 1600) and Tony Ahearne/Laurie Garth (Peugeot 404) tied for equal third place in the arduous marathon event.

Masterminded by ace navigator and director Ross Runnalls, the difficult 3-day event attracted a field of over 50 crews, many of whom fell by the wayside through both mechanical and fatigue-related issues. After a start in Victoria’s Gippsland region last Thursday afternoon, the route led to Wangaratta for the first rest break after traveling through the Alpine region around Omeo overnight. Those who managed to survive the opening leg continued on after a brief sleep, heading generally west to Echuca and Swan Hill before entering Sunset country and the maze of sandy tracks around Cowangie and Murrayville.

Competitors then had the option of tackling the sandhills or choosing a more competitor-friendly route that avoided the difficult roads before the route turned south towards the eventual finish at Ballarat on Sunday afternoon where the winners were announced in front of the remaining exhausted competitors.

Provision Results:
1.    John Rawson/Simon Brown,  Datsun 180B SSS, 174 points lost;
2.    Graham Wallis/Phil Nicholas, Peugeot 404, 224;
=3.    Alan Upton/Mark Laidlay, Datsun 1600,  258;
=3.    Tony Ahearne/Laurie Garth, Peugeot 404, 258;
5.    Robert Wilson/Matt de Vaus, Peugeot 504, 305;
6.    Doug Norman/Jeff Stewart, Peugeot 504, 314;
7.    Dennis Baker/David McAdam, Holden Commodore, 350;
8.    Brian Canny/Larry Walker, Peugeot 504, 364;
9.    Doug Fernie/Geoff Floyd, Datsun 1600,  450;
10.    Rob Devenish/Phil Wylie, Datsun 260Z, 466.

 

 

Pic. John Doutch


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