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The Australian Motorsport Action Group (AMSAG Inc.), organisers of the 2013 Orange City Council City of Orange Classic Rally, are saddened to announce the passing of a competitor after an incident on the fifth stage of the event held on May 25 in the Canobolas State Forest near Orange.

Queenslander, John Giddings, a former Bathurst businessman, died as a result of complications from spinal and thoracic injuries.

In the incident, John Giddings and his co-driver, Richard Davidson, left the road in their Datsun 180B and hit a tree. Richard was taken to Orange Base Hospital with a fractured sternum and ribs and has since been released, whilst John was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney with suspected Neck injuries.  

John, 70, was an experienced motorsport competitor with several decades of competition history behind him, most notably a fifth outright placing in the 1988 Tooheys Bathurst 1000 with Bruce Stewart in a Ford Sierra RS500.    

John had also competed in the 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial with close friends and Bathurst local Rod Jones and Trevor Seaman. He also competed in two Australian Safari rallies with Rod Jones, achieving a best result of fifth outright in 1985 in a Datsun 720.

Most recently John had been competing with his son Michael, running in the inaugural Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial in 2009, which culminated in joining the Word Rally Championship event based in Kyogle, as well every running of the Classic Outback Trial, having both Michael and family friend Tony Jordan alongside for the ride at the various events. A fourth outright and first in class with Tony alongside him in the 2012 event was another great highlight in his motorsport life.

He had plans in place to tackle the massive Sydney to London Marathon due to take place next year.

John has been a regular AMSAG competitor since 2008 and had peddled his trusty 180B to many good results, whilst having a lot of fun along the way.

John had a love for Chevys and Datsuns, as well as NASCAR, travelling over to the US last year to watch the Daytona 500, but he was also a family man and loved dearly his wife Marilyn, son Michael and daughter Amy.

John’s son, Michael Giddings, said it best when describing the sad events” “Today passed away a great man, my best friend and my Dad, John Giddings. He was doing something that he loved, his passion, rally car racing, and he had an unfortunate accident. He will be remembered as a man who accomplished so much and died doing a sport he loved. He will be sorely missed by all.”

This is the first fatality in an AMSAG event in the 20 years of the organisation’s history. John’s passing has affected us all, and we will miss him greatly.

AMSAG wishes to pass on its sincerest condolences to John’s family and friends in this tough time.

- Michael Bannon
AMSAG Media and Competitor Liaison

RallySport Magazine also passes on its condolences to John's family and friends on the tragic loss of a well respected competitor.

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