Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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Mobil 1 Trial bumper sticker

Reliability Trial

Leg 1 – Brisbane to Sydney

Hal Maloney and David Walters in a Leyland P76

Hal Maloney/David Waters on the ‘Watagan’ stage in their 1974 Leyland P76. After a most impressive and consistent drive they finished the event 17th Outright.

Leg 1 – The Course… 

After leaving the Brisbane start the cars travelled via the Gold Coast to Murwillumbah to the first special stage, ‘Mebbin’, a 12km narrow and tricky stage needing to be treated with respect especially with crews having pent up excitement that the event was now underway and that could lead to an early indiscretion.

After a service at Woodburn the crews had to settle for competing over the following tough stages in darkness.

First came the 15km ‘Sherwood’ stage followed by a further service at Coffs Harbour, then by the first really demanding stage which was conducted to the southwest of Coffs Harbour – the 69km ‘Horseshoe’, made famous in the Southern Cross International Rally in the 1970s when the stage was over 200km long! This stage would sort out the field and it was important, due to the organisers seeding of the start order, that drivers had to watch out for faster cars catching them.

After a service at Kempsey, there were two ex-Southern Cross Rally magnificent stages – the 69km ‘Cooperabung’ and ‘Yarras’ run over 43km – conducted the west and southwest of Kempsey.

A long transport took the cars to Newcastle for a rest break and breakfast prior to the running of the last special stage northwest of Gosford, the famous ‘Watagan Road’ over 37km.

Read “Leg 1 – Brisbane to Sydney” below – use mouse, scroll bar or page controls to move through the document.