Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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Mobil 1 Trial bumper sticker

Reliability Trial

Leg 4 – Adelaide to Alice Springs

Jim Middleton & Phil Morley, Holden Commodore.

Into the Top Ten at Alice Springs – Jim Middleton/Phil Morley’s Holden Commodore.
They eventually finished 11th Outright and 4th in Class.

Leg 4 – the course… 

This leg, 2170 km long, was the second of the overnight runs of the event, the first being Leg One. It ran 223km north from Adelaide through the picturesque Clare Valley to the first special stage over 15km of challenging shire roads that was named ‘Beetaloo’ in the farming area of the Beetaloo Valley and was followed by ‘Mount Remarkable’ (22km) and then, after passing through Wilmington, to ‘Moralana’, run over 27km. The 24km ‘Top Bore’, was followed by a 165km transport to Port Augusta for a refuel and service break and after the town the real outback content of the Mobil 1 Trial started with the 40km ‘Carriewerloo’ stage northwest of Port Augusta. This stage was the postal run between Carriewerloo and Yudnapinna Stations and was the first of the desert/red soil stages with dry creek beds and dips that could catch drivers out.

Then a 328km transport to Glendambo for a compulsory three-hour rest break, with the vehicles being placed in parc ferme and not available to crews during the break.

Before the next special stage, the 62km ‘Bulgunnia’ stage, northwest of Glendambo, there was a fast run over farm tracks and after the stage it was a drive of 227km up the Stuart Highway to a short refuel and service break at the opal mining outpost of Coober Pedy but being dark the crews could not appreciate the moonscape appearance of the surrounding opal fields.

After Coober Pedy it was a 236km drive to the 35km ‘Welbourne Hill’ stage, after which the crews settled in for the 440km drive into the Northern Territory to the 89km ‘Orange Creek’ stage but which could not be conducted. This was then followed by a 158km transport along the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs. In many parts of the country recent rains had greened the countryside which looked its best.

Read “Leg 4 – Adelaide to Alice Springs” below – use mouse, scroll bar or page controls to move through the document.