Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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Mobil 1 Trial bumper sticker

Reliability Trial

Leg 5 – Alice Springs to Kalgoorlie

Ross Dunkerton and Noel Richards, Holden Commodore

Ross Dunkerton and Noel Richards, Holden Commodore, had a great run in Leg 5.

Leg 5 – the course… 

This leg of the event, which included a run across the Great Victoria Desert, covered territory never previously traversed by a Round Australia Trial. The once dreaded Gunbarrel Highway, the track across the desert, had become good quality gravel.

But before the desert two stages had to be negotiated between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. The first was 46km ‘Henbury’ which was quite rough, having suffered from recent rains, and the second ‘Angus Downs’, over 49km, which was also badly washed out in places.

It was then a 720-kilometre drive to Warburton. This drive included a refuel/service at Curtain Springs, and then a highway tour to Ayers Rock where there was a short break for tourism activities, after which all the event participants – Trial and Challenge competitors, service crews and officials – had to share the same road across the desert so dust was a problem, as well as congestion of cars at the refuel locations at Warakurna, Warburton and Tjukayiria, although ample time was allowed in the event’s itineraries.

After a rest break at Warburton, the field continued 590 kilometres to Laverton for another refuel opportunity, and service break, and then, at last after nearly 1300 kilometres, some competition in the form of two testing stages, although they were 140 kilometres apart – the 77km ‘Korong’ stage and the 45km ‘Carr-Boyd’ stage.

Then a 56km run to the overnight stop at Kalgoorlie.

Read “Leg 5 – Alice Springs to Kalgoorlie” below – use mouse, scroll bar or page controls to move through the document.