Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial logo

Leg 7B – Tibooburra to Bourke

service crews working on car at night.

Service crew for car 59, Penny & Val Swan, getting ready for an early start of Leg 7B.  

The competition was hot on this leg which covered 670km (174km or 26%) with five very competitive sections on private properties, which were a good mixture of sand, rocks, gates, fast fence-line tracks and even a narrow track around a salt lake. Competitors really enjoyed this leg. And they saw their service crews frequently, as they only needed to drive down the main road with the sections looping from and back to this road.

The first section, 42km from Tibooburra, was ‘Clifton Downs’, tackled in the dark due to the 0200 start, was very fast from the start but then tightened out to a fast finish. The track was often very narrow with overhanging bushes and, at time, very limited visibility. There were many tracks around farm buildings so the navigators had to be alert. A 135km transport, with many narrow grids, to ‘Urisino’ which contained straightish tracks along fencelines so drivers had to look out for cattle and kangaroos, particularly the leading cars as it was still dark, then it became rough and rocky for the last few kilometres. A very busy, tight and dusty section.

After refuelling at Wanaaring it was only 7km to ‘Argyle’, which started north over sandy tracks as the course ran alongside the Paroo River, then east for a short time then south back to the main road. After another 50km came ‘Wangamana’, one of best sections of the event, it ran around the shores of a large salt lake, with a few gates to open and close. Then almost 200km to Bourke to tackle ‘Bendemeer’, which was to have been a horror narrow winding track through thick scrub, with many fallen trees and branches before a faster run to the finish. However, due to a non-event fatal road accident on the main road leading to the section, with police attending, the section had to be cancelled before the first cars arrived.

First vehicle was away from Tibooburra at 0200 and arrived at Bourke at an early 1130. Competitive sections of 45, 39, 43, 26 and 20kms. 51 started and finished the Leg.

Read “Leg 7B – Tibooburra to Bourke” below – use mouse, scroll bar or page controls to move through the document.