Australian Rally History

by Tom Snooks
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The 1985 Wynn’s Safari

Andrew Cowan and Fred Gocentas in their Mitsubishi Pajero

Andrew Cowan/Fred Gocentas in the Prototype Mitsubishi Pajero – 1st Auto Outright

The 1985 Wynn’s Safari covered 5730 kilometres through some of the harshest, but strikingly beautiful terrain in Australia, and the event combined rallying, trialing and off-roading. The exact daily course, which remained a secret until the start of each day, was over firmly formed roads and tracks – there was no ‘bush bashing’. Parts of the course were exceedingly rough – demanding caution by drivers and riders, particularly those who would be going hard for an outright placing.

Other parts of the course were quite smooth, providing drivers and riders with the satisfaction of handling a vehicle at speed; still other parts were tight, calling for exactness of steering; still other parts incorporated wide river crossings over stony bottoms, yet others with boggy sand bottoms, for most were dry crossings; and there were deeply rutted tracks, created by heavy rain during the monsoon seasons ‘up north’ that would test the drivers ability to avoid bogging the vehicle, and the rider’s ability to stay upright.

And if the rains came …

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