1968 North Eastern Trial

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The North Eastern was held on <date TBA>.

VRC  Round 6   –   1968 NECC North Eastern Trial

Jeff Beaumont tells the story…

The dominance of the two new Holden Dealer Team HK Holdens was certainly demonstrated with the unequalled performance of their crews in the North Eastern Trial, run up in the typical area around and south of Wangaratta.

Last year the event was a simple driver’s rally, with minimal points losses.  This year the challenge was reversed by Director Bob Dwyer with significant difficult navigation.

Chapman / Bainbridge’s Hunter led the field from the start bound for the Killawarra Forest, then via unmapped roads towards Peechelba.

The HDT Holdens let from the start but the ex-works HR Holden retired when navigator Jeff Beaumont suffered from a serious bout of food poisoning.

A quick loop sent competitors south east across to Moyhu, followed by a long route chart through a maze of small forestry areas in the Edi area.

A bit of a mileage confusion saw John Chamber’s hot Anglia hurtling into a farmer’s front garden. This impressive rally car featured a hot 2 litre V4 engine fitted into a lightweight Anglia body.

The field straggled into the break back at Bennett’s Garage in Wang, with the HK’s about half an hour ahead of the rest. Last year’s winners Brian Amey and Tony Wunderlich were next in their Peugeot 404.

The next division was certainly no easier, with tight times and difficult navigation. The old gold mining area around Eldorado was visited several times, without too much trouble, followed by difficult stages in the Stanley area. Back at Wangaratta again, the Bendigo/Ballarat crew of Max Jackman and Ian Johnson in their Bellett made it to control just inside their late time limit.

The third and final division ran into daylight, as the crews headed towards the more habitable area around Chiltern. Unfortunately Brain Amey’s Peugeot collided with one of the Holden service cars, resulting in a few minor injuries and a lot of vehicle damage.

The event finally finished back at Wangaratta, where results were not readily available at the time. However, it was clear that the two HDT HK Holdens had totally dominated, with the balance of the field finally straggling into the finish.

The total VTC points for the year indicate that the results were Watson/McAuliffe first then Roberts/Osborne with Jackman/Johnson third.