The Classic Rally was held on April 19.
ARC Round 1 – 1969 GMHMC Classic Rally
Jeff Beaumont tells the story…
The second year of the new Australian Rally Championship became quite exciting due to the number of rally cars available from the recent London to Sydney Rally. It promised to be an interesting contest.
Bob Watson and Jim McAuliffe again directed this high quality 300 mile Rally, based out of the timber town of Noojee and being the first round of the 1969 ARC. The concept was brilliant, the same as last year’s event. The Classic ran alternate loops out of a central point.
The roads were wet and slippery and swirling fog provided a real challenge, particularly around Tanjil Bren.
John Keran / Peter Meyer were showing amazing speed in their Volvo 142S and were comfortably leading until they slipped off the road and became bogged. They recovered to finish in second place behind winners Frank Kilfoyle and Doug Rutherford in the factory Lotus Cortina.
A pair of Mitsubishi Colt Fastbacks, crewed by Doug Stewart / Barry Field and Colin Bond / Brian Hope were quick and reliable and both finished in the top six. Peter Janson / Neville Price were the top finishing Renault, with their 16TS in seventh place.
An interesting entry was that of Tony Roberts / Mike Osborne in the ex London to Sydney Porsche 911. Whilst very quick and sounding spectacular, they suffered a broken front strut and ran off the road, hitting a tree quite heavily.
In a convincing display, the winners put up an excellent performance of wet weather rallying in the mountains east of Melbourne.