The BP Rally was held on 13-17 May.
1970 LCCA BP Rally of South Eastern Australia
This 2,000 mile event was considered to be one of the best BP’s yet with director Frank Kilfoyle combining driving and navigation challenges, with a good and varied selection of roads and tracks.
After the start at Kerang, the first casualty was the Renault R8 Gordini of Mal McPherson / Robin Sharpley with broken transmission. Mike Meltzer’s Cortina GT fine run ended near Glenloth, when the car upended on a slippery right hander.
The muddy Kamarooka Forest was expensive for some crews including Bob Watson / Jim McAuliffe who dropped a mammoth 27 points in the maze.
At the Bendigo break, Rex Lunn / Bob Forsyth in their Capri V6 had dropped just a single point to lead from Bruce Collier / Peter Haas and eventual winners Tony Roberts / Mike Osborne.
The night run towards Sea Lake proved difficult around Annuello, with a maze of muddy tracks claiming a few wrong directions. Worst followed near Kulkyne with unmapped tracks causing problems for most competitors.
Stage end at Mildura saw Tony Roberts’ Torana leading from Colin Bond’s Monaro. Watson / McAuliffe were back to fifth after their earlier points loss.
The next Division ran down towards Hattah via a couple of long, sandy traps.David Cuthbert / Andy Chapman found a closed gate at speed, without stopping, then spent ten minutes removing the wirey mess off the front of their Hunter.
This long Division ran down through Nhill and on towards Mt Gambier, with stages in the surrounding black sandy forests of Tantanoola and Holloway.
The next stages ran to Hamilton, via a boggy run through the pines north of Dartmoor and the slippery hills of Merino.
The run to St Arnuad contained the boggy Cassidy Gap, where most scraped through with minimal losses. Then finally on to the break at Ballarat.
The final run home on Sunday morning was easy, with four competitives, but included the worrying splash through Cobbledick’s Ford.
With just an hour or so to the finish, Graham Alexander’s Torana cried enough, with damaged engine bearings and finally a broken con rod.
Watson / McAuliffe had staged an outstanding comeback to finish second.