The Classic Rally was held on (date TBA).
ARC Round 1 – 1971 GMHMC Classic Rally
Bob Watson started the new 1971 Australian Rally Championship as he finished last season, with an outright victory in the Renault R8 Gordini. For this new season he had a new navigator, Andy Chapman, due to the retirement of Jim McAuliffe.
At the start it looked like a battle between the three-car factory teams, being the Renaults and the Toranas. Also expected to do well was Evan Green in a Cooper S and a team of three Colts.
Peter Haas was the event director and he ran the cars through south central Gippsland, centered around Foster.
The rally was certainly full of drama. Colin Bond hit a bank heavily on Grand Ridge Road. Stewart McLeod left the road and bent the suspension in his 240Z.
At the half-way break Bob Watson was leading, from Bruce Hodgson’s Lotus Cortina with Mike Mitchell navigating
An amazing performance saw Matt Philip / Chris Jessup lift their Colt 1100 Fastback to third place, then they moved up a place when Hoddo broke a rear axle.
At the finish Bob Watson was comfortably out in front and scored maximum points from the diminutive Colt of the young local clubman crew, Matt Philip and Chris Jessup running in their first ever national rally.
A report appeared in April Unicar.