The George Derrick Memorial Trial was held on 28 August 1971.
1971 VTC Round 5 – CCRMIT George Derrick Memorial Trial
Jeff Beaumont takes up the story…
This year’s Derrick attracted a full field of 60 entries, which started at Gisborne and ran up to Maryborough, and finally back to the finish at Bullengarook. The event was very well directed, as usual, by Max Whamond and Max Herron.
This year’s VTC was becoming a neck-and-neck battle between the Renault and Holden teams, and at the finish of this Derrick the scores were equal with two rounds remaining.
Peter Janson / Mike Mitchell (Monaro) won the rally fairly comfortably despite torrential rain before and during the event. Janson and Gil Davis, both in the big Monaros, were rarely headed during the 350 mile event, an outstanding achievement considering the slippery forest tracks.
John Dixon / Chris Jessup, in their 1800 Escort were very quick early in the event, despite the foggy conditions through the Black Forest.
John Armitage and Robin Sharpley, in their stunning Lancia Fulvia had their Halda break down, causing some navigational difficulties, and dropping them down the field.
At the Maryborough break, the two Monaros of Janson and Davis were leading from Tony Roberts / Jim McAuliffe in the Volvo 142S, and Peter Robertson with Jeff Beaumont in the twin cam Escort, whose diff failed later in the rally. Then followed Dixon / Jessup also in an Escort.
The second Division headed north of Maryborough to the forests around Dunolly conditions. The route was fairly diabolical in parts, with a myriad of unmapped tracks and bogholes. Mal McPherson was running very well, with Roger Bonhomme doing a good job on the maps.
But it was Peter Janson / Mike Mitchell way out in front, winning the event with an impressive performance in the big Monaro.
The final Division headed east to Welshmans Reef then south to the finish in the Wombat Forest. The navigation was more straight forward, but fog patches and slippery roads made the conditions challenging.