The Midyear was held on July 31.
1971 VTC Round 4 – MSCC Midyear Rally
Jeff Beaumont takes up the story….
Mal McPherson and Roger Bonhomme in the Kays Renault R8 Gordini took the lead in the Victorian Rally Championship with a strong win in the Midyear Rally that finished at Pikes Creek Reservoir.
The Midyear, directed by Chris Jessup and run in bitterly cold conditions, attracted a huge field of 101 cars.
Three factory Holdens were entered, the best placed being Gil Davis / Peter Haas who finished second. The others suffered various problems, with Peter Janson / Mike Mitchell running well until they skidded past the edge of an icy bridge and ended up in the creek.
The Torana of Richard Creed and Mike Osborne suffered rear brake problems early in the event, but pressed on to finish in fourth, just behind David Cuthbert and Andy Chapman in the Hillman Hustler, entered by Surrey Motors.
The spectacular Lancia Fulvia of John Armitage / Robin Sharpley re-appeared with a windscreen replacement after the last event, but tyre problems slowed their progress.
The Clubman class was won by Geoff Lawson / Warwick Smith in the Mazda R100. This excellent performance also netted them sixth outright.
The rally started with an easy run up to Blackwood, where the R8 Gordini and John Dixon’s Escort set the pace. A tricky entry into a grid referenced control south of Maryborough caused huge problems, with just a handful of crews sorting out the mess with minimal time lost. Roberts / McAuliffe missed the control entirely!
The event then ran south through Lexton, the Pyrenees Ranges and into the Mt Cole Forest.
At Beaufort the leaders had sorted out their positions, with the final stages to run. Boggy tracks then greeted the crews, then on to Cherry Tree Hill plantation, Snake Valley, and Garibaldi.
The final two sections were quick runs through the Mt Doran area, over fast, smooth roads.