The North Eastern Rally was held on November 6.
1971 VTC Round 6 – NECC North Eastern Rally
Jeff Beaumont tells the story ….
Like several other events this year, the North Eastern was marred by a little too much rain, which made things tricky for the front runners but even more challenging for the crews down the entry list. A further issue was a protest lodged after the event regarding the deletion of a passage control in the second division. Subsequently the protest went to appeal at the Australian Motor Sports Appeal Court and was not resolved until well into 1972!
Peter Janson and Mike Mitchell’s win was their second consecutive victory in the series. They were followed home by David Chettle and Laurie Comerford putting up an excellent performance in their Renault Gordini.
The North Eastern could have been the decider between the two crews fighting for this year’s championship. Gil Davis / Peter Haas and Mal McPherson with Roger Bonhomme had gradually moved ahead of the rest of the field during the season. However, a firm result was not forthcoming, so the title will go down to the seventh and final round, the Cooper Memorial Trial.
The first Division ran up to Wodonga via Chiltern and the fast but slippery Mt Pilot Forest. McPherson / Bonhomme started badly, when an unmapped road caused them a lengthy detour on the very first section.
Two controls in Stanley Plantation were deleted due to the heavy rain.
The big Falcon of Marsh / Coleman was launched off a crest straight into a deep bog, whilst Shaw / Wunderlich had trouble with a badly flooded creek.
Tony Roberts’ Volvo, and the Datsun of Bob and Wal Sharp were the only crews to clean the event’s best section, a long winding drop down to Mudgegonga.
Back at Wangaratta, Peter Janson / Mike Mitchell led on 16, from the Gil Davis Monaro and Chettle’s Gordini. The small Renault was better suited to the conditions and moved ahead of the heavy Monaro in the later stages.
After Myrtleford came a 16 mile route chart, with McPherson quickest from Roberts by a minute. Scores were reversed on the next section east of Moyhu, closely followed by Janson, and Barrie Edmonds and Wal Harris.
Report in Auto Action (note that this report was immediately after the event and did not show the results as they were after the successful protect regarding the Allans Flat Passage Control)