The Begonia Rally was held on 4 March.
VCS Round 1 – 1972 BLCC Amoco Begonia Rally
Jeff Beaumont tells the story…
Local crew Garry Harrowfield and David Hodge in a Cortina GT won the Begonia Rally, the first round of the new Victorian Clubman Series.
The event attracted 97 entries but only 60 crews finally started the rally which looped around Ballarat, in traditional style.
The event got underway with an easy run north to Miners Rest, then south into the White Swan area. After a 10 mile loop the field was tightly bunched as they proceeded through Leigh Creek to a brief service point, where Harrowfield held a one point lead.
Baxter / Cox ran out of fuel in their Mazda but eventually fought back to finish third.
The WDCC team lost one member when Bell / King retired with clutch problems. However, their other team members Sorahan / Harrison had forged into the lead after Garibaldi Plantation stages.
Grid country running around Ross Creek and Smythsdale saw the first division end, with the two Escorts in the lead, from the Renault R8 of Wilson and Norton.
The Escort lead was short lived, when Laurie Sorahan broke an axle and rolled heavily into a ditch.
McCallum / Smith suffered fuel pressure problems and their Escort dropped down the field.
After looping around Dereel Lagoon and Happy Valley, crews were seriously challenged with a tricky section south of Cherry Tree. No one cleaned the stage and some losses were substantial.
The following run through the adjacent pines was straight forward, with a final run through Carngham and Haddon and back to Ballarat.
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