The Classic Rally was held on 24 March.
1973 ARC Round 2 – GMHMC Classic Rally
Jeff Beaumont tells the story….
Capably directed by Peter Haas, the Classic Rally was held on the typically smooth roads of South Gippsland. Starting at Traralgon, the rally attracted a top field of ARC competitors.
The event was controversial because of its use of speed traps, checking for speeds over 35 mph in Quiet Zones. Most of the field were caught at least on one occasion and penalized.
The XU-1 Toranas were considered to be favourites over these fast and smooth roads. Colin Bond was the team’s leading driver, backed up with HDT new recruit Peter Lang from Canberra, capably navigated by Warwick Smith.
The Renault Rally Team engaged Tony Roberts to drive the Peugeot 504, with Jeff Beaumont navigating, as Bob Watson was overseas at the time.
The South Australian XU-1 entry of Stewart McLeod / Adrian Mortimer took a wrong turn in Division 1, losing a bit of time, dropping them out of a possible winning position.
Bob Holden and Roger Bonhomme got caught twice in speed traps and dropped down the leader board.
Frank Kilfoyle / Mike Osborne were in the factory Datsun 240Z but also got caught in a speed trap, then suffered differential failure.
Colin Bond and George Shepheard had a trouble-free run throughout the event in their XU-1 and took the top step on the podium.
They were backed up by Peter Lang / Warwick Smith who put up a consistent performance to claim second place, followed by the well driven factory Peugeot 504 ( in totally standard condition ! ) of Roberts / Beaumont.
Bruce Hodgson / Fred Gocentas in the big Falcon GT had an exciting ride, with some very good stage times until brake fade issues slowed them down.