The Hunter Safari was held on 6 October.
VCS Round 5 – 1973 COCC Hunter Safari
Jeff Beaumont takes up the story….
The 1973 Hunter Safari attracted a field of 40 cars, who transported from Chadstone Chrysler to the start proper at Gormandale, in central Gippsland.
The two Divisions looped through the forest areas east of Carrajung, around Gormandale and Boodyarn. Director, Tony Allen, had set a fair event requiring careful map-reading but the times were set accordinly with the leaders cleaning most sections. Whilst the roads were in great condition, dust became a real challenge.
An early retirement was that of Glen Olson / Craig Ballard whose BMW 2002 engine developed problems on the transport down the Princes Highway.
At the end of Division One, Alf and Ian Pearce were still clean, ahead of Bond / Richards on just two points lost, just ahead of Tuner and Pearson.
Division two of 120 miles headed off to Blackwarry, with Bond and Turner both equal on points. With some spirited driving David Bond forged into the lead.
Gary Hawkins retired his Cooper S with a damaged exhaust, whilst Pierre Dalle and Graham Wallis put a tree branch through the radiator of their Peugeot 504.
On the final competitive Ross Turner snapped a tie rod, forcing them to limp to the finish where they finally finished in 17th place. Would this jeopardise his chances for this year’s championship, with just the last heat to run?
So after 200 miles of dusty and rough rallying, David Bond and Ian Richards took their Cortina to a clear victory over Alf and Ian Pearce’s Datsun 1600, with Colin Turnbull / Sean Walsh’s Cortina in third place.
After two straight wins Bond / Richards were now favourites for the championship, but Coleman/Peasley and Turner/Pearson were still in the hunt, as was Paul Paterson for the navigators title.