The Midlander Trial was held on 28 April. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 2 – 1973 CVCC Midlander Trial
Bob Watson celebrated his return from overseas with a dominant win, driving the factory Renault R12 Gordini, in the Midlander Trial which finished in Maryborough on the Sunday morning.
In a sign of the times, the event was sponsored by Craven Special Mild cigarette and the prizes included cartons of cigarettes!!
This event started at Kyneton, and featured a very high content of navigation. Drama commenced at the start when Peter Janson arrived to book in but his entry had not been received by the organisers, the Central Victorian Car Club. With a full field, he was not allowed to start.
Navigators were kept busy over a maze of unmapped tracks around Joyce’s Creek, followed by Welshman’s Reef forest with a drop-off route chart. Matt Phillip had a puncture and Bob Bird ran out of fuel then had clutch cable problems.
The start of the second division was delayed when the organisers could not find the Division 2 route instructions. After half an hour of fireside chatting, the crews were finally despatched back into the forests west of Maryborough and around Avoca., including a couple of diabolical sections through the Lamplough Forest.
Three separate unmapped tracks had to be traversed on the next sections towards Percydale Quarries. Together with about a dozen gates, the navigators were certainly kept challenged and busy.
The final section was a 24 minute rough and multi-gated stage to Percydale that included lots of unmapped tracks for good measure.
The Renault R12 crew put up an impressive performance, and raced on towards a dominating and comfortable victory, with the next 4 cars separated by just a single point.