The Midlander was held on 27 April. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 3 – 1974 CVCC Midlander Trial
This third round of the VRC series used forests and gold mining areas around Maryborough, Dunolly and St Arnaud, with concentrated map reading required. This 250 mile event was pretty rough, and only 15 of the 39 starters completed the course.
Garry Harrowfield and Geoff Boyd put up another dominant performance, making it three VRC wins in a row. It confirmed thems as favourites for this year’s Victorian Championship.
The two Datsun Rally Team 180B SSS came home in second and third placings. Watson / Beaumont actually scored the lowest points loss for the event. But having taken the correct route, they failed to record an information on their Road Card, thus incurring a missed information penalty, and dropping them out of the lead and into second place!
George Fury, with Rex Muldoon navigating were running in second place at the St Arnaud halfway point, then ran off the road in the second division trying to get to the lead.
Max Whamond and Max Herron, directors of the Derrick which runs in the same area, finished in a strong 4th place, in front of Gil Davis and Peter Haas who had an eventful night, including hitting a bank at one stage, then briefly getting bogged.
The two fancied Torana XU-1s of Bob Bird / Warwick Smith, and Bill Strownix and David Hodge were stuck in a sandy creek crossing for over an hour. Then Tony Roberts / Jim McAuliffe (Saab , and John Armitage / Frank Kilfoyle (180B) joined them briefly, with none of these crews featuring in the results.
Grade two crew, the Torana of John Coleman / Bernie Peasley put up another good performance, finishing in 6th place.
With the factory Datsun of Watson / Beaumont having experienced a troubled run, with just a handful of championship points so far after three events, team Boss Bruce Wilkinson decided to withdraw the 180B SSS from the rest of the 1974 VRC series.