1975 STP Begonia Rally

The 1975 Begonia Rally was held on March 8. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:

Whilst not part of the 1975 VRC, it was considered a warm up event to that series.

A quality field of competitors had entered the non-championship Begonia Rally as a warm up for the forthcoming 1975 Victorian Rally Championship.

Sam Hutchinson and Bernard Lakerink directed the rally which was held in the Ballarat area and surrounding forests.

Despite having a few car problems, the new crew of Len McKay and Ian Baldock in the Gil Davis prepared Escort won the event by just a single point from Hodge and Brasier in a new Datsun 1600. After many years of shuffling maps, Hodge had made a successful transition to the driver’s side of the car and was well supported by Mick Brasier calling the route charts.

Having their first run together were Doug Irish and Mike Mitchell in an XU-1, in readiness for this year’s VRC series. They ultimately finished in fourth place.

The first Division was a quickie, with route charted stages through Enfiled and  the Garibaldi Plantation. Peter Stapleton / Warwick Smith hit a bank quite hard right in front of  a large bunch of spectators  at the Scarsdale Fire Tower. A bent lower arm put them out of the event.

Bill Strownix and Ian Ellis were having a good run in third place at the break, until a wiring issue caused them to lose time.

Equal fifth at the Ballarat break were Stewart/ Adams and Mock / Ridge. Bob Phillips and Ross Runnalls were going well in the BM Motors Corolla, ultimately finishing in third place.

The second Division was quite different, with plenty of plotting, unmapped roads and numerous via points. It ran through Talbot, then onto Caralulup and Paddy’s Ranges. Then it was over to Lamplough and into the Mount Cole Forest to the finish near Chute.

Auto Action Report

Len McKay and Ian Baldock on the 1975 Begonia, Photo: Klaus Ferck

Results and entry list

1Len McKayIan BaldockEscort84
2David HodgeMick BrasierDatsun 160085
3Bob PhillipsRoss RunnallsCorolla89
4Ian McKenziePaul PatersonDatsun 1600108
5Doug IrishMike MitchellTorana UX-1121
6Herb GoodwinJim MaudeCortina135


Other event documents

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