The Experts was held on 9 August. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 5 – 1975 LCCA Experts
Garry Harrowfield and Geoff Boyd scored their second outright victory in the 1975 Experts Trial, ahead of the state’s top rally crews. It was an outstanding performance, combining navigational and driving, with their Datsun 1600 now fully sorted and performing faultlessly, demonstrating speed and reliability.
Current series leaders David Bond and Ian Richards put up another fine showing in their Lancer to come home in second place, strengthening their chances of this year’s title.
Fritz Suendemann directed this Experts Rally, with support from Mike Mitchell and Colin Pomroy. With forty two starters, the first Division ran entirely within the Puckapunyal Army Base, with two loops that were fully route charted and timed to the tenth of a minute.
Just a few kilometres into the first stage drama began. Rob Dyer and Graeme Wallis had alternator problems and Ted Anderson and Tony Wunderlich ripped out a brake hose in their Datsun 1000. Gil Davis / Peter Haas suffered a flat tyre and Phil Bernadou and Phil Rainer had an electrical issue.
As the crews left the Army area, Bruce Wilson / Ian Swan had opened up a slight lead from Roger Bonhomme / Monty Suffern and ultimate winners Garry Harrowfield and Geoff Boyd. David Hodge / Mick Brasier were next, from David Bond / Ian Richards.
The second Division was centered around Graytown, with a total of five loops from the central point, with typical Experts-type navigation requiring careful plotting, scale and attention to the map and compass. A number of crews failed to find a track which would loop them around and into control. Those crews that went too far found themselves entering control from the wrong direction. It certainly caught out a number of front-running crews. Harrowfield/Boyd sorted out the mess correctly, with wrong directions weighing heavily on many scores.
Bill Strownix/Ellis broke their diff housing after hitting a nasty tree stump. And Herb Goodwin / Jim Maude had their hopes dashed when they hit a tree.
The field had spread out and passage controls started to take their toll. The ultimate top placegetters were performing well under the conditions and kept the pressure on themselves.
Positions remained over the final loop, with Bonhomme’s broken diff resulting in his retirement near the end.
Tension was high at the Graytown central control, as Mike Osborne computed the scores, resulting with a fine well-earned victory for Garry Harrowfield and Geoff Boyd.