The Invitation Trial was held on September 6.
VCS Round 6 – 1975 HAC Invitation Trial
Jeff Beaumont tells the story….
Greg Sinclair and Dave Kershaw scored a surprise win in the HAC Invitation Rally, bringing their Escort 2000 home at the front on its first outing.
At the half way break they were running in sixth place, equal with Colin Wood / Ian Swan in their Datsun 1600. They stormed through the second division to take the lead and finally finish ahead of Wood and Swan.
Doug Irish and Ian Ellis finished third in their XU-1 and tied up the Clubman series for the year. Their only rivals, Garry Spence and Noel Kelly, failed to score points in this event.
The rally was directed by Colin Turnbull and Terry Moran and attracted 36 starters.
The first division was wet and slippery and ran through the sandy pine plantations south of Morwell. Fog greeted the field at the competitive start at Hazlewood North. It was in this section that a bunch of photographers were incorrectly located at a triangulated intersection and caused plenty of confusion for competitors.
The rain became heavier and caused the deletion of one short section near Jumbuk.
The eventual winners changed a leaking radiator hose at the service point while Irish / Ellis had to borrow some fuel as their service crew had not turned up!
Mountain Hut Road took crews into the APM Plantation for a series of loops on treacherous, rain soaked roads, with Spence / Kelly and Lobban / Adams leading the field. However both crews were about to encounter trouble, when Lobban’s 1600 got badly stuck on a very slippery climb and dropped 53 points. Garry Spence had similar troubles and dropped a bunch of points. Getting bogged again later in the rally ended his charge for the title.
Stages through Darlimurla Plantation followed and then onto the stage break, where Tom Seymour / Ian Wallace were leading from Mills / Burt’s XU-1.
Division two ran through Boolarra and Gemmill Hill, followed by navigational challenges around Jack’s Corner, Hiawatha and Christies. Sinclair and Kershaw, in their home territory were flying and forged to the front with a very clean run, and finally winning the event by 6 points.