The Midlander Trial was held on June 7.
VRC Round 3 – 1977 CVCC Midlander Trial
The Midlander Trial was run by the Central Victorian Car Club out of Maryborough, which hosted the start and finish. The event was full route charted but navigators were kept busy with numerous calls in the goldfields terrain to the south-west of Maryborough, as well as the more mountainous terrain of Mount Cole.
The event attracted 55 entries, including reserves, most of whom got a start.
After a short transport from the start at Maryborough, the action began with a 18 km daylight special which attracted a good bunch of spectators. Current champions Harrowfield / Boyd only went a few kilometres into the stage when their clutch failed. John Armitage took a small lead on the next blast through Padddy’s Ranges towards Amherst.
Then on to Mt Cole, where foggy conditions greeted the field. Doug Irish and Mike Mitchell were running strongly in third place, but struck a tree and retired. The selection of roads in Mt Cole was impressive, with a combination of high speed sweeping roads and narrow, muddy tracks.
David Bond started to show through on the 23 km stage, being quickest from Bonhomme, Baxter and Pearce.
Some crews had difficulty with a somewhat dubious turn left instruction at a spectator point in Mount Cole. This was the subsequent basis for an unsuccessful post-event protest.
At the Ararat break, Armitage / Peasley led, from Bond / Richards and Bird / Smith. Bird cleaned the next stage, but then punctured, whilst Bonhomme had alternator problems.
From the Chute service point, the field headed back towards Maryborough, running into heavy fog around Amherst. Muldoon’s Falcon came to grief against a stump, a pity after a fine run in the big car.
Bond was flying out in front across to Adelaide Lead and he cleaned the final run into the finish to make sure of victory.
David Bond and Ian Richards ran out easy winners after they moved into the first dust free position on the road. It was their first VRC round win.