The Midyear Rally was held on July 7.
VRC Round 4 – 1977 MSCC Midyear Rally
The 1977 Midyear Rally was directed by Tony Walsham for the Monash Sporting Car Club. Starting from Kryal Castle near Ballarat. The event was run over 500km and attracted 45 starters.
The trend from the previous championship rally continued with David Bond / Ian Richards battling for honours with John Armitage and Bernie Peasley. They repeated their 1 – 2 finish in this Midyear Rally and allowed the winners to open up a handy lead in the championship.
Division 1 started with a brief run in front of Kryal Castle. Then the field headed off into Garibaldi forest for several daylight spectator stages, with wet and slippery conditions.
Drama began immediately, with Harrowfield / Boyd bending the front of their Datsun but they were able to repair the mess and re-join the event. Bob Bird and Warwick Smith were having accelerator problems and the Datsun 1000 of Ted Anderson / Tony Wunderlich were suffering engine tuning issues.
Also early in the first division a tricky instruction saw a number of crews wrong slot. Bond and Richards, starting in position 3 but by the end of the first division they were first on the road with a handy lead.
Stages around Scarsdale were generally cleanable. At the division break at Buninyong, single digit losses were scored by the front runners, led by the Bond Lancer, Amitage’s Datsun and David Hodge / Mick Brasier in the Datsun 1600.
After a relatively easy initial run, the second Division included 26 stages, twice as many as the first division. Heavy rain had begun to fall.
Early challengers John Dixon and Bruce Norton, in the very quick little Mazda, slipped off into a ditch and spent 12 minutes getting back on the road.
Doug Irish / Mike Mitchell were running well in the treacherous conditions in their XU-1 but slipped off the road on the penultimate section and stayed there until Ken Cusack pulled them back onto the road.
Meanwhile the leaders were pacing themselves sensibly at the front of the field and the following placegetters were holding station. The last few sections were actually run in falling snow, replacing the rain from most of the night.
Again David Bond and Ian Richards had put in another strong performance with another victory and clearing out to a handy points lead in the Championship, their very clear goal.