1976 Experts

The Experts was held on 10 July. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:

VRC Round 4 – 1976 LCCA Clark Chrysler Experts


The Experts is a tradition in itself and this year Director Mike Mitchell had set an Experts for the Experts!  And just 19 crews finished and massive points losses were the result.

It was Garry Spence with navigator Noel Kelly who finally triumphed at the finish at Graytown.

Bruce Wilson had Peter Haas navigating and their speed combined with strong map-work earned them a fine second placing.

Bob Watson has been a regular Experts winner over the years and in this event he drove Bill Johnson’s Cortina, with the owner sitting in the navigator’s set. They put up a good performance, finally finishing on the podium in 3rd place.

The entire first Division was held on closed Pukapunyal Army roads in daylight, attracting a huge number of spectators who enjoyed the close range viewing. The last run took competitors out of the Army Range to a service break at Costerfield.

The leading group were losing just a few seconds, but Garry Harrowfield’s R12 Gordini retired with camshaft problems, while Wayne Muldoon / Tony Walsham damaged their tailshaft.

Crews arrived in the dark at Graytown for the half way break. This abandoned town in the centre of the bush had been transformed into an active night time service centre with  floodlights, marquees, fires, food, fuel and portable toilets, all organized by Seymour Legacy.

At this point the leaders were Waterhouse/Patterson, from Bird/ Smith, Spence/Kelly, Dixon/Richards, Wilson / Haas and Portman / Runnalls.

Shortly after the break, Waterhouse lost his electrics and retired, the Bob Bird crunched a tree. John Dixon then had his Clutch fail.

A section around Whroo cemetery caused problems for most navigators, with many missing a passage.

The navigation continued to be very challenging, the most significant problem being insufficient late running time. This caused many crews to cut and run to the finish at Graytown and several crews were actually excluded from results.

Auto Action Report

Racing Car News Report

Report in The Age

A rare shot of 1st O/R Garry Spence in the Galant with Ian Richards navigating, 76 Goldfields Rally
Noel Kelly with Garry Spence in the 76 Alpine.
1976 Experts Bruce Wilson and Peter Haas
2nd O/R: Bruce Wilson and Peter Haas. Pic: Bruce Keys
1976 Experts Alf Pearce and Ian Baldock
5th O/R: Alf Pearce and Ian Baldock. Pic: Bruce Keys
1976 Experts Ian Swan and Graham Vaux
6th O/R: Ian Swan and Graham Vaux Pic: Bruce Keys

Results and entry list

Entry List

1Garry SpenceNoel KellyGalant300
2Bruce WilsonPeter HaasDatsun 1600462
3Bob WatsonBill JohnstonCortina481
4Geoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600501
5Alf PearceIan BaldockDatsun 1600601
6Ian SwanGraeme VauxDatsun 1600728

Detailed Results


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