The North Eastern Rally was held on August 28.
ARC Round 5 – 1976 NECC North Eastern Rally
The North Eastern Car Club conducted an excellent event directed by Frank Cohn in perfect mid-year weather and run over three divisions. With a total distance of 600 kilometres, the rally ran through the usual north-east plantations familiar to Alpine Rally competitors.
Early in the event Championship contenders Dean Rainsford / Graham West slipped their Porsche Carerra RS off the road and became firmly stuck. This then saw a fierce battle for the lead between the Datsuns of Dunkerton, Fury and Carr.
Dunkerton’s target was of course the ARC win. But the Datsun 710s of Fury and Carr could only target the Open Class victory, with their entries being a test run for the upcoming Southern Cross Rally. As part of that evaluation George Fury was running a new twin cam 16 valve cylinder head. Carr’s single cam 710 was entered by Gerry Ball Tuning from Canberra.
Evan Green’s pretty Alfetta GT put up a steady and fast performance to finally finish runner-up in the ARC division, its best ARC result so far. And Ed Mulligan’s Torana L34 finally had a reliable run.
Victorians David Jones and Ian Pearson claimed a very well deserved podium finish, their best ever result in the national series. Graham Horsfield / Geoff O’Donnell ran a Datsun 240Z for the first time and netted a fine 4th placing. Bob White / Ron Jay rounded out the top six placings.
With another ARC category win, it gave Ross Dunkerton and Jeff Beaumont an unassailable lead in the 1976 Australian Rally Championship; Dunkerton’s second title in a row, and Beaumont’s first.