The Forester Rally was held on 1 October. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 4 – 1977 Cerberus CC Forester Rally
Making a highly successful return to rallying after a six month break repairing their car from a rollover, Bob Waterhouse and Paul Paterson decisively won The Bayside Forester Rally that ended at Moondara on Sunday morning.
It was an intense battle for victory, with Geoff Portman / Ross Runnalls matching the winners’ times throughout but suffering a puncture which cost them victory. They finished in second place, equal on points with Chris and Simon Brown. Then amazingly, three further crews finished equal on points in fourth place, and with just 4 points separating the top six place-getters.
From the start at Frankston, crews headed straight into a Motorkhana, where Dick Denvil was quickest. The 45 car field then transported to the start proper at Yarragon.
The first 26 kilometre run up to Fumina South saw Garry Harrowfield and Geoff O’Donnell equal quickest with Ian Swan / Derek Rawson in the Datsun 120Y.
Willow Grove to Erica saw Waterhouse and Portman separated by mere seconds.
Then on to a short spectator stage, where George Fury put up best time. A 31 kilometre stage south east of Erica saw Waterhouse being the only driver to clean, and moved into the lead. Phil Bernadou / Phil Rainer won the next Stage. Then the Browns were quickest on the run across to Moondarra Reservoir from David Dyball and Noel Kelly.
Peter Corkran / Ian Ellis in the Lancer ran wide on a corner and became bogged. Karl Robertson rolled his Datsun, whilst George Fury encountered diff problems.
The battle for the lead continued, until Portman punctured. He then set a scorching time on the 44 kilometre stage to Walhalla to pull back a little time. Rex Muldoon in the big Falcon was spectacular on the short spectator stage.
The three leading crews shared honours on the final runs from Tanjil South back to Moondarra, where Waterhouse / Paterson were declared winners after a hard fought battle.