The Marchal Rallye was held on 14 May. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 2 – ‘ 77 S.E.V. Marchal Rallye
By winning the second heat of this year’s Victorian title chase, Gil Davis and David Long took the lead in the Championship series. They finished just three minutes ahead of John Dixon / Ian Richards in the Datsun Sunny.
In third place was the Brad Boyden Datsun 1600 of Chris Power and Mick Brasier, followed by the first Grade 2 crew of Alan Heaphy and Mike Prendergast in the Wangaratta entered Galant.
The Rally ran in traditional Marchal territory, starting near Ballarat and finishing at Maryborough, and was directed by Colin Wilson.
Gil Davis / David Long, the ultimate winners, set the early pace, from Ian Swan and Jeff Marsh in the Datsun 120Y. Geoff Boyd, navigating for Garry Harrowfield, suffered car sickness, which unfortunately forced their retirement.
Chris Power’s Datsun seemed to be running on three cylinders periodically, but managed to keep up a reasonable pace. Ultimately they finished in third place, after changing spark plugs at the half way service point. This allowed John Dixon and Ian Richards to move into second place, which they held until the finish.
Meanwhile Alan Heaphy was setting an excellent pace but Ian Swan / Jeff Marsh wrong slotted, losing about five minutes and dropping them down into fifth place.