1977 Datsun Riverland Rally

The Datsun Riverland Rally was held on April 22-25.

CCRMIT Datsun Riverland Rally

The 1977 Datsun Riverland was directed by Noel and Ian Richards for the Car Club of RMIT and aimed to recreate the style of event that had characterised the BP Rallies, the last of which had been run in 1973. With a three day format, straightforward navigation, and the use of “new” areas in northern Victoria and SW NSW, the event offered crews a real sense of adventure. The five divisions were individually directed by assistant directors, Mike Baxter, Garry Spence, Rex Leitch, Ross Turner and Noel Kelly.

Portman and Runnalls stamped their authority on the event, winning convincingly, but there were many other strong performances.

Daily progress reports

Portman and Runnalls on their way to winning the 1977 Datsun Riverland Rally
Mike Mitchell opens a gate for John Dixon on the 77 Riverland Rally (John Wilkinson)
Roger Bonhomme and Paul Paterson placed 2nd on the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Warwick Smith and Geoff Boyd placed 3rd in the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Dieter Thumm and B. Walmsley on the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Tasmanians Lin Gigney and Ross Kelly on the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Tasmanians Ray Long and Pip Welch on the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Doug Chapple and Bruce Ford placed first restricted crew and 8th O/R on the 77 Riverland (John Wilkinson)
Allen Roberts and David Johns on the 77 Riverland Rally

Results and entry list

1Geoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600144
2Roger BonhommePaul PatersonDatsun 1600173
3Warwick SmithGeoff BoydLancer196
4John DixonMike MitchellDatsun 120Y207
5David CuthbertIan SwanDatsun 120Y285
6Peter HurreyJim MaudeCelica308
7Dieter ThummB. WalmsleyEscort343
8Doug ChappleBruce FordDatsun 1600374
9David WemyssSimon BrownMazda Capella376
10Allen RobertsDavid JohnsMazda 1500SS409

Detailed results


The Datsun Riverland started in Echuca and was in five divisions. Click on the division links to see the route instructions.

Division 1 was primarily in the Murray River forests in NSW, ending in Swan Hill for a rest break.

Division 2 was in daylight and took crews west through Ouyen then north across the Sunset Country to a meal break in Mildura.

Division 3 headed east back into NSW and then south, crossing back into Victoria at Robinvale then back to Swan Hill for another rest break.

Division 4 was in daylight and headed south through Boort to Bendigo for a meal break.

Division 5 looped west from Bendigo taking in traditional Goldfields territory around Dunolly and St Arnaud, finishing in Bendigo.

Google maps plot

Other event documents