1977 Summer Stages

The first Summer Stages was held on Sunday February 6.

1977 BLCC Summer Stages

The Summer Stages was a fairly new concept for Victorian Rallying, an intense one day rally comprising closed road special stages, fully route charted and with directional arrows to boot! It was the brainchild of Ross Runnalls and Geoff Boyd for the Ballarat Light Car Club. Although unofficially timed to the second (see Stage Times), scoring was to the minute. This was the second of three Summer Stages, after which it morphed into the Begonia Rally.

The event ran in the pine forests around Creswick and Spargo Creek and was won by Roger Bonhomme and Paul Paterson in a Datsun 1600 after favourites Garyy Harrowfield (off) and Gil Davis (broken ball joint) faltered. It’s interesting to note in hindsight that if the results were based solely on the special stage times recorded to the second, the Browns would have beaten Bonhomme/Paterson by 9 seconds.

A report appeared in Auto Action.

77 Summer Stages winners Roger Bonhomme and Paul Paterson
Bill Strownix and Geoff O'Donnell at "The Arches" spectator point on the 77 Summer Stages (Photo: Jim Day)

Results and entry list

1Roger BonhommePaul PatersonDatsun 160012
2Chris BrownSimon BrownDatsun 160014
3=Rex MuldoonJeff MarshFalcon15
3=Bob BowdenMax SharrockDatsun 180B15
5=B. HeywoodWagstaffDatsun 160017
5=Norm CroftsWalkerTorana XU-117

Detailed results with stage times.


Other event documents

Media reports

Competitor stories

Pat Barber who was in car 22 recalls that the Summer Stages was his navigator’s first rally. The navigator, Martin Atkinson, was a dealer principal of FGS Datsun and had assisted Pat with his Datsun 1600 in prior years. He learned how to use a Halda on the way to the start and Pat reports he was quite capable once he “got the hang of it”. Unfortunately Martin died in a road accident late in 1977 so never got to develop his rally career.