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.