The Akademos was held on 7 October. Jeff Beaumont tells the story:
VRC Round 6 – 1978 MUCC Akademos
Whilst two crews tied for outright victory in the Akademos Rally, the result gave Warwick Smith and Paul Paterson the 1978 Victorian Rally Championship Title.
Gil Davis and Graham Toner put up an amazing performance in the HR Holden to equal Smith’s Lancer for first place and it was a justified result. However, a post event protest resulted in Davis and Toner being declared outright winners with Smith and Paterson second. The change did not affect their championship victory.
As usual the Akademos was organised by the Melbourne University Car Club and directed by George Davidson but attracting only 31 entries, quite low by current standards. Dramatic flooding in eastern Gippsland destroyed a number of bridges, forcing the Director to re-route a lot of the event.
The result was 270 kms of no-nonsense competition with straight forward map reading and some route charting. From the start at Sale, crews transported to Stockdale Forest for two daylight spectator stages.
The Watmans from ACT failed to stop at a Tee Junction and heavily rolled their Galant. Geoff Portman / Shane Blandford hit the front early in the rally but their lead was short lived, suffering overheating then retirement. The Lancer of Jim Uttleymoore / Tony Bond had a puncture and dropped eight minutes. Muldoon / Boyd and the Brown Brothers both encountered electrical issues, causing lost time.
At the Bairnsdale half way break David Jones / Ian Pearson were leading, from Davis / Toner, Smith / Pearson and Ian and Noel Richards in their 1600.
In the second Division through the sandy forests around Nowa Nowa, Jones and Pearson set the pace until their Lancer lost a wheel and damaged the brakes. This gave Gil Davis and Graham Toner the lead but Warwick Smith and Paul Paterson picked up time.