1978 Victorian Rally Championship

The VRC was keenly contested with seven different crews scoring wins across the seven events! Despite this, consistency proved the winning formula for Warwick Smith and Paul Paterson, who scored an outright win, an equal first and three second places to convincingly win the championship.

The Grade 2 award was also closely fought with four different winners across the first six rounds and four crews tied for the win on the final round. The award went to Ian and Noel Richards in a Datsun 1600, closely followed by Jim Uttleymoore/Tony Bond and Mick Ellis/Jim Maude, tied for second place.

To see what else happened during 1978 in Victorian rallying, go to the 1978 year page.

To see other years of the Victorian Rally Championship, go to the VRC page.

Smith and Paterson on the Otway Trial

Series Regulations

There were no specific restrictions on the kinds of events that could be rounds of the VRC and there were no special stage events. All events were timed to the minute, resulting in quite a few tied placings. About half the events involved map reading.

Awards were made for outright champions and Grade 2 (non Grade 1, so Grade 3 and 4 could score points also).

In each division points were allocated 9-6-4-3-2-1 for first to sixth with the best five results to count.


The 1978 VRC comprised seven rounds as follows. It appears that the Chrysler Safari was originally calendared as a VRC round but was cancelled. Click on each round to see the full story and results.

  1. Otway Trial
  2. Begonia Rally
  3. Mountain Rally
  4. George Derrick Memorial Trial
  5. Experts Trial
  6. Akademos
  7. North Eastern Rally

Outright Pointscores

Outright Drivers Pointscores

1Warwick Smith96636
2Chris Brown4916½
3Chris Power6915
4Ian Richards1212¾
5Rex Muldoon912½
6Geoff Portman310½
7Gil Davis99
8Mick Ellis2
9John Armitage
10Peter Evans66
11=David Jones325
11=Jim Uttleymoore235
13Alex Fitcher1
14=Peter Corkran44
14=Bob Phillips44
14=Alf Pearce44
18Bob Bird
19=Pierre Dalle22
19=David Dyball22
21=Phil Nicholson11
21=John Nicholls11
21=John Coleman11
24=Bob Buck½½
24=Ian Nowacki½½

Outright Navigators Pointscores

1Paul Paterson96636
2Simon Brown4916½
3Mike Mitchell6915
4Ross Runnalls112
5Noel Richards211¾
6Noel Kelly9110
7Graham Toner99
8Jim Maude2
9Phil Rainer
10Chris Maniatakis66
11=Ian Pearson325
11=Tony Bond235
13=Ian Ellis44
13=Geoff Boyd44
13=Ian Pearce44
16=Jan Fitcher1
18Wayne Beaumont
19Shane Blandford33
20Ian Baldock22
21=Ken Price11
21=Don Davison11
21=Kate Niblett11
21=John Birrelll11
25=Stuart Lister½½
25=Mike Rebbechi½½

Grade 2 Pointscores

Grade 2 Drivers Pointscores

1Ian Richards936634 (37)
2=Jim Uttleymoore94922
2=Mick Ellis922
4Alex Fitcher44619½
5Peter Evans2911
6John Coleman32
7Phil Nicholson617
8=Colin Sichlau246
8=John Nicholls66
11Bob Buck1
12Ted Anderson44
13Ian Nowacki
14R. Hodgson33
15Pat Barber
16=Ian Smith22
16=Greg Lee22
16=David Adams22
16=Lindsay Dale22
20=Bruce Robertson
20=Ken Stone
22=Doug Chapple11
24=Hayden West½0.5
24=B. Weston½0.5

Grade 2 Navigators Pointscores

1Noel Richards93631
2Jim Maude2924
3Tony Bond94922
4Jan Fitcher44619½
5Chris Maniatakis2911
6John Birrell32
7Ken Price617
8David McKenzie24½
9=Don Davison66
9=Kate Niblett66
9=Stuart Lister6
13Tony Wunderlich44
14Mike Rebbechi
15Peter Mignot33
16=Bill Johnson22
16=Ian Morrison22
16=P. Gallagher22
19=Stephen Robertson
19=Glen McAliece
21=Tony Bishop11
21=Max Nathan11
21=Bernard Lakerink11
24Tony Best½0.5