The Alpine International Rally, organised by the Light Car Club of Australia, was held on 8-9 November in north-east Victoria. The event was directed by Stuart Lister, aided by Assistant Directors Steve Hollowood, Helen McGinty and Gary Gourlay.
1980 Alpine – Carr makes it five!
Greg Carr and Fred Gocentas once again dominated the Alpine, winning by almost five minutes. The next three places were separated by less than a minute with the Datsun Stanza of George Fury and Monty Suffern coming in second ahead of the other factory Escort in the hands of Colin Bond and his navigator, John Dawson Damer. 1978 winners, Geoff Portman and Ross Runnalls, had to settle for fourth.
Directed by Stuart Lister, the 1980 Alpine was severely rain affected. After starting in Bright and a couple of short stages in the Porepunkah Plantation, most of the mornings stages were in Stanley Plantation before a lunch stop in Tallangatta.
Cars then headed out to the Koetong Plantation to the east but the weather had turned wet and car were quickly sliding off the road or becoming stuck. Lister wisely decided to cancel the division and have all cars return to Tallangatta, including those that needed to be extricated!
The short night division back to Bright ran two of the three stages while the organising team were busy rerouting Sunday’s entire fourth division. Amazingly, the Sunday dawned fine and sunny but the roads were still wet and slippery. After the Bright Dirt Circuit, most of Sunday’s six stages were new, but ran successfully.