1980 Victorian Rally Championship

The 1980 Victorian Rally Championship was won in controversial circumstances by Chris Brown and Simon Brown in their Datsun 180B SSS.

The series was a close fight between the reigning champions, Warwick Smith and Paul Paterson in their Lancer, and the Datspares sponsored Datsun 180B SSS of Chris and Simon Brown. Smith/Paterson won the first round when the Browns crashed, but the fortunes were reversed in the second round with Smith/Paterson crashing out and the Browns winning. Wildcard part-timer Hugh Bell won the third round with the two main contenders second and third. Rounds four and five saw the arrival of Geoff Portman with Phil Rainer and they won both rounds but suffered reliability issues in the remaining two rounds. With a decisive win the in the penultimate round, the Browns held a 5 point lead over Smith/Paterson going into the final round.

The Autosport Stages produced plenty of drama and after protests and appeals, Chris and Simon Brown were eventually declared winners of the event and state champions. For the second time in its history (the first was the 1971 navigators title), the VRC was decided in the Australian Motor Sports Appeal Court (AMSAC).

The Grade 2 award went to Chris Wall and Lloyd Minifie.

To see what else happened during 1980 in Victorian rallying, go to the 1980 year page.

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

Chris and Simon Brown 1980 Amateur 100

Series Regulations

These were specified in Section 4A of the 1980 Victorian Addendum to the Australian Rally Code.

For the first time, the VRC was made up exclusively of Special Stage events. In 1980 Special Stage events ran with target times and time penalties to the second for lateness over the target time.

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 1980 VRC comprised seven rounds as follows. The Blue Ribbon Rally was calendared as a round but was cancelled.

  1. Otways Trial
  2. North Eastern Rally
  3. George Derrick Memorial Trial
  4. Chrysler Safari
  5. Mountain Rally
  6. Amateur 100
  7. Autosport Stages

Outright Pointscores

Outright Drivers Pointscores

1Chris Brown9469937
2Warwick Smith9626629
3Geoff Portman9918
4=Jim Uttleymoore64212
4=Shane Blandford6612
6Hugh Bell99
7Rex Muldoon347
8Chris Wall2316
9=Bob Watson145
9=Doug Thompson235
9=David Officer145
12=John Coleman44
12=David Adams44
14=Steve Ashton33
14=Gil Davis33
14=Alex Fitcher33
14=Ian Swn33
18=Tom Seymour22
18=Roger Moll22
18=Bob Waterhouse22
21=John White111
21=Tim Beveridge11
21=Simon Birrell11

Outright Navigators Pointscores

1Simon Brown9469937
2Paul Paterson9626629
3Phil Rainer9918
4=Ray Scott64212
4=Ron Harper6612
6Tony Allen99
7Noel Kelly347
8Lloyd Minifie2316
9=Ron Lugg235
9=Kate Hobson145
11=Greg Boot44
11=Chris Randell44
11=Ian Ellis44
14=Ro Nixon33
14=Gordon Paul33
14=Jan Fitcher33
14=Derek Rawson33
18=David Hodge22
18=Robert West22
18=Tony Walsham22
21=John Williams111
21=John Drane11
21=David Brown11
21=Ian Swan11

Grade 2 Pointscores

Grade 2 Drivers Pointscores

1Chris Wall491923
2Shane Blandford94922
3=Steve Ashton612615
3=Simon Birrell2423415
5David Officer14914
6=David Adams6612
6=Doug Thompson6612
8=John Coleman99
8=Alex Fitcher99
10=John White347
10=Roger Moll167
12Graham Toner235
13=Tom Seymour44
13=Andy Mitchell314
15=Tim Beveridge33
15=Phil Nicholson33
15=Mike Dunn33
18=Peter Evans22
18=Ted Knowles22
18=Phil Eather22
21=Karl Robertson11
21=Ian Morrison11

Grade 2 Navigators Pointscores

1Lloyd Minifie491923
2Ron Harper94922
3Kate Hobson14914
4=Chris Randell6612
4=Ron Lugg6612
6=Greg Boot99
6=Ro Nixon6129
6=Jan Fitcher99
6=John Birrell2349
10=John Williams347
10=Robert West167
12=David Brown246
12=David McKenzie66
14=Jeff Marsh235
14=P. Wright25
16=David Hodge44
16=Geoff Rothberg314
18=John Drane33
18=Don Williams33
18=Peter Godson33
21=Geoff Crofts22
21=Steve Yorke22
23=Peter Kyriakidis11
23=Paul Hambleton11