The Derrick was held on October 28.
1989 VRC Round 5 – CCRMIT George Derrick Memorial Rally
Steve Ashton and Ro Nixon outdrove and outlasted a top-class field to win Round Five of the 1989 VRC in their new Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Run around Heathcote, the George Derrick had an amazing attrition rate with only 15 of the 41 starters reaching the finish line. Before the end of the second stage, three of the first six cars had crashed out of the rally which was held on super fast shire and forest roads.
The first to go was Hugh Bell driving Paul Paterson’s Datsun 1600. Bell had once again come out of retirement for a “squirt in the dirt” but his comeback was short lived when he hit a big rock after landing heavily after a jump and retired.
Next to go were Aussie Champs Geoff Portman and Ross Runnalls, driving Ged Beckton’s Datsun 1600. They hit a stump and tore out the left hand front suspension.
Then just 300 metres up the road Peter Fyfe and Gerry Bashford collected a stump with their rear wheel, which spun them around into the trees. Navigator Bashford hurt his legs, which were trapped for a short time. Unfortunately the immaculate Mazda was destroyed.
Setting the early pace was Pat Barber / Jim Maude in their usually reliable Laser TX3 4WD, only to have ball joint break, putting them out of the event. This left Mike Reeves out in front but a mis-interpreted call from navigator Dave Proctor prompted a spin into the trees and dropping a maximum.
Steve Ashton, after putting in a faultless drive, cruised on to a two minute victory in the deceptively quick Galant VR4. Second went to John Reynolds and David Boyce in a Mazda 323 4WD. They were most pleased with their new car, putting up a number of fastest times. Neil Cuthbert and Daryl Adams put in one of their best rallies with a fine third place in their Datsun 1600. Brother Glen Cuthbert, with Peter Gale, were fourth in their Grant Walker Escort, closely followed by Melbourne Motorsport’s Toyota T-18 of Nigel Letty / Rob Davis.