1989 Swinburne 200 Rally

The Swinburne 200 Rally, organised by the Swinburne Car Club, was held on April 1.

1989 Victorian Rally Championship Round 2


Whilst Escorts are the most popular rally car in Victoria at present, it was Geoff Portman in Swampy Marsh’s ex Repco Commodore that came out on top (just) in Swinburne Car Club’s VRC Round 2. The rally started from the main road in Yarram, with light drizzle falling virtually all day. The conditions certainly didn’t help make servicing and spectating very comfortable.

As car number one, Neil Cuthbert and Daryl Adams were having brake bias problems and eventually understeered off the road. Despite efforts by some spectators, they were not able to able to get the car back onto the road. Initially putting up quick times, Nigel Letty / Rob Davis were having numerous problems in their Toyota TE-71 and dropped down the field.

Glen Cuthbert and Peter Gale were taking a sensible approach and driving within their limits on the wet, slippery roads in the Escort.

Portman got wound up in the big Commodore and led from Hoinville / Cains who had been running very consistently. In third place was Pat Barber / Jim Maude, with concerns about noises from the Mazda’s gearbox.

Walker / O’Brien started quickly with impressive times over the first few stages. However, they slid of the road on SS5 but recovered well to be fourth by the division break. They were followed by Chris Neilson / Gray Pasonson, then Geoff McGuire / Patrick Casey in the Escort.

After a meal break at Yarram, the night Division was run as a big loop to the north east, on mostly fast, straight roads but still extremely slippery and treacherous.

Whilst Geoff Portman was putting up some amazing times, the worn-out Commodore was literally falling apart. The dash was falling out, the Halda stopped and he was also having clutch and brake issues. However, the champion persisted and carried his car home to an amazing victory.

Pat Barber, sensing victory, charged hard and finally got to second place and finished just a few seconds behind Portman. Greg Hoinville / Mike Cains ended up in third place.

Results and entry list

PlaceDriverNavigatorCarGroupTimeState RecognisedClubmanNovice
1Geoff PortmanSwampy MarshHolden CommodorePRC1:15:51
2Pat BarberJim MaudeFord Laser TX3 4WDPRC1:16:061
3Greg HoinvilleMike CainsFord Escort MkIIPRC1:16:472
4Chris NeilsonGray ParsonsonFord Escort RS2000Clubman1:17:593
5Grant WalkerDenis O’BrienFord Escort RS2000Clubman1:18:26
6Ross FraserJoel WaldDatsun 1600Clubman1:20:204
7=Glen CuthbertPeter GaleFord Escort RS2000PRC1:20:275=1=
7=Dean NixonTrevor NixonSubaru RXTurboPRC1:20:275=1=
9Nigel LettyBob DavisToyota TE71 GTClubman1:20:547
10Keith MorlingRay DanielVolvo 240TPRC1:21:22
11Peter FyfeGerry BashfordMazda 323 4WD turboPRC1:21:4583
12Rohan TeagleAndrew RobbinsFord Escort RS2000Clubman1:24:2994
13Gary KendrickRon GottschalkHolden Commodore V8PRC1:26:10105
14Ray GouldGraham Legg-StokerDatsun 1600Clubman1:29:226
15Bruce DillonJoe BrickFord Escort ES2000Clubman1:29:567
16Brendan EdgertonGraeme HoldingMitsubishi Lancer CoupePRC1:30:3681
17Paul LeicesterStephen DunbarHolden Commodore V8PRC1:34:0992
18Rob PlenterGraham AlstonMazda CapellaClubman1:37:13103
19Rob BeekmanPaul RofeFord Escort RS2000PRC1:40:444


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