1995 Mobil 1 Round Australia Trial

It had been 16 years since the previous Round Australia trial, the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial. So such an event was well overdue. The Mobil 1 Round Australia Trial ran over 20 days from June 13 to July 2, 1995.

The Mobil 1  Trial was directed by Bob Watson and organised by Advantage International. It was a strikingly different event from the 1979 Repco. Although of a similar overall distance of 18,300 km, this was a special stage event with many long transport/liaison sections in between. There were 61 special stages planned, totalling almost 2,400 km although six were deleted or cancelled due to wet weather, reducing the competitive distance to 2,130 km, or about 12%. Like other round Australia trials, this one circumnavigated the continent in a clockwise direction, but it started in Brisbane and finished on the Gold Coast, as well as detouring via Alice Springs on run between Adelaide and Perth. The Mobil 1 Trial also offered a “Challenge” category for less experienced crews that traversed a sub-set of the stages.

Although 1995 saw the first use of 4WD cars in a Round Australia, it was nevertheless Holden that was victorious again, with Ed Ordynski and Ross Runnalls bringing their Commodore home first by a relatively comfortable 10 minutes. However, Holden didn’t have it all their own way. The other team Commodore of Peter Brock and Dave Boddy suffered a number of problems including an off on the very first stage and a subsequent collision with another competitor attempting a pass in dust. The Castrol entered Commodore of Ross Dunkerton and Noel Richards ripped a wheel off in Puckapunyal on the third day but managed to climb back to fifth place when engine problems sidelined them at Mt Isa. Even the winning Commodore had problems, requiring work on the engine head at Mackay and a gearbox change within sight of the finish.

Arguably the quickest car was the Mitsubishi Galant VR4 of Michael Guest and Rod Salmon. They led the event after the demise of Dinta and Kate Officer on the run north from Adelaide, despite a gearbox change in Perth. They struck problems on a dusty stage in the NT and relinquished the lead to Ordynski, and despite their best efforts, they could not make up the difference, finishing in a fine second place.

A thoroughly consistent performance by Steve Ashton and Ro Nixon in their Lancer RSE secured them the final podium spot. The next four places were filled by 4WD SUV vehicles, a sign of things to come. Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki were fourth in a Holden Jackeroo.

The full story is available on Tom Snook’s History website.

Mobil 1 Trial winners Ed Ordynski and Ross Runnalls

Results and entry list

The top ten finishers:

1Ed OrdynskiRoss RunnallsHolden Commodre23:41:28
2Michael GuestRod SalmonMitsubishi Galant VR423:51:28
3Steve AshtonRo NixonMitsubishi Lancer RSE24:12:52
4Bruce GarlandHarry SuzukiHolden Jackeroo LWB24:28:08
5Peter GlenniePeter ClarkToyota Landcruiser RV8025:06:23
6Les SaviourDavid BrownNissan Patrol EFI25:21:22
7Terry DenhamRaymond StubbsMitsubishi Pajero25;38:31
8Ian SwanVal SwanFord Longreach XR625:50:50
9Tony WurfRowan QuillMitsubishi Galant26:14:56
10Richard AndersonBruno FulcherAlfa Romeo 75V626:21:25

Official Results


The route comprised 61 special stages totalling 2,374 km but six stages were cancelled¬† reducing the competitive distance to 2,130 km. The event was in 12 “legs” with stopovers at the end of each leg in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Kalgoorlie, Perth, Broome (plus a rest day), Darwin, Mt Isa, Townsville and Brisbane. Additional compulsory rest periods were enforced at Glendambo, Ayers Rock, Warburton, Meekatharra, Kununurra, Borroloola and Rockhampton.

Itinerary and route plot

Other event documents