1998 Playstation Round Australia Rally

The Playstation Rally was the final “Round Australia” rally to be held. It ran clockwise around the continent, starting and finishing in Adelaide over 22 days from September 6 to 27, 1998.

The Playstation Rally was directed by Bob Carpenter and organised by Advantage International. The event was in principle similar to the Mobil 1 Trial three years earlier in that it was a special stage event with often long transport stages completing the significant distance around Australia. But unlike the 1995 Mobil 1 Trial, the Playstation only ran special stages in daylight and stopped every night. On the other hand, while the two events were of similar overall distance, the Playstation had 50 percent more competitive distance, a total of about 3,900 km of special stages (but 6 stages were cancelled reducing the total to about 3,650 km). The other major difference was advent of 4WD cars, with 4WD SUV vehicles filling seven of the top ten places.

As in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial and the 1995 Mobil 1 Trial, it was Holden who won the day, this time with their two team Holden Jackeroos, led by Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki, with Peter Brock and Wayne Webster second in the more “standard” model. Both had a number of incidents with Brock having a significant “off” on the penultimate day. But it was a massive win for the team with the third placed Datsun 180B SSS of David Lowe and Robert Gambino 2½ hours behind.

Various challengers fell by the wayside during the event. Michael Guest in a rally spec Subaru Impreza WRX set an early pace but retired on Day 3 after hitting a rock and breaking the suspension. Ross Nicastri in a Jackeroo was quick and held second for several days before succumbing to engine problems at Carnarvon on Day 6. Graeme Wise in a Commodore V8 Ute were often quick and held onto third place for much of the event but hit a rock south of Townsville on Day 16 and fell from contention. Reg Owen in a Nissan Patrol ran as high as third but rolled on Day 20, dropping to fifth. Peter Lockhart in a Jackeroo was consistent and was lying fourth when they rolled in Stanley on the penultimate day. Ron Peddar had a variety of early problems in their Commodore Ute, but eventually fought back to finish sixth.

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

Winner of the 1998 Playstation Rally - Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki, Holden Jackeroo
Second in the 1998 Playstation Rally - Peter Brock and Wayne Webster, Holden Jackeroo

Results and entry list

The top ten finishers:

1Bruce GarlandHarry SuzukiHolden Jackeroo34;27:19
2Peter BrockWayne WebsterHolden Jackeroo34:56:03
3David LoweRobert GambinoDatsun 180B SSS37:29:05
4Warren RidgeJoy RidgeMitsubishi Pajero37:50:16
5Reg OwenRussell CairnsNissan Patrol37:55:35
6Ron PeddarScott PeddarHolden Commodore V8 Ute38;02:29
7Kevin EdwardsMartin ReevesFord Falcon XR638:03:03
8Mark GriffithDel GarbettToyota RAV438:47:41
9Colin HunterGuy BasileJeep Grand Cherokee39:06:56
10Steve CornwallStewart CornwallFord Explorer40:12:51


The route comprised 76 special stages totalling 3,915 km of which 6 stages were cancelled reducing the overall competitive distance to 3,653 km. There were 21 days plus a rest day in Cairns. Each day typically had between two and six special stages. The longest special stage was 169 km just west of Hughenden. Many of the special stages in SA, WA, NT and Qld were on private property.

Itinerary and route plot

Other event documents

Guide for Competitors (this includes descriptions of each special stage by the course checker, Stuart Lister)

Programme (very large files) Part 1 | Part 2