Experts Trials

Find out about the rich history of the Experts Trials

Event History

The Experts Trial has always been considered to be Victoria’s toughest event, presenting car and crew with challenging terrain and difficult navigation. Obstacles such as flooded roads, snow or deep bogs would in most events be cause for abandonment, but in an Experts would be considered “fair game”.

The first Experts Trial was conducted in 1947 by the Light Car Club of Australia, which organised all Experts Trials until the club ceased to exist in 1992. The Bendigo Car Club conducted the Experts Trial in 1992 and 1993,  while the Historic Rally Association subsequently conducted an historic Experts Trial.

The Experts Trial was almost always a round of the Victorian Trials/Rally Championship from its inception in 1961 until 1978 after which the VRC became almost exclusively driver oriented. The Experts was subsequently a round of the Victorian Trials Series for several years.

For more on the history of the Experts Trial, see this post on the HRA website, published as part of the promotion of the Experts Navigational Tour conducted by the HRA in July 2022.

Geoff Portman and Ross Runnalls on their way to winning the 2012 Experts Trial

List of Editions held of this event.

Click on the Year to see more details about each edition. Click on the Area to see a plot of the route (where available).

YearDirectorArea(s)Winning DriverWinning NavigatorCarStatus
1947Alan WatkinNE Hill CountryW. LuxtonWolseleyOpen
1948Bert ChalmersMrs. ChalmersStandard 6Open
1949Jim Akhurst / Roy LindenNE Hill CountryBill PattersonFord V8Open
1950Alan Watkin / Roy LindenDandenongsSport KingPeter VennermarkWolseley HornetOpen
1951Roy Linden / Alan Watkin/ Donald ThomsonWest Gippsland, overnight in CowesStan JonesJim Hoy/ Maurie MonkHoldenOpen
1952NE Hill CountryStan JonesHoldenOpen
1953Stan JonesBill PattersonHoldenOpen
1954Doug WhiteheadBill WilcoxStandard VanguardOpen
1955Reg SmithRob WhyteVWOpen
1956Harry FirthGraham HoinvilleVWOpen
1957Bob ForemanJohn McDougallVWOpen
1958Harry Firth (only finisher)Graham HoinvilleVWOpen
1959Harry FirthGraham HoinvilleAustin Healey SpriteOpen
1960Harry FirthGraham HoinvilleVWOpen
1961Geoff RussellWally WalshPeugeot 403VTC
1962Don OpieDoug RutherfordFord AngliaVTC
1963Frank KillfoyleMike FlanaganFord FalconVTC
1964Bruce FordTony TheilerMartin HartiganVWVTC
1965Bruce FordReg LunnGeoff ThomasFord CortinaVTC
1966Eastern hill countryRay ChristieJoe DunlopVW 1500VTC
1967OtwaysTony RobertsPeter HaasHolden HRVTC
1968West GippslandBob WatsonJim McAuliffeHolden HKVTC
1969Ballarat/ AvocaTony RobertsMike OsbornePorsche 911VTC
1970Mike OsborneBendigo/ BallaratBob WatsonJim McAuliffeRenault R8 GordiniVTC
1971Mike OsborneCastlemaine/ BeaufortDavid CuthbertAndy ChapmanHillman HustlerVTC
1972Jim McAuliffeNE Hill CountryBob WatsonGeoff ThomasPeugeot 504VRC
1973Fritz SuendermanPyalong/ HeathcoteBob WatsonJeff BeaumontHolden HQ KingswoodVRC
1974Fritz Suenderman/ Mike MitchellHeathcote/ WhrooJohn ColemanBernard PeasleyHolden Torana GTRVRC
1975Fritz Suenderman/ Mike MitchellPucka/ WhrooGarry HarrowfieldGeoff BoydDatsun 1600VRC
1976Mike Mitchell/ Steve HollowoodPucka/ WhrooGarry SpenceNoel KellyMitsubishi GalantVRC
1977Mike Mitchell/ Steve HollowoodPucka/ WhrooGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600VRC
1978Stuart Lister/ Col PomroyPuckapunyalGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600VRC
1979Stuart ListerHeathcote/ BendigoGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600Open
1980Stuart ListerHeathcote/ BendigoBob WaterhousePaul PatersonDatsun 1600Open
1981Noel KellyCancelled – rain
1982Jim MaudeHeathcote/ WhrooGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600VTC
1983Not conducted
1984Jim MaudeHeathcote/ WhrooGary GrealyGeoff ByronDatsun 1600VTC
1985Phil WylieHeathcote/ WhrooGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600VTC
1986Stuart & Helen ListerCancelled – rain and snow
1987Stuart & Helen ListerBendigo/ DunollyGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600VTC
19881988Helen & Stuart ListerHeathcoteDavid OfficerRoss RunnallsStarionVTS
1989Jim MaudeHeathcoteWarwick SmithPaul PatersonMitsubishi LancerVTS
1990Geoff ByronCastlemaine/ BendigoGlen CuthbertRoss RunnallsFord Escort?VTS
1991Jim MaudeJohn RawsonDave SmithDatsun StanzaVTS
1992Geoff ByronHeathcote/ WhrooGlen CuthbertRoss RunnallsGalant VR4VTS
1993Geoff ByronDunollyGlen CuthbertRoss RunnallsGalant VR4VTS
1994-96Not conducted
1997Geoff ByronHeathcoteTerry NaishRoss RunnallsDatsun 1600Interclub
1998-99Not conducted
2000Stuart ListerAlan UptonMark LaidlayPeugeot 403Open
2001Not conducted
2002Geoff ByronCooper Street/ Heathcote/ CosterfieldGraeme WallisPhil NicholasPeugeot 403Mulit-club
2003-11No conducted
2012Stuart ListerHeathcote/ WhrooGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsHolden CommodoreMulti-club
2020Geoff ByronTooborac/ Puckapunyal/ BendigoN/ARoss RunnallsN/Ae-Xperts
2022Rob Cranston/ Phil NicholasHeathcoteKim HarperSteuart SnooksFord EscortMulti-club