A dry run that’s all fun
Old timers are keen to feel the heat, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
DRIVING 7600km across the Outback is tough. Doing it in classic rally cars is plain crazy. But that hasn’t stopped 80 crews signing for the Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial that begins on Wednesday in Alice Springs.
It’s hoped the event will revive the spirit of the Around Australia Trials. This year’s event is open to cars built before 1986, and most familiar is the Holden Commodore that came second in 1979.
Barry Ferguson will be driving the car, which he also drove in the ’79 rally, won by touring-car legend Peter Brock in the onetwo-three for Holden.
Another notable entrant is the 1951 Peugeot 203 of Graham Wallis and Richard Davis — the same type of car that won the first REDeX Trial in 1953.
But Wallis and Davis aren’t hoping for too much. They aim to complete the course and enjoy themselves.
‘‘However if it’s sandy we’ll be as fast as anyone — including the Range-Rover!’’ Wallis says.
Other entries include three Datsun 260Z coupes, a 1969 Lancia Fulvia HF 1600, a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda coupe, two Leyland P76s and several 1980s Porsche 911s. The route ends at Broadbeach.
Notable entrants: Barry Ferguson (above) and his Commodore, and Peugeot 203 drivers Graham Wallis and Richard Davis (right).