A dry run that’s all fun

Old timers are keen to feel the heat, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport -

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).

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