50th Anniversary South Cross International Rally

50th Anniversary South Cross International Rally

The year 2016 celebrates the 50th anniversary of Australia’s greatest International motoring events.

The Southern Cross Rally was first run from Sydney to Melbourne and back to Sydney in 1966, with its field including International stars Paddy Hopkirk, Timo Makinen and Rauno Aaltonen, as well as Australia’s best rally drivers.

The ‘Southern Cross’ went on to become Australia’s first truly International event of its type and was run every year until 1980, sponsored by major companies Rothmans and Total Oil. Over its 15-year history, the classic rally attracted the world’s top factory teams and drivers.

Scot Andrew Cowan won six Southern Cross rallies – five in succession in Mitsubishi Lancers 1972-1976  – while his other victory in 1969 was in the ex-Tony Fall Sydney-London Marathon Morris 1800, now owned by Victorian Historic Rally Association member Tim Kennon.

The Victorian Historic Rally Association in combination with the recently formed Historic Rally Club of NSW/ACT will be running a rally in November 2016 to celebrate this milestone anniversary.

The event will start in Albury, travel south through Victoria re-tracing the route of the first Southern Cross Rally and then proceed via Canberra to Sydney.

From Sydney the route will take up the course of later Southern Cross rallies, heading north via Newcastle to Port Macquarie, where the classic roads of the Southern Cross rallies of the 1970s will be re-visited.

The rally’s exciting finale will take place in Coffs Harbour, where competitors will join the field of World Rally Championship cars competing in the final round of the 2016 World Rally Championship, Rally Australia.

Southern Cross Gold Anniversary Rally cars will compete over several of the Rally Australia special stages prior to the World Championship field. The event will conclude with a gala presentation function in Coffs Harbour.

The organisers of the Southern Cross Gold Anniversary rally will offer priority entries to those drivers and co-drivers that competed in the original 15 Southern Cross rallies.

Competing cars are not required to have rollover protection or CAMS log books. For more details go to the Historic Rally Association web site, www.hra.org.au or contact Bob Watson, bobwatso@bigpond.net.au or mobile 0427201158.

A warm up function to the Southern Cross Gold Anniversary Rally will be a reunion dinner of all competitors, officials and anyone else associated with the original Southern Cross rallies at Hexham Bowling Club, Hexham (near Newcastle) on Saturday 13 February 2016.

Organised by the Historic Rally Club NSW/ACT, the dinner will feature speakers who were winners of Southern Cross rallies. These include Graham Hoinville, winning co-driver of the first Southern Cross with the late Harry Firth in 1966, Barry Ferguson who won the event in 1967 and 1970 and Colin Bond, winner in 1971.

For further details register with Hal Moloney at halmoloney@gmail.com

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