‘THE WET ONE’
3 – 7 OCTOBER 1973
SYDNEY – PORT MACQUARIE
Andrew Cowan/John Bryson in the Mitsubishi Lancer GSR – from the cover of the 1974 regulations book
With the introduction that to be classified as an official finisher crews had to report to 75% of controls in each division only nine of the 72 starters finished the whole course, although 38 finished the event.
Covering 3200 kilometres over four divisions the rally was again based at Port Macquarie on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The event commenced at Hyde Park in the centre of Sydney, with cars flagged away by the Lord Mayor.
Rain!! This year’s event has been remembered as the ‘Wet One’. It rained continuously prior to, during and after the event and made conditions the worst experienced in a Southern Cross International Rally. One just has to view the Mitsubishi film of the event to get an idea of just how muddy it was.
But rain or not, it made no difference to Mitsubishi, the company introduced the new two-door Lancer GSR 1600 coupes. Never before was an event won so decisively by one marque. Although also fielding several cars Nissan was unfortunate to lose several during the competition. However, they were not completely outdone with Frank Kilfoyle and Bob Watson finishing sixth and eighth respectively.
The leader board was set from the beginning and the top four did not change for the entire event – Cowan, Ferguson, Chivas and Singh. Fall was 5th after the first night but then Bond took over this position and Kilfoyle moved into 6th from 7th and these three held these positions to the end. Bob Watson moved in and out of the top ten.
First private entry to finish was the Mitsubishi Galant driven by Bob Riley, with Adrian van Loon navigating.
|1||Andrew Cowan||John Bryson||Mitsubishi Lancer GSR||193 pts|
|2||Barry Ferguson||Wayne Gregson||Mitsubishi Lancer GSR||219|
|3||Doug Chivas||Peter Meyer||Mitsubishi Lancer GSR||225|
|4||Joginder Singh||Gary Connelly||Mitsubishi Lancer GSR||247|
|5||Colin Bond||George Shepheard||Holden Torana XUI||264|
|6||Frank Kilfoyle||Mike Osbourne||Datsun 180B SSS||281|
|7||Bob Riley||Adrian van Loon||Mitsubishi Galant||366|
|8||Bob Watson||Jeff Beaumont||Datsun 240Z||372|
|9||Charlie Lund||Nigel Collier||Mazda RX3||570|
|10||Bill Evans||Mike Mitchell||Datsun 1200||726|
Information about the 1973 Southern Cross Rally in the document below.