The start of the 1988 Wynn’s Safari in Todd Mall, Alice Springs
The Australian Bicentenary 1988 Wynn’s Safari broke new ground in its special Bicentennial long distance form.
The almost 9000-kilometre endurance trial followed a four state course in this once-only ‘Big One’ format. The event was conducted for four-wheel drive vehicles, two-wheel drive vehicles and motorcycles, with each category having its own winner and placings.
A small army of some 700 people were directly involved at the start of the event and comprised 192 vehicles (‘autos’ and ‘motos’) containing 330 competitors, supplemented by some 150 team managers, mechanics and minders, as well as 210 officials, travelling from one overnight stop to the next in the six Koala coaches engaged with the event, which departed Alice Springs on Sunday 21 August with the competitors in pursuit of the hard fought Finishers Medallions – the sole reward for many of those who completed 100% of the course.
On the professional level, the large Mitsubishi team was considered favourites to take out the top placings.
Of a braver nature were those myriad of privateers who fronted up to the exhausting event schedule in their endeavour to make it to Sydney and the finish.
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