Progress for 2008 Old BP Rally

Since outlining initial philosophy and plans, I have made a few forays into the countryside and can report that the route is 95% planned and confirmed in the field. The next step is getting appropriate authorities and residents to agree. That may not be so easy.

As my own navigation powers decline, I am keen to make the navigation easier on the road than it appears on the maps, and to crank up the challenge slowly as the event progresses, and navigators grow in confidence. For drivers, they will play a greater role than in recent Old BP’s, and get a decent work out over some memorable roads. Road conditions are exceptionally good, but we all say that don’t we, dawdling around the course slowly beforehand in our modern sedans.

Thanks to Graeme Hoinville and Ross Kelly I now have a full set of BP route instructions except for 1959 which was missing from Graeme’s collection. I have tracked down a number of people who competed that year, but none is as anal as I and retain the route instructions from every event competed in. And mine are even allowed to be stored inside and not in the shed with the rats! So if any detectives out there think they might be able to track down the elusive 1959 it would be much appreciated.

Another bonus was Peter Fulton making available copies of motorsport magazine articles of every BP, except….. 1959. We know it did run that year, as the supp regs used to list the winners from the previous three years. Anyway Peter, whose father Len was an ex competitor and helped John Pryce organise at least one year, has guaranteed himself an entry.

With that many previous events to draw on, we do not have to deliberately copy previous events, just check where previous events coincide with plans for next year, which has been quite frequent. There are even some informations which we can repeat from over forty years ago!

By the way, does anyone have a nice clean copy of the most recent Broadbents Eastern and Western half of Victoria, before they went out of print, that they would be prepared to loan briefly?

The date is not confirmed, but Stuart Lister, who has some say in the calendar, has been advised of a desired date, the traditional one of the first weekend in May. That should nicely allow crews to have a good warm up run in the BP, make a few adjustments, then head off for Bob Watson’s Central Australia extravaganza in September.

We are toying with a Melbourne start at 7.00pm on a Thursday night and assembly/trial stage to Gippsland, and then the proposed format has not changed from over the mountains at night and then by day to a Friday night stop at Swan Hill. Next day, venture west deep into the Mallee, then south to Ballarat for about a 3.00am Sunday finish.

The Sunday luncheon has to be a fitting celebration of 50 years of BP heritage, involving as many former competitors as possible. In trying to track down the elusive 1959 instructions I have spoken to a number of the original competitors. They are getting old, but keen to be kept informed of plans for the post event function. Don Ellis has done a tremendous job in previous old BP’s, so we are keen to get hold of any BP memorabilia not sighted before. The movie footage was great last time.

To try and build some expectation and anticipation I have attached a report of a long distance George Derrick Memorial Trial event I ran in 1984 in the mountains of East Gippsland. I am still trying to track down an account of the 1981 event in the Mallee. There are more to follow for future editions, if the editors allow.

Ross Runnalls

1984 George Derrick Memorial Trial.pdf1.86 MB