1981 Castrol Rally

By 19 July, 2009 25

Following Mark Webber’s win in Germany last week, I pulled out my trusty 1981 Australian Motor Racing Yearbook to read about Alan Jones’s victory in Vegas.  

It also had a nice write-up about the 1981 Castrol Rally, and with Willo’s recent post on the Mt Ginn speedway I was wondering if the motorsport people could shed some light on where the tarmac stages were held.

The Yearbook describes them as “undeveloped suburbs to the south of Canberra”. There’s some footage on youtube if it helps.

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25 Responses to 1981 Castrol Rally
#1
tortfeaser2:10 pm, 19 Jul 09

For a few years (79-81 at least) there were a series of tarmac stages around Macarthur, Fadden, Gowrie and Chisholm. Some of that footage is from the intersection of Appel Cr & Bugden Ave, Fadden.

If you’re keen, the ABC did an annual show for the rally. The best known is “40 split seconds” of the 1980 Castrol, which was shown every so often on ABC2 not long ago when the channel started up and Lex Marinos did late night motorsport. Available at Pitstop Bookshop in Perth at least (they’ve got a site).

#2
smee2:17 pm, 19 Jul 09

They also used to race motorcycles regularly in Fadden and Macarthur on those same roads. It was called ‘Macarthur Park’ I think. I remember riding my pushbike in from Reid one day to watch.

#3
Mike Bessenger2:37 pm, 19 Jul 09

Great video! That last 1600 did a bit of damage.

#4
kos3:37 pm, 19 Jul 09

Great footage! The one thing I love about Canberra is the bush we have for rallying and the events we get. It would be good to get crowds like that out for our local events.

#5
cranky4:09 pm, 19 Jul 09

They had a couple of bike races at Macarthur. Spectating was great, as the circuit was in the natural amphitheatre, mainly using Jackie Howe Crescent.

I ran in a new motor in the race car in 1982, doing laps of this ‘circuit’. Not a soul for miles, so no consternation caused.

Fantastic planning by the Feds, to build serviced suburbs well before the land was required for building houses. Anathema to Sonic of course – no money in it!

#6
YapYapYap4:14 pm, 19 Jul 09

smee said :

They also used to race motorcycles regularly in Fadden and Macarthur on those same roads. It was called ‘Macarthur Park’ I think. I remember riding my pushbike in from Reid one day to watch.

It was called McCarthur Park, and the last meeting there was 1981. I recall Steve Trinder (brother of Craig, the magnetic mattress cover bloke) crashing heavily on Jackie Howe Cres. Thr track started on Coyne St and ran clockwise, onto to Jackie Howe, Merriman Cres, back onto Jackie Howe, then onto Carson St, before finishing up again on Coyne St. It was a great track, if a little scary given all the street furniture lining the course. I might even have some photos.

The Castrol Rally tarmac stages ran on similar streets and perhaps also in Fadden.

#7
YapYapYap4:21 pm, 19 Jul 09

cranky said :

They had a couple of bike races at Macarthur. Spectating was great, as the circuit was in the natural amphitheatre, mainly using Jackie Howe Crescent.

I ran in a new motor in the race car in 1982, doing laps of this ‘circuit’. Not a soul for miles, so no consternation caused.

Fantastic planning by the Feds, to build serviced suburbs well before the land was required for building houses. Anathema to Sonic of course – no money in it!

We also used the ‘circuit’ for bike set-up for the next few years. The only way in was along Ibbella Drive, so yo had a great view of the cops if they decided to drive by. I also recall a go kart fatality there some time in the 80′s. From recollection somone was out thee filming the karts for an advertisement. Somehow two karts managed to meet head-on.

#8
willo4:47 pm, 19 Jul 09

great footage….i also remember the bikes at macarthur park and also snuck in there a few times to test the race car….passed a cop on my way out once and he just looked at the car on the trailer and shook his head……

#9
Trunking symbols5:14 pm, 19 Jul 09

Alan Jones won a car rally in 1981? Wasn’t he coach of the Wallabies at the time?

#10
willo5:21 pm, 19 Jul 09

alan jones the race driver…..not alan jones the homosexual footy coach….alan jones won a f1 grand prix…..not a rally

#11
Roadrage775:27 pm, 19 Jul 09

Great vid, thanks for posting, although I was yearning to hear the high pitched wail of a rotary that never came.

I live in Tuggers and that’s still how people drive around here. Letting your kids play on the street is tantamount to turning them into pancakes.

#12
cranky5:33 pm, 19 Jul 09

Only just viewed the footage. Great shots. Definately Macarthur Park – coming off Jackie Howe in the first few shots.

Ahh, the sound of Webers (the carburettor) rampant!

#13
Anna Key5:50 pm, 19 Jul 09

The footage looks like Bugden Ave into Partridge and Airey in Fadden judging by the stairs in the background and the do nothing roundabouts. I like how the street signs are up already. The street view in Google looks a bit different now.

#14
cranky6:06 pm, 19 Jul 09

Anna Key,

I think you are right. I thought this was Merriman Cres, but there is a total lack of roundabout.

#15
Anna Key6:14 pm, 19 Jul 09

Roadrage77 said :

Great vid, thanks for posting, although I was yearning to hear the high pitched wail of a rotary that never came.

Wouldn’t some of the 1600s have had a rotary in them or weren’t they legal for a rally of this size.

#16
Roadrage778:34 pm, 19 Jul 09

1600′s generally have 1600′s in them. Rotaries are usually found in old Mazdas. With regards to legality, the difficulty in classifying the engine sizes of rotaries precluded them from many classes of competition. People have put rotaries in everything from Bugs to Capris but I’ve always thought it sacrilegious do dump one in anything other than a Mazda. Alan Moffatt slew the Holden & Ford V8′s to win the 1983 touring car championship in a Mazda RX7 powered by a naturally aspirated 1.2L. The bogans didn’t like it and that was the last we ever saw of the Wankel engine in mainstream domestic motorsport. Now we’re supposed to get excited by a ridiculously homogenous group of V8 ‘Supercars’.

#17
willo8:42 pm, 19 Jul 09

rotaries are a popular engine transplant in many speedway divs……they can be found in anything from datsun 1200
‘s to geminis

#18
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_9:01 pm, 19 Jul 09

Good call RoadRage77 – having only Ford and Holden has made the class a lot less entertaining than it used to be.

These days I’d rather watch production cars, at least there’s some reality in the racing.

#19
vg10:14 pm, 19 Jul 09

willo said :

alan jones the race driver…..not alan jones the homosexual footy coach….alan jones won a f1 grand prix…..not a rally

Same Alan Jones that coached a Grand Slam and Bledisloe win as well, but feel free to throw in something irrelevant.

I mean Robbie Deans won’t coach a Bledisloe win this year, didn’t last year, but thank Christ he’s straight

#20
WanniAss10:17 pm, 19 Jul 09

willo said :

rotaries are a popular engine transplant in many speedway divs……they can be found in anything from datsun 1200
‘s to geminis

I think they were pretty popular in the 1600s. I recall a few Dazdas around in the mid 80s. The article in the yearbook said that they were running FIA rules so a lot of local cars weren’t legal. I presume this would exclude the rotary 1600s. But love those big slides of the RWD days. But thanks for the id on the location. Sounds like Tuggers was the place to be in the early 80s

#21
Anna Key10:33 pm, 19 Jul 09

And no-one made a comment about the “undeveloped suburbs to the south of Canberra”! I thought this would be shooting fish in a barrel to the northsiders.

#22
YapYapYap11:49 pm, 19 Jul 09

cranky said :

They had a couple of bike races at Macarthur. Spectating was great, as the circuit was in the natural amphitheatre, mainly using Jackie Howe Crescent.

I ran in a new motor in the race car in 1982, doing laps of this ‘circuit’. Not a soul for miles, so no consternation caused.

Fantastic planning by the Feds, to build serviced suburbs well before the land was required for building houses. Anathema to Sonic of course – no money in it!

Cranky, what in fact happened back then was that the Fraser Govt’s Razor Gang (headed by Phil Lynch) chopped the head/arms’legs off the public service and those suburbss with withheld from sale due to the ensuing economoc meltdown. It wasn’t what you’d call ‘planning’

#23
Holden Caulfield11:11 am, 20 Jul 09

Superb footage, thanks for finding that!

#24
Farrerneil10:37 pm, 20 Jul 09

I have the memory that it was Fadden. The late Bob Lane recruited a few compadres from DoT [Ron Templeton and myself, at least] to assist the Motor Sport Club at various timing points over the weekend. I still have the T-shirt and some stickers. The lovely Anne Heaney will know – she was there.

Where is Fred G when you need him?

#25
TP 300012:49 am, 21 Jul 09

Maybe we should start this up again? Overall Crescent in Casey is half tarmac, half dirt, loop around there, down Horse Park Drive, cross over into the Horse Park Drive extension & then a right into Moncreiff.

But then again the dirt tracks used out in the area that will become the Mologlo Valley might be streets with houses one day. I’ll then tell my grandkids “Back in the old days (2008) I use to race on this road & won every race.” Of course I didn’t but it’ll shock them.

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