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1981 Castrol Rally

By WanniAss - 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
1981 Castrol Rally
Anna Key 6:14 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.

cranky 6:06 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.

Anna Key 5:50 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.

cranky 5:33 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!

Roadrage77 5:27 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.

willo 5:21 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

Trunking symbols 5:14 pm 19 Jul 09

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

willo 4:47 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……

YapYapYap 4:21 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.

YapYapYap 4:14 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.

cranky 4:09 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!

kos 3:37 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.

Mike Bessenger 2:37 pm 19 Jul 09

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

smee 2:17 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.

tortfeaser 2:10 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).

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