Results

The results shown here and throughout the website are based upon the official results published by the organisers almost a month after the event.

The final scores of the 13 cars that did the entire course are provided below as they actually appeared in the results:

  1. Peter Brock/Matthew Philip/Noel Richards, Holden Commodore, 3.39.18
  2. Barry Ferguson/Wayne Bell/David Boddy, Holden Commodore, 3.52.39
  3. Shekar Mehta/Rauno Aaltonen/Barry Lake, Holden Commodore, 4.53.39
  4. Ross Dunkerton/Peter McKay/Geoff Jones, Volvo 244, 8.24.54
  5. Greg Carr/Dave Morrow/Fred Gocentas, Ford Cortina, 9.12.13
  6. Wes Nalder/Ian Richards/Geoff Boyd, Toyota Celica, 9.57.25
  7. Dale Loader/Ian Hill/Frank Neale, Mitsubishi Lancer, 12.24.11
  8. Edgar Herrmann/Dean Rainsford, Porsche Carerra, 12.39.02
  9. Jurgan Barth/Roland Kushmaul, Porsche 924, 13.09.03
  10. Gil Davis/Phil Eather/Graham Toner, Datsun 180B SSS, 16.09.38
  11. Bob Watson/Garry Harrowfield, Peugeot 504 Diesel, 16.22.18
  12. Steve Mizel/Rod Hall/Rod Fricker/Adrian Mortimer, Chevvy Blazer, 27.05.38
  13. Robert Jackson/Des West/Ross Jackson, Holden Commodore, 29.02.06

The questionable accuracy of the results

There were many errors and omissions in the final published results, most strikingly a 29 minute error in Dunkerton's final score but there were many other such errors! For example, the Loader/Hill/Neale Lancer which finished 7th has no scores for Division T, and were orginally classified 8th behind Herrmann, but after the event their score was reduced by 17 minutes. The addition of stage scores even for the 13 cars that visited all controls is often incorrect, and for those that did not visit all controls, there are many instances where the number of missed controls is not tallied correctly.
I have generally shown the results as published but have tried to show the corrections where possible. In a few cases the errors are obvious typos and I have corrected these but in other cases it is difficult to discern whether the error is in the orginal stage times or in the summation. I have focussed greatest attention on the results of the 13 cars that completed the entire route and have not tried to resolve discrepencies in the actual total times of cars that missed stages. Beside, this was always a pointless exercise that sought to compare apples with oranges (unless they happened to miss exactly the same controls, which didn't happen!).
This was before we had computers and spreadsheets to tally scores and it is remarkably difficult to add up hours, minutes and seconds, especially for well over 100 cars across 134 stages! However, given that the results were published almost a month after the event one might have expected the organisers to have done a few rudimentary checks at least on the first 13 cars, but in fact much of the results read like complete fiction!
These errors are seperate from the timing and clock errors within the event, which in many cases were down to clock readings errors by individual officials, or more likely, to misread figures on road cards. Again, there appears to have been no attempt to resolve some odd scores by reference to control cards or road position. Some examples spring to mind, the first being the clean sheet by the Davis 180B on Stage W10 despite the fact that they were passed by another car that dropped 8 minutes (the difference would certainly have reversed their outright position with Watson/Harrowfield). Another example was Portman's 22.03 loss on the Brisbane Special Stage despite the fact that he was not passed by anyone and maintained road position, clearly impossible, so it was probably 2.03 instead. Late in the event the Loader/Hill/Neale Lancer was supposedly 8 minutes slower than the car following them 2 minutes behind yet they were not passed! There were no doubt many other such discrepencies.

Alternative Results

In the table below are the division scores and totals of the top 13 cars based on adding up the actual stage scores as published in the results. The Division T scores of Loader/Hill/Neale are derived from their final score so could easily be incorrect. Some differenes are minor but Dunkerton's score was 30 minutes short, Barth's overstated by 20 minutes and the differences in Watson's and Davis' score would have made them near enough to equal. Jackson's score is way out with many discrepencies but no-one was anywhere near them anyway (notwithstanding that the results actually suggested that they missed Control Q4!)

PlaceCrewCarDiv VDiv SDiv WDiv TDiv QDiv NTotal
1Peter Brock/Matthew Philip/Noel RichardsCommodore 0:03:451:12:080:53:130:07:001:02:510:20:213:39:18
2Barry Ferguson/Wayne Bell/David BoddyCommodore 0:05:180:58:031:09:180:03:001:09:170:28:203:53:16
3Shekar Mehta/Rauno Aaltonen/Barry LakeCommodore 0:08:122:56:110:40:150:06:000:43:230:18:384:52:39
4Ross Dunkerton/Peter McKay/Geoff JonesVolvo 244 0:21:472:58:543:17:270:56:000:59:050:21:118:54:24
5Greg Carr/Dave Morrow/Fred GocentasCortina 0:17:441:27:333:51:243:02:000:26:000:08:159:12:56
6Wes Nalder/Ian Richards/Geoff BoydCelica 0:25:384:50:462:45:380:14:001:03:210:38:179:57:40
7Dale Loader/Ian Hill/Frank NealeLancer 1:03:384:35:593:36:510:45:001:44:580:38:2012:24:46
8Edgar Herrmann/Dean RainsfordPorsche 911 1:12:135:31:422:43:451:16:001:27:210:28:1612:39:17
9Jurgan Barth/Roland KushmaulPorsche 924 0:37:085:29:272:26:320:26:003:06:240:44:0912:49:40
10Bob Watson/Garry Harrowfield504 Diesel 1:28:495:02:433:10:512:24:003:02:380:54:2216:03:23
11Gil Davis/Phil Eather/Graham Toner180B SSS 1:21:544:20:453:33:381:33:002:21:442:52:3316:03:34
12Steve Mizel/Rod Hall/Rod Fricker/Adrian MortimerChevy Blazer 2:33:586:27:014:57:394:59:005:30:292:28:5226:56:59
13Robert Jackson/Des West/Ross JacksonCommodore 1:42:576:44:024:18:3910:00:005:07:500:45:4128:39:09

The remainder of the results

The remaining 79 finishers were classified according to the number of major controls missed. There are numerous counting errors in the results so what is shown below is based on the actual controls designated in the results as missed. Where this doesn't match the tally in the results, this is noted. There is no attempt to seperate those who missed the same number of controls because it is like comparing apples and oranges!
  • Missed 1 control:
    Rowney/Wilson/Tyson (Datsun 180B)
    Roberts/Waterson/Carrol (Commodore)
  • Missed 3 controls:
    Clarke/Davis/Burge (Datsun 180B)
    Finlay/Sullivan/McLeod (Commodore)
  • Missed 5 controls:
    Hurrey/Geddes (Celica) - results say 4 missed
    Beveridge/Heaney/Jarman (Volvo 244)
    Miettunen/Morgan/Suominen (Volvo 244)
  • Missed 7 controls:
    Portman/Thompson/Hammond (Stanza)
    McCubbin/Kelly/Guyatt (Monaro GTS)
  • Missed 8 controls:
    Faulkner/de Vaus/Bateson (Peugeot 504)
  • Missed 9 controls:
    Fury/Bonhomme/Suffern (Cortina) - results say 10 missed
  • Missed 10 controls:
    McDiarmid/Phegan/Travis (Datsun 180B SSS) - results say 6 missed
    Giddings/Jones/Seaman (Datsun 200B)
    Birrell/Smith/Nixon (Renault 16TS)
  • Missed 11 controls:
    O'Donnell/Geissler/Gibson (LX Torana) - results say 10 missed
    Murray/D'Albora/Murray (Commodore)
  • Missed 12 controls:
    Johnson/Vanderbyl (Volvo 242)
  • Missed 13 controls:
    Lloyd/Crockenberg/Dick (Colt)
  • Missed 16 controls:
    Goldsborough/Flanagan/Ground (Commodore)
  • Missed 17 controls:
    Lockhart/Dunstan/Finlayson (Commodore)
    Penny/Kennard/Brown (LH Torana) - results say 18 missed
  • Missed 21 controls:
    Lance/Craft/Robinson (Commodore)
  • Missed 22 controls:
    Boys/Vonthien (Ford F100)
  • Missed 23 controls:
    Maloney/Vitnel/Daley (Leyland P76)
  • Missed 24 controls:
    Turner/Donohue/Sparrow (Leyland P76) - results say 22 missed
    Foden/Baker/Young (Leyland P76) - results say 29 missed
  • Missed 25 controls:
    Herdy/O'Kane/Gramenz (Peugeot 504) - results say 22 missed
    Sheridan/Reid (Datsun 1600) - results say 24 missed
  • Missed 27 controls:
    Farmer/Farmer/Fraser (Leyland P76)
    Kahler/Partridge/Simeon (Mazda RX4)
  • Missed 30 controls:
    Koseki/Takaoka (Subaru Leone)
  • Missed 32 controls:
    Heaton/Shepherd/Mann (HJ Holden Panel Van) - results say 31 missed
    Tattingham/Geue/Kemp (EH Holden) - results say 31 missed
    Ingerson/Wilson/MacCulloch (Peugeot 404)
    Nicholson/Crawford (Lancer)
  • Missed 33 controls:
    Stockley/O'Neill (Porsche 911E)
    Boaden/Pritchard/Atkin (Mazda RX4)
    Lahiff/Beath/Clarke (HR Holden)
  • Missed 34 controls:
    Meehan/Gifford/Gardiner (Monaro GTS)
    Wilson/Baker/Freeze (Mercedes 280S) - results say 32 missed
  • Missed 36 controls:
    Colless/Johnston/McCoy (Datsun 1600) - results say 35 missed
  • Missed 38 controls:
    Walker/McCann (Renault 12) - results say 36 missed
    Minett/Chapple/Watson (Datsun 1600)
    O'Shanesy/Dean/O'Shanesy (Fiat 131) - results say 39 missed
  • Missed 39 controls:
    Taylor/Hunt (Rover 3500)
    Potter/Bain (Mazda RX3)
  • Missed 40 controls:
    Roggenkamp/Adair/Eakin (Escort) - results say 38 missed
    Richardson/Daniel/Fullerton (XD Falcon)
  • Missed 41 controls:
    Neilson/Stewart/Tyre (HQ Holden)
  • Missed 45 controls:
    Gough/Hutton/Bishop (LJ Torana) - results say 44 missed
  • Missed 46 controls:
    Myers/Myers/Sinfield (Peugeot 504)
  • Missed 47 controls:
    Glover/Burke/Hather (VW)
    Caudle/Drew/Elsden (Datsun 1600)
  • Missed 54 controls:
    Bray/McMahon/Smith (Valiant Charger 770)
    Easton/Rayner/Bell (Datson 1600) - results say 56 missed
  • Missed 55 controls:
    Clyborne/Hayes (Ford Pickup) - results say 54 missed
  • Missed 56 controls:
    Tholstrup/Perry (Chevvy Pickup) - results say 51 missed
  • Missed 57 controls:
    Rayner/Campbell/Loader (HT Holden) - results say 56 missed
    Hayden/Phillis/Hogan (Mazda RX2) = results say 56 missed
  • Missed 58 controls:
    Darby/Clark/Stewart (HR Holden)
    Jones/Jones/Webber (Riley) - results say 59 missed
  • Missed 59 controls:
    Bolch/Keane/Owen (Monaro HJ GTS)
    Cafe/Gurney/Dawson (Mazda RX4) - results say 60 missed
  • Missed 61 controls:
    Koch/Darling/Koch (Commodore) - results say 60 missed
  • Missed 63 controls:
    Garner/Madden/Corban (Torana) - results say 64 missed
  • Missed 66 controls:
    Donoghue/Logan/Grace (Celica) - results say 65 missed
  • Missed 67 controls:
    Lunney/Tyler/Tyler (Peugeot 504) - results say 69 missed
  • Missed 70 controls:
    Spanbroek/Compton/Plywright (Datsun 240K)
    Bird/McKinnon (Corolla)
  • Missed 71 controls:
    McArthur/McArthur/McArthur (XY Falcon) - results say 76 missed
  • Missed 78 controls:
    Fullagher/Fullagher/Fullagher/Fullagher (Monaro GTS) - results say 72 missed
  • Missed 79 controls:
    Moore/Sethna (VW Beetle) - results say 78 missed
    Ferrier/Smith (Honda Civic)
  • Missed 85 controls:
    Reinders/Lewis (FJ Holden) - results say 73 missed
    Hall/Smith/Lott (Escort)
  • Missed 86 controls:
    Sparkes/Clayton (Ford Fairmont) - results say 87 missed
  • Missed 91 controls:
    Webster/Jolly/McIntyre (FJ Holden)
  • Missed 100 controls:
    McTigue/Sheridan/Wilson (HQ Holden Panel Van) - results say 87 missed
  • Missed 104 controls:
    Bryson/Cable-Cumming (Escort)

6 comments:

PeterMc said...

Great to have a site to commemorate the toughest-ever Australian motoring trial. Forgive me for being picky, but I notice an error in the results. The navigator of the fourth-placed was not Col Young (who was forced to withdraw just before the start) but Geoff Jones who joined at a moment's notice. Ross and I didn't meet Geoff (who was a heroic stand-in) until the evening prior to the start.

Ian Richards said...

Cheers Peter and it's good to know that people such as yourself have found the site! I'm not sure where I picked up Col's name but it seems to have pervaded my history, but I've fixed (hopefully) all occurrence now.

Rob Draper said...

I wasn't alive in 1979, but have been told by a number of drivers in the event that Brock used 3 (or maybe 4) cars to win. Its a widely told 'story' so I'm surprised there's no mention of it here (or that I saw).

Ian Richards said...

Interesting comment Rob but given the nature of the event, changing cars would have been an impossibility. Certainly every time I saw the Brock car (and all the others), it was the same car. This story is an urban myth.

Certainly lots of parts were changed - mostly suspension, diffs etc. Frankly, there would have been no advantage in changing cars when the main "wearing" parts could be changed so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Help

Anthony Najm said...

Cheers to everyone that made this website possible. It was such a thrill to watch the footage after so many years. I helped Larry Perkins back in ‘79 to build his Beetle and was happy to see the footage. I have a special connection to that time because I was on the committee of the Light Car Club of Australia and stayed in Melbourne the whole time during the race.