Round Australia Trial

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The Round Australia Trial was a motorsport rallying or rally raid event that was run on multiple occasions between 1953 and 1998. The theme of the event was to stage a rally which circumnavigated Australia. Its early years were tremendously popular as the roads linking large portions of the country, particularly west of Adelaide, were not in good condition. Automobile manufacturers enthused over the event as it provided a particularly test event for their products, proving their cars were able to stand up to whatever conditions remote Australia could provide. Early editions of the event were heroic tests and were front-page fodder for the newspapers of the era.[citation needed]

By the 1960s, interest had waned as circuit racing, particularly the Bathurst 500 and the Tasman Series, would come to dominate Australian motorsport. A revival event in 1979 won by superstar touring car driver Peter Brock proved popular, but was not repeated until 16 years later in 1995. Interest in a new event continues to appear from time to time, sometimes as a rally, sometimes as a historic event for period cars, although the Australian Safari and the Finke Desert Race retain positions as the toughest off-road event in the country.[citation needed]

List of winners[edit]

The Holden VR Commodore in which Ed Ordynski and Ross Runnalls won the 1995 Mobil 1 Trial
Year Name of trial Start/Finish Distance No. Entrant Driver Co-driver(s) Car Points/Time Lost
Overall time (1995 and 1998)
1953 Redex Trial Sydney 6,500 miles (10,460 km) 48 K.Tubman and J.Marshall Ken Tubman John Marshall Peugeot 203 19 points
1954 Redex Trial Sydney 9,600 miles (15,450 km) 256 J.Murray Jack Murray Bill Murray Ford 1948 Deluxe V8 0 points
1955 Redex Trial Sydney 10,500 miles (16,900 km) 90 Regent Motors Laurie Whitehead Bob Foreman Volkswagen 1200 21 points
1956 Ampol Trial Sydney 6,500 miles (10,460 km) 32 W.Murrell & A.Taylor Wilfred Murrell Allan Taylor Peugeot 403 258 points
1956 Mobilgas Trial Sydney 8,500 miles (13,680 km) 16 E. and L. Perkins Eddie Perkins Lance Perkins Volkswagen 1200 48 points
1957 Ampol Trial Sydney 7,000 miles (11,260 km) 26 J.Witter Jack Witter Doug Stewart Volkswagen 1200 3 points
1957 Mobilgas Trial Melbourne 9,000 miles (14,480 km) 76 L. Whitehead Laurie Whitehead Kevin Young Volkswagen 1200 13 points
1958 Ampol Trial Sydney 7,500 miles (12,070 km) 158 A.C. McGrath & Co. Don Garard Jim Roberts Holden FE 9 points
1958 Mobilgas Trial Melbourne 10,100 miles (16,250 km) 2 E.Perkins Eddie Perkins Arthur Smith Volkswagen 1200 11 points
1964 Ampol Trial Sydney 7,000 miles (11,260 km) 50 Ford Motor Co. of Australia Harry Firth Graham Hoinville Ford Cortina GT 21 points
1970 Ampol Trial Alice Springs 6,340 miles (10,200 km) 11 Citroën Cars Pty Ltd Jean-Claude Ogier Lucette Ogier Citroën DS21 60 points
23 Datsun Racing Team Edgar Herrmann Hans Schuller Datsun 1600 SSS
1979 Repco Reliability Trial Melbourne 20,000 km 05 Holden Dealer Team Peter Brock Matt Philip
Noel Richards
Holden VB Commodore 3 hr 39 min 18 sec
1995 Mobil 1 Trial Brisbane 19,000 km 3 Mobil Bridgestone Rally Team [1] Ed Ordynski Ross Runnalls Holden VR Commodore 23 hr 41 min 28 sec
1998 PlayStation Rally Round Australia Adelaide 18,500 km 3 Bruce Garland Motorsport Bruce Garland Harry Suzuki Holden Jackaroo 34 hr 27 min 19 sec


  1. ^ Entry List, Official Spectator Guide, Round Australia '95 Mobil 1 Trial

Further reading[edit]