TOTAL OIL – THE SUN SOUTHERN CROSS INTERNATIONAL RALLY
Sydney – Port Macquarie – Sydney, 3-7 OCTOBER 1973

For the fourth successive year the Southern Cross International Rally was based at Port Macquarie — with Dan White again the Director. Rain! The 1973 ‘Cross will always be remembered as the “wet one”. It rained continuously prior to, during, and after the event and made conditions the worst ever experienced in a Southern Cross Rally.

Rain or not it made no difference to Mitsubishi. Introducing the new Mitsubishi Lancer GSR, this giant Japanese company swept all before them with the Lancers coming home first, second, third and fourth. Never previously has an event in Australia been won so decisively. Australia’s Colin Bond, in a Torana XUI,was fifth behind the Lancers — having started in last position at the start following a controversial decision on eligibility by the organisers. Although also fielding numerous cars Nissan were unfortunate to lose several during the event. However, they were not outdone as Bob Watson and Frank Kilfoyle retrieved the situation by driving their 24OZ and 180B Datsuns into eighth and sixth places respectively. Perhaps the next best performance was put up by Bob Riley, driving a privately entered Mitsubishi Galant. He finished seventh and was the first private entrant to finish.

The number of overseas competitors was the highest ever for an event in Australia. Those not listed in the placings below included – Shekhar Mehta (Uganda), Tony Fall (England), Andre Bedas (New Caledonia), New Zealanders Tim Bailey and Gordon Thomas. Yoshio Takaoka drove the newly introduced Subaru, and was navigated by Ruichiro Kuze. Another Japanese visitor was regular Yoshio Iwashita, navigated by popular Mashahiro Nagayama, the latter, together with Cowan, Singh and Takaoka staying in the country for another event several weeks later.

1st: Mitsubishi Motor Corp – Andrew Cowan/John Bryson, Mitsubishi Lancer GSR
2nd: Mitsubishi Motor Corp – Barry Ferguson/Wayne Gregson, Mitsubishi Lancer GSR
3rd: Mitsubishi Motor Corp – Doug Chivas/Peter Meyer, Mitsubishi Lancer GSR
4th: Mitsubishi Motor Corp – Joginder Singh/Garry Connelly, Mitsubishi Lancer GSR
5th: Garry & Warren Smith – Colin Bond/George Shepheard, Holden Torana XUI
6th: Nissan Motor Coy – Frank Kilfoyle/Mike Osborne, Datsun 180B
7th: R. Riley – Bob Riley/Adrian van Loon, Mitsubishi Galant
8th: Nissan Motor Coy – Bob Watson/Jeff Beaumont, Datsun 24OZ
9th: Tynan Motors P/L – Charlie Lund/Nigel Collier, Mazda RX3
10th: W. Evans – Bill Evans/Mike Mitchell, Datsun 1200
Manufacturers Award: Mitsubishi
Ladies Award: Lynne Keeffe/Lyn Stanley