Sydney – Port Macquarie – Sydney, 8-12 OCTOBER 1975

Andrew Cowan’s domination of the Southern Cross Rally continued in 1975 when he convincingly won for the fifth time — four in succession. As well as Cowan, Mitsubishi entered Lancers for Hannu Mikkola of Finland and Australia’s Barry Ferguson and Doug Stewart. Nissan’s attack was based on the Datsun 710SSS and Rauno Aaltonen (Finland), Harry Kallstrom (Sweden) and George Fury (Victoria) drove these cars. Winner of the 1975 Heatway, Mike Marshall of New Zealand, entered an Escort RS as did Bob Watson and Bruce Hodgson of Australia. The Japanese attack included Tatsuo Yaginuma and Kenjiro Shinozuka in Lancers and in all 14 Japanese drivers came to Australia, most of them bringing their own navigators from Japan. Other leading Australians included Stewart McLeod (Datsun 2602), 1975 Australian Rally Champion, Ross Dunkerton (Datsun 260Z), Greg Carr (Datsun 180B SSS), Evan Green (Alfetta GT) and Bob Riley (Mitsubishi Galant). To complete the field four New Zealanders joined Marshall.

Drama struck in the early stages. The Datsun 7l0s of Aaltonen and Kallstrom retired with engine failure. Then came the dramatic news that Mikkola was also out of the event having rolled his car. George Fury was continuing to storm away from the rest of the field until he too was forced to retire his Datsun with engine problems. After four special daylight stages on the Sunday morning the cars headed into the finish at Port Macquarie and once again Cowan was victorious. Following scrutineering Shinozuka in the Lancer (250 points) and Millen in the Mazda RX3 (405 points) were excluded. This left 12 cars that had completed the entire course. A further 18 cars were classified as finishers.

lst: Mitsubishi P/L – Andrew Cowan/Fred Gocentas, Mitsubishi Lancer, 189 pts
2nd: Mitsubishi P/L – Barry Ferguson/Lindsay Adcock, Mitsubishi Lancer, 201 pts
3rd: Gerry Ball Tuning Service – Greg Carr/Wayne Gregson, Datsun 180B SSS, 215 pts
4th: Mitsubishi P/L – Doug Stewart/John Dawson-Damer, Mitsubishi Lancer, 277 pts
5th: De Bortoli’s Wines P/L – Bruce Hodgson/Chris Heaney, Ford Escort RS 1600, 368 pts
6th: Subaru Pty Ltd – James Laing-Peach/Barry Lake, Subaru A22, 373 pts
7th: T. Hirabayashi – Takeshi Hirabayashi/Yoshimasa Nakahara, Subaru A22, 397 pts
8th: B. Cheesman – Bruce Cheesman/Allan Horsley, Mitsubishi Lancer, 405 pts
9th: S. Kanno – Shingero Kanno/Kiyoshi Kawamur, Mitsubishi Lancer, 422 pts
10th: N. Koseki – Noriyuki Koseki/Takao Ishii, Subaru A22, 440 pts
11th: Gary Mecak/John Trumpmanis, Mazda RX3
12th: Susumu Enjitsu/Osamu Nishimura, Mitsubishi Lancer
Manufacturer Team: Mitsubishi
Ladies: Nil.