November 24-25 2012 

2012 Classic Rally - Retrospective 20th Anniversary rally

A great event, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants - that's the view widely stated by everyone involved. With 25 competitive stages over two days and a night, including three navigation tests and a series of social events, the 20th Anniversary Classic Rally was a great success. Driving stages ranged from closed road sprints to motorkhanas between Perth and Bunbury, where the overnight stay was. The new WestAir International Wattleup Sprint turned out to be a big favourite with competitors.

As was always the case with Classic Rally, we had a fabulous array of cars, as the photos here will show.

Congratulations to the winners, Will White and Karen Orr, in a Mitsubishi Evo. Second place-getters, also in an Evo were Daryl Sosa and Stirling Hamersley. In third place, Mr Consistency, Denis Conway, with co-driver Owen Peters. Denis was presented with a trophy for having competed in every AEM rally since the first Classic Rally back in 1992. First of the 2-wheel drive cars was the turbocharged Suzuki Swift of Neil Richardson and Angela Hartman (4th place), with Rod Willis and Darren Weise in the Mazda MX5 first of the rear-wheel-drive cars in 6th.

The Rally Director's Award for the Spirit of the Event went to the crew of Barry Fehlberg and Alan Gooch in the fabulous Ford Fairlane Galaxy Sunliner Convertible, which was driven with great gusto throughout the event.

Thanks to our officials - Ian Mann, Brock Mann, Martin McCoy, Craig McLennan, Andy Hamilton, Trevor Allen, Zoran Gacik, Mark Duder, Terry Mann, Rubin Sadique and Tim Fowler & Kerstin Schoen, plus our Rally Director was Paul Blank.

And to our sponsors and supporters - WestAir International, Autosculpt Miniatures, Wheels World, City of Bunbury, City of Cockburn and the Bunbury Port Authority.

Results overall and for Navigation are below.

Click here for Outright & Navigation results

Click here for Stage by Stage results

Photos below copyright AEM 2012 - check back soon for links to YouTube and more photos...



Pre-event information


Classic Rally highlights 1992-2003

1992 - The Classic Rally was a bold new style of event introduced to Western Australia, timed to be a lead-in to Rally Australia.  It was the second such event in Australia, following the Grand Priux Rally. The vast variety of cars entered would become a hallmark of the event. The 126 entries included exotics such as an Aston Martin DB4, several Ferraris, Porsches, two De Tomasos (one from Victoria), a Maserati Merak, XK Jaguars and a Lancia Stratos from Melbourne. Oldest car was a 1933 MG J2. Other rarities included an Audi Quattro, a Citroen 2CV, an Alfa Romeo GTA, Lancia Integrale, TVR Tasmin, NSU Prinz and even a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. Five cars came from the eastern states to compete. Completely new competition driving courses were devised for the event. The Rally Australia Langley Park stage was a highlight. The event went out to York. Winner was Tim Harland, with Simon Foley as navigator in a 1970 MGB Roadster.

1993 - Success of the first year saw huge interest generated for the second Classic Rally, including sponsorship from GIO Australia. The event grew to a 3-day rally. The big start was held in Forrest Place. Feature driver was Sale of the Century host Glenn Ridge, who went on to win the event in his new Nissan 300ZX.  Feature car was a stunning Lamborghini Miura from Victoria, which was one of several Eastern States entries. The very hot Gemballa Porsche Turbo which Natasha Oberoi from Melbourne and Neil Ashmead of Adelaide entered attracted a lot of attention.  The 130 cars entered spanned a huge variety of vehicles. One course well enjoyed was at the Rockingham foreshore. A big display and street party was held in Northbridge on the Saturday night. Overnight on Friday was in Bunbury.

1994 - A record field entered, and Driver of Honour was Rosemary Smith, from Ireland.  Rosemary was the first woman to win a round of the World Rally championship, and had been a factory driver for Ford, Rootes Group and Porsche. Star car was a spectacular competition-version Ferrari F40 which was flown in from Germany by its Singapore crew. At the other extreme was a 1934 3-wheel BSA Sports. Other highlight cars included a Porsche 911 2.7RS Carrera, a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray (the ultra-rare split-window model), a monster 4WD 1964 Pontiac Catalina station wagon and a magnificent 1922 Hispano Suiza, which came from Melbourne. A remarkable 23 Porsches entered. Several new courses were designed, including the hillclimb at Wungong Dam and a road course in the old Northam Army Camp. The Fremantle Autokhana was run for the first time, and would prove a tremendously popular stage for many years. A new handicapping system was developed for scoring, and Glenn Ridge won again, this time in a 1958 Corvette.

1995 - Driver of Honour was legendary driver Sir Jack Brabham - three times F1 World Champion.  Sir Jack had last competed in WA at Caversham in the 1960s before his Classic Rally appearance. Star cars were a pair of Grand Prix Bugattis, brought over especially for the event - a 1928 Type 37A and a supercharged 1925 Type 35.  Other unusual and exotic cars entered included a 1984 Dutton Phaeton, a 1926 Bentley, 1959 Borgward Isabella, 1973 Bolwell Nagari Roadster and the usual Ferraris, Maseratis, etc.  A brace of new Eunos coupes was entered by ladies teams from the media.  The Classic Rally was developing into a complex event, in 1995 achieving the highest yet entry, of 150 cars, in 14 classes, competing in 11 driving stages and six navigation tests. Neville Grigsby's Mini Cooper S won the rally.

1996 - A record 160 cars made the 1996 Classic Rally a vast operation.  Rosemary Smith returned from Ireland to compete again, and the star cars was a trio of classic Ferraris from the east.  A 365 Daytona, 275GTB/4 and a 365GTC attracted attention everywhere. Not to be outdone, there was a stunning wooden boat-tail bodied 1916 Hudson, a Lamborghini Espada, and a record five Maseratis entered.  Other well-known names among the entries included Janet Holmes a Court, Peter Briggs, actor Eric Bana and rally legend Ross Dunkerton.  There were 9 MGs, 8 Jaguars, 14 Porsches and a Goggomobil Dart participating. This was the first year the AEM Triumph was entered by CanTeen. One of the highlight venues was the Gingin air base. Overnight was in Mandurah. Winner was Tim Harland with Stephen Fox navigating.

1997 - The City of Rockingham celebrated its Centenary by being sponsor of the Classic Rally.  Driver of Honour was Sir Jack Brabham, making a return appearance, this time at the wheel of a Jaguar XK8. Vintage cars entered included a pair of Bentleys and a 1925 MG which came from Sydney.  The ex-George Fury Nissan Bluebird Turbo racing car attracted a lot of attention, and many small cars were entered, including a Goggomobil Dart, Mini Jem, Citroen Dyane, Suzuki Cappuccino and NSU Prinz.  A 1962 VW Beetle was dressed accurately as Herbie the Love Bug, complete with flapping bonnet. A new hillclimb at South Dandalup was well-received by competitors.  Winners, again were Tim Harland and Stephen Fox in an MGB Roadster.

1998 -  A fascinating and exceptionally rare ASA 1000GT came from Melbourne as star car in 1998.  Also entered was a supercharged Jeep Renagade, Lancia Stratos and a trio of classic Mustangs.  Sale of the Century host Glenn Ridge returned (with a BMW Z3 2.8) and Simon Lingford's spectacular multi-coloured Ferrari gained huge attention. Turbo 4WD cars were gaining popularity, with sufficient for their own class. A new Touring category was introduced, with a less stressful level of navigation and 15 entries. Two sprints in Two Rocks were newly created highlights among the fifteen competition driving stages.  But probably the best enjoyment was from the stages at the RAAF airstrip near Gingin.  Busselton was the overnight stop for the first time. 1998 winners were John and Tim Fowler in a 1971 Porsche 911.

1999 -  For the first time the start was outside Perth, the Classic Rally beginning in Mandurah. Notable cars entered included a Ferrari 512TR, a new F355 Spider and a Lamborghini Espada. Among the new competition stages was an exciting new hillclimb in Collie, where the Motorplex would be set up in years to come. Six-times Australian Rally Champion Ross Dunkerton was Driver of Honour, and he was behind the wheel of a Datsun 240Z.  The 4WD Turbo class was gaining strength, however all the WRXs entered in the Touring category, which was also growing in popularity.  Winners were Brent Matthews and Sue Elliott in a Marcos Mini Jem.

2000 - New stages in 2000 included one in a new real estate development at Meadow Springs in Mandurah. A pair of Lamborghini Diablos helped draw crowds to spectator stages, as did the other exotic cars. The media got very excited when news got out that Hollywood actor Heath Ledger was in the support crew for his father Kim's entry.  Driver of Honour was successful lady rally driver Jacquie Dines, who entered in a 1949 MG TC. Oldest car entered was a splendid 1927 Bentley 4 1/2 litre Tourer.  The Touring class had grown to 40 percent of the field. Winners in 2000 were Stephen Andrews and Nick Gianco in a Subaru WRX STi - proving that with the handicapping system, any car could win, provided it was driven and navigated better than any other.

2001 - Australian racing legend Peter Brock was Driver of Honour in 2000, helping attract huge crowds to spectator stages in Perth and country areas. With Burswood Casino as the new sponsor for the event, the Classic Rally began with two stages at Burswood - one inside the Dome and one on a new road. The final stage was an outdoor autokhana at Burswood. All stages were new or very much changed from past years.  A lot of rain over the 3 days meant the officials had it tough, but the wet surfaces added an additional challenge for competitors. The Collie area was expanded to incorporate several new stages. Winners were Barry Hildebrand and Brad McDonald in a 1973 Datsun 240Z, with the Touring class won by Marc Drexel and Nigel Giles in a 1969 Porsche 911E.

2002 - John Goss was Driver of Honour for 2002, driving a 1975 Ford Falcon John Goss Special.  Sydney-based Goss had won Bathurst twice (Falcon and Jaguar), and had won the Australian Grand Prix in 1976 among his many successes.  Cars of note in the event included a Sunbeam Tiger, an Audi TT Quattro and a Smart - making the competition debut for the marque in Australia.  New stages included a hillclimb in Roleystone and a long closed-road sprint near Northam.  A huge autokhana inside the Burswood Dome was a highlight stage. There were 17 competition driving stages and seven navigation tests. For the first time, there were more cars entered in the Touring class than Navigation class. Winners of the Navigation class were Nick Rahimtulla and Andrew Stevens in a 1972 Alfa Romeo 2000GTV, and Touring were the Marc Drexel and Nigel Giles Porsche 911 combination for the second year.

2003 - Driver of Honour in the 2003 Burswood Casino Classic Rally was WA V8 Supercar driver Garth Tander.  Like many of the star drivers, it was his first foray into a Touring Road Event.  Ross and Lisa Dunkerton also entered, the first time they had competed together. An overnight stay on the Friday saw crews in Busselton for the second time in 12 years.  Several new stages were run over the 3 days.  Among these were the Auto-tests held at the Speed Dome in Midvale, and a reverse direction run at the Katrine Sprint near Northam.  Cars of interest participating included a twin-turbo Callaway Corvette, Lotus 340R and a new HSV GTO. The Touring category entries outnumbered Navigation entries considerably, with the winners being Daryl Sosa and Stirling Hamersley in a Mitsubishi Evo7 (Navigation) with Stephen Andrews and Jennifer Bingemann in a Subaru WRX STi winning Touring.



Pre-event information:

It’s back! Western Australia’s first and finest Touring Road Rally is back for a special Anniversary event...

In 1992 the first Touring Road Rally in WA, the Classic Rally was held. It was only the second event of its kind in Australia and attracted a great field of varied cars including several from interstate. That was the beginning of a great event that developed over the next decade.

Participants included legends such as Sir Jack Brabham, Peter Brock, actor Eric Bana, TV personality Glenn Ridge, Janet Holmes a Court, Garth Tander, Ross Dunkerton, John Goss and Rosemary Smith,  from Ireland who was the first woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship.

The event attracted an incredible variety of cars, from vintage Grand Prix Bugattis to a Ferrari F40 - and everything in between.

As many as 160 cars competed one year.

Stages were held in amazing locations, such as a motorkhana held in Forrest Place in the city centre, a hillclimb at Reabold Hill in Floreat and sprints at Whiteman Park and at the old Caversham circuit - the first time it had been used for motorsport since it closed since 1969. We held the first car events at what would become the Collie Motorplex and stages inside the Burswood Dome.

Many people used the Classic Rally as their introduction to motorsport, and many who’d competed years before in other forms found their way back. Certainly many great friendships were formed... See the Highlights from each year below.

And now, twenty years later, for a very special Anniversary event, the Classic Rally is back!

        Here's a link to YouTube showing Chanel 9s report on the very first Classic Rally in 1992 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXemPFhcbyg

        Ivan Tan driving in the Burswood Dome stage, 2002 Classic Rally - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNBrlIPRtOo

        Garth Tander's Monaro rips it up in the Fremantle stage, 2003 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPkwzCph8TI

To commemorate twenty years since the first Classic Rally, we’re going to recreate the wonderful aspects which people enjoyed so much... Excellent competitive stages will be a combination of different events - autokhanas, sprints and closed-road stages. Some of these will be at high profile locations, where we will expect to see very strong spectator crowds cheering the competitors on. We will include some of the stages which are best remembered from Classic Rallies past. There will also be some light navigation between the competition stages. With 20 competitive tests planned, the Classic Rally will prove challenging and exciting!

The core elements which always made the Classic Rally such a great event will be included. Excellent competition driving stages including some which past participants will remember – The Cut Sprint in Bunbury (longer and faster these days), huge cheering crowds at the Fremantle Autokhana… We will also use excellent facilities such as the Kwinana Motorplex. Many of the stages are designed to be spectator friendly stages, where free entry and a great array of cars competing is sure to attract crowds - ideal for your sponsors....

Yes, to answer the many questions we’ve had about it, there will be navigation tests interspersed between the speed events. Definitely not mind-bendingly difficult stuff, but challenging nonetheless... Even if half the field ‘clean-sheet’ the navigation, the event will be won or lost on the driving stages anyway.

Participants will enjoy a Saturday night away - in Bunbury. We will have a night stage... And lots of social activities throughout the Classic Rally - from an Opening Night Party on the Friday evening, a function on the Saturday night away and a big Gala Presentation Night Dinner... And decent, sit-down lunches at competition venues.

We would encourage you to get your entry in as soon as possible – it will make planning more easily done and time will fly - before we know it November will be upon us and the starter’s flag ready to drop.


Entries are open for the 2012 Classic Rally retrospective. We will strictly limit entries to 50 cars to ensure our schedule works best. The new low entry fee is now reduced to just $1875 per car (2 people). The entry fee includes all the driving events, social events, lunches both days, door stickers, Roadbooks, maps, Scrutineering & Registration and more. The insurer AASA per-car fee is $77. Optional accommodation is not included, details of which will be circulated to successful applicants.

Early entries include a great mix of cars - something the Classic Rally was famous for - Porsche, Lotus, Datsun, Ford, Lexus, Renault, Suzuki, Mustang, Nissan, Alfa Romeo, Subaru and HSV among them. There will be lots of trophy categories based on car age and engine size.

Spectator stage details

We have several stages which are suitable for spectators. In most cases they will run simultaneously with other stages which are not suitable for spectators. They are:


Speed Dome, Eastern end of Eddie Barron Drive, Midvale – 10.00-11.30am

Pinjarra Paceway, Greenlands Rd, Pinjarra – 1.30-2.00pm

Halifax Rd, cnr Juniper Way, Davenport, Bunbury – 2.30-4.00pm


                        Kwinana Motorplex, Anketell Rd, Kwinana – 12.30-3.00pm

Free entry to all spectator stages