Bathurst son and father combination, Andrew and David Travis have claimed a remarkable third consecutive Classic Outback Trial and fourth in five attempts after winning the 2018 edition by more than nine minutes.
From winning the very first stage 7 days ago, the pair weren’t knocked off the top of the standings, and it was appropriate that they would also win the final stage of the rally on day 7. Despite strong opposition from both local and international crews in 2018 they showed they are the still the benchmark in endurance rallies with another masterclass performance. While the Mazda RX7 of Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney, had the most stage wins throughout the event (14), intelligent driving, consistent times and the bulletproof reliability of the Travis’ Nissan Gazelle was just too good for the competition.
International entries completed the podium with the Tuthill Porsche of Belgian’s Joost Van Cauwenberge and Jacques Castelein finishing second, while Viking Motorsport’s Jorge Perez Companc and Jose Volta (Escort RS1800) from Argentina bounced back from their retirement in 2016 to take the final step on the podium, 22 minutes behind the winners.
West Australian’s Shane Atwell and David Moir driving a 1971 Ford Falcon GT came home fourth, with the Datsun 1600 entered by Scouts NT and driven by Bryce Fullwood and Lachlan Casburn finishing a very commendable fifth. Michael Arundel/Simon Healey (Mustang), Pat and Brad Cole (Mercedes), Mark Pickering/Dave Boddy (Datsun), David Hills/Ben Richards (Escort RS1800) and Murray Young/Paul McBean (Datsun) completed the top 10.
Following their issues with a blown clutch on day 6, which saw Chris and Blake McCormack (Magna) lose the lead in Modern Competition, Peter Neal and Craig Whyburn successfully defended their victory from 2016 in their Subaru WRX, leading home the non-turbo Impreza of Peter Sweeney/Dan Murphy.