One of the highlights of staging the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland is getting to visit some amazing places and work with some awesome communities but Orbost has an extra special connection to the Alpine as it is the birthplace of Harry Firth.
The town of Orbost got right behind the event on the Friday and the feedback received was that our Rally visit gave them a great kick start to their summer season, after previously enduring a painful 3 years of bushfires, Covid and floods. They also created their own special “people’s choice” award for the day, in memory of their own local motorsport champion, and five time Alpine winner the legendary Harry Firth.
After seeing plenty of exciting action at the two spectator points on the day, and then the sensational film footage and interviews with the drivers via the Colin Clark video posts, they were unable to agree on a sole winner and have declared it a dead heat and will award two equal first people’s choice awards.
The first award has to go to the incredible vehicle that finally came back home 44 years after it’s virgin trip from Melbourne to Orbost in 1968, when it was on its test run for the London to Sydney Marathon, which is Car 59, the mighty XT GT Falcon belonging to the Reed family.
The next equal first place was decided after seeing the interview with a team that were having a pretty crappy day all round…they hadn’t finished a stage; had a pretty big off into the scrub; lost a shocker and a fender; had a flat tyre and now were down to no gears. But they said they will go back, rip the gearbox out and swap it, and then have another go. That Team is Car 14 Jeff Davies and Logan Waterhouse in the 1970 Datusn 1600.
Once again, Orbost says thanks to everyone involved with the Alpine Rally be they drivers, navigators, mechanics, organisers, officials, wives, husbands, and spectators. We had a ball having you and can’t wait to host you again, for another Harry Firth Award!