Aaltonen to revive Southern Cross Rally memories

Rauno Aaltonen will return to Australia for the 50th year celebrations of the Southern Cross Rally

Rauno Aaltonen will return to Australia for the 50th year celebrations of the Southern Cross Rally

Former rallying legend and Bathurst winner Rauno Aaltonen will make a rare return to Australia as ambassador for the inaugural Southern Cross Rally Festival.

The nine-day festival is scheduled to start on October 21 in Melbourne ahead of touring road activities on October 24.

Aaltonen’s involvement appropriately coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the first Southern Cross Rally which came shortly after the Finn won Bathurst (Gallaher 500) in a BMC Mini Cooper S with Bob Holden.

The now 78-year-old will travel to Australia from his home in Turku, Finland.

Following the Southern Cross Rally Festival event, many of the participants including Aaltonen and Holden will be involved in a tribute at the Muscle Car Masters meeting on October 30.

The pair will take part in a parade of Minis which took the first nine places in the Gallaher 500.

Aaltonen is widely regarded as the greatest Mini driver in history with 41 factory outings resulting in 8 overall victories and 14 class victories.

The Southern Cross International Rally is fondly remembered as part of Australia’s rich motor racing history with the final edition staged in 1980.

The Director and Clerk of the Course for the Southern Cross from 1972-1977 Dan White, and Rosie, have designed the program of activities for the 2016 Southern Cross Rally Festival.

CLICK HERE for more information including details of the rally route.

 

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