1936 Benalla Centenary Race

The 1936 Benalla Centenary Race was a motor race staged at the Benalla Circuit at Benalla in Victoria, Australia on Easter Monday, 13 April 1936.[1] The 100-mile race, which was organised by the Victorian Sporting Car Club, was open to cars of ‘all powers’.[2] It was contested on a handicap basis with the ‘Limit Man’, J O’Dea (MG), given a 20-minute start on the ‘Scratch Man’, Jack Day (Day Special”).[3] The race, which was organised to celebrate the centenary of the town of Benalla,[4] was claimed to be the first road race to be contested on the Victorian mainland.[5]

Australian motor race held in 1936

B Dentry (Riley Special), was flagged in as the winner of the race but rechecks after protests had been lodged saw the victory awarded to Les Murphy (MG P-type).[2] Further checks conducted overnight resulted in Vin Maloney (MG Magna) being declared the winner from Dentry and Murphy.[6]

. . . 1936 Benalla Centenary Race . . .

An MG Magna similar to that driven by race winner Vin Maloney
Position Driver[7] No. Car[7] Entrant Race time[6] Laps
1[6] Vin Maloney[4][6] MG Magna[6] 1:47:27 40
2[6] B Dentry[6] Riley Special[6] 1:44:11 40
3[6] Les Murphy[6][7] MG P-type[6] W Brown[7] 1:53:24 40
4[6] Bob Lea-Wright[6][7] Terraplane 1:39:14 40
5[6] J O’Dea[6] MG
 ? G Martin MG Magna[2]
 ? L Allen Singer
 ? W Hope Singer
 ? M Wreford Riley Imp
 ? C Keefer Riley Imp
 ? L Jackson Riley Imp
 ? B Tinckham Bugatti
 ? Harry Beith Terraplane
 ? K Latty Ford V8
 ? J Phillips Ford V8
DNF[2] A Roseborough Chrysler
DNF[2] Jack Day[3] Day Special 22[2]
DNF[2] H Reeve MG Magna[2] 18[2]


  • Attendance: More than 20,000 [6]
  • Total race distance: 40 laps, 100 miles [2] (160 km)
  • Number of starters: 18 [2]
  • Winner’s race time: 1:47:27 [6]
  • Fastest time: Bob Lea-Wright (Terraplane), 1:39:14[6]
  • Fastest lap: Jack Day (Day Special), 2:19, 65 mph [2]

. . . 1936 Benalla Centenary Race . . .

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. . . 1936 Benalla Centenary Race . . .