Round Five: WARWICK FARM
Sydney Grand Prix
Date: 14th February 1965
45 Laps of 3.621kms (162.945kms)
The 1965 International 100 at the Farm was a notable triumph for the flying Scotsman Jim Clark, who not only established lap and race records, but overcame the loss of third gear very early in the race.
Clark had been in devastating form leading up to the International, with three consecutive wins in the Tasman series, but at the unofficial practice session on the Friday, the leading drivers had sounded a warning that Clark wouldn’t have things all his own way. First, Graham Hill, had scorched round in 1:35, well inside the 1:37.4 record, and he was closely followed by Frank Matich, 1:35.6. Bib Stillwell got down to 1:34.8 and McLaren returned 1:35.8, Clark replied with a 1:34.7 lap. This spurred Graham Hill to a 1:34.2 lap in the next session and Matich to 1:34.3. Matich cut his time to 1:32.8, Hill returned an even 1:33, and Clark and Brabham 1:33.5.
At the end of the day, it was apparent that several cars were suffering from overheating due to leaking sealing rings, and there was some concern that compressions were too high for the 100-octane fuel.
At the first official practice session on Saturday, Hill changed to 5.50 tyres on the front and went out to equal Matich’s best time of 1:34.2. Jack Brabham was officially credited with a 1:34.6 lap, which his pit crew had clocked at 1:34.2. Clark was lapping at about 1:35, and there was no joy for the McLaren team of Bruce McLaren and Phil Hill, whose oversized 15-inch Firestone tyres were inhibiting the Coopers’ performances.
It appeared that the three Repco-Brabhams would start off the front line, but in the final practice session Clark whipped round in 1:34.5, relegating Jack Brabham to the second row of the grid.
The qualifying order was: Frank Matich (Repco-Brabham-Climax), Graham Hill (Repco-Brabham Climax), Jim Clark (Lotus-Climax 2.5), Jack Brabham (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Bruce McLaren (Cooper Climax 2.5), Frank Gardner (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Bib Stillwell (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Lex Davison (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Jim Palmer (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Phil Hill (Cooper Climax 2.5), Greg Cusack (Repco-Brabham Ford 1.5), Roly Levis (Repco-Brabham Ford 1.5), Kerry Grant (Repco-Brabham Climax 2.5), Rocky Tresise (Cooper Climax 2.5), Leo Geoghegan (Lotus 32-Ford 1.5), Greg McLelland (Repco-Brabham Ford 1.5), David Walker (Repco-Brabham Ford 1.5), Glyn Scott (Lotus 27-Ford 1.5), Collerson (Repco-Brabham Ford 1.5).
Race day on Sunday was hot and clear. The start was delayed while spectators were cleared from the Creek hairpin. First off the mark was Matich, from Clark and Hill, but at Creek, Hill outbraked the other two to take a slight lead. Behind him the field was closely packed.
At the end of lap two, Clark raised three fingers to indicate he’d lost third gear. He was two seconds behind Hill at this stage and having to rely on the torque of the Climax engine to supply enough power to enable him to use fourth gear from the hairpin to the straight.
The over-sized tyres on McLaren’s Cooper were already proving a handicap and he’d lost his fourth spot, passed first by Brabham, then Stillwell. In fact, both the McLaren Coopers were early retirements – Phil Hill’s with a broken rear axle shaft on lap eight, and Bruce McLaren’s a lap later with piston failure.
Davison had been first out of the race with a broken steering wheel spoke, and another early retirement was Kerry Grant, with a broken valve spring. Clark had a stroke of luck when his air-intake picked up a sheet of loose paper, which fortunately didn’t blow inside but remained just draped over the edge.
After 15 laps Hill led Clark, but spun on Polo Corner, losing half a minute. Later, he ruined any chances of catching up when he completely misjudged Leger.
Gardner came into the pits on lap 20 for a plug change, losing three laps. At this point, Hill held a 2.6second margin over Clark, with Brabham four seconds back in third place. Three laps later and Clark had narrowed the margin to less than two seconds, with Brabham now six seconds away. But Hill opened the gap again with a 1:34.4 lap, with Brabham dropping off further, 10 seconds behind Clark.
Then Clark attacked. Lap by lap he closed the gap, until Hill led by only one second on lap 33. Behind them, only 10 other cars remained in the race, spread over four laps.
On lap 36 Clark made his move at the Hairpin, and at the pits he had opened up a 1.4 second break on Hill. He continued to pull away, despite several sub-35 laps by Hill. Brabham headed the remainder, 27 seconds back, followed by Matich, Stillwell and Palmer. In the 1500 class, Roly Levis was chasing Leo Geoghegan. The New Zealander took Geoghegan at Paddock Bend and drew away to an eight-second lead, which he maintained to the line.
Into the last lap, Clark had an unbeatable six-second lead over Hill, and the placings seemed a formality. But at Polo, Hill spun and stalled. So, Clark went on to take the flag, 62 seconds ahead of Brabham. There were five seconds to Matich and a 30second gap to Stillwell. Eleven seconds later Hill arrived, having been helped by officials to get the engine restarted. Jim Palmer was next. Roly Levis led home the 1500s from Geoghegan and Cusack.
Jim Clark covered the 100 miles in one hour 11 minutes 6.8 seconds at an average speed of 85.4 mph. He set a new lap record of 1:33.7. It was to be the first of three years in which he dominated international racing at the Farm.
|1||Jim Clark||Scot||Lotus 32B / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||45||1hr 11m 06.8s|
|2||Jack Brabham||Aust||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||45||1hr 12m 08.1s|
|3||Frank Matich||Aust||Brabham BT7A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||45||1hr 12m 13.5s|
|4||Bib Stillwell||Aust||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||45||1hr 12m 44.1s|
|5||Graham Hill||UK||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||45||1hr 12m 55.6s|
|6||Jim Palmer||NZ||Brabham BT7A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||44|
|7||Roly Levis||NZ||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||43|
|8||Leo Geoghegan||Aust||Lotus 32 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||43|
|9||Rocky Tresise||Aust||Cooper T62 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||42|
|10||Greg Cusack||Aust||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||42|
|11||David Walker||Aust||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||41|
|12||Glyn Scott||Aust||Lotus 27 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||41|
|Ret||Frank Gardner||Aust||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||26||Engine|
|Ret||Kerry Grant||NZ||Brabham BT4 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||15||Oil Pressure|
|Ret||Barry Collerson||Aust||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||12||Mechanical|
|Ret||Bruce McLaren||NZ||Cooper T79 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||10||Piston|
|Ret||Geoff McClelland||Aust||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1495cc 4cyl||9||Overheating|
|Ret||Phil Hill||US||Cooper T70 / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||9||Suspension|
|Ret||Lex Davison||Aust||Brabham BT4 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||4||Broken Steering|