The Official Website For The Tasman Sydney Motor Sport Park

Posts Tagged ‘Single Seaters’

Category Focus: Groups Q and R


Groups  Q and R  is a popular category that covers historic racing and sports cars, but generally is full of single seaters.

1. Group Q  – 1970 – 1977

Historic Racing & Sports Cars with a competition history established between 1970-1977.

2. Group– 1977 – 1986

Historic Racing & Sports Cars with a competition history established after 1977.

Expect to see  Ralt RT1 and RT4s, Cheetahs, Brabhams, Chevrons, Elfins and March chassis. Engine capacity from 1.6 -2.0 litres.


Tasman Legends: Frank Gardner


Frank Gardner was a regular Tasman competitor throughout both the 2.5 litre and Formula 5000 Tasman Championships. He drove various cars for the Alec Mildren team in the ’60s and had the best overall Tasman record for “local” drivers. Mainly competed in Europe where he was regarded as one of the best test drivers and carried out these duties for the Lola factory.

He was best known as a Touring car racing and Sports car racing driver, but he also participated in nine World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 11 July 1964. He scored no championship points. Gardner also participated in numerous non-Championship Formula One races, including a third placing at the 1965 Mediterranean Grand Prix, fourth in the 1965 Race of Champions and third in the 1971 International Gold Cup.

In 1966 Gardner finished second in the 1000 km Spa round of the World Sportscar Championship. In 1967 he also finished second in the European Formula Two Championship and second in the British Autocar Formula 2 Championship. In 1970 he was third in the British Formula 5000 Championship and in 1971 was Champion.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Gardner had podium finishes in the Australian Grand Prix – second in 1966 and 1972 and a third in 1967. He finished third in the 1967 and 1972 Tasman Series. He won the British Touring Car Championship title on three occasions in 1967 (Ford Falcon Sprint), 1968 (Ford Escort) and 1973 (Chevrolet Camaro), and was runner-up in the BTCC in 1970. In 1975 he finished second at Bathurst in the Hardie-Ferodo 1000.

After returning to Australia in the mid-1970s Gardner won the 1977 Australian Sports Sedan Championship driving a highly modified Chevrolet Corvair. That championship victory led into a team management role when he retired from full-time driving. After running the Allan Grice Touring Car and Sports Sedan team in the late 70s, it rolled into a factory touring car preparation for BMW in the Australian Touring Car Championship, a team he would run from the programs toe in the water inception with a BMW 318i turbo Sports Sedan in 1980 all the way until 1987 when Gardner’s operation was unceremoniously replaced by Peter Brock’s former Holden Dealer Team operation, although that relationship broke down after a single season. During that time his team won the 1985 and 1987 Australian Touring Car Championships with Jim Richards. Shifting to a privateer Ford Sierra team Tony Longhurst and Tomas Mezera won the 1988 Bathurst 1000. When BMW returned to the Australian championship in 1991 it was with Gardner’s team. The factory BMW team continued with Gardner, switching to (Supertouring cars in 1994) at the helm until 1998, winning the 1994 (with Longhurst), 1995 and 1997 (with Paul Morris) Super Touring titles.

When the race team was shifted in 1998 Gardner became involved in driver training. Gardner passed away in August 2009.

Via: Wikipedia and 2008 Tasman programme.

Images: Autosport Forums

Category Focus: Formula 5000


Formula 5000, for pre 1978 racing cars,  is one of the most spectacular historic racing categories. F5000 cars were part of the Tasman Series from 1970 and helped build the legends of drivers like John McCormack, Graham McRae, Max Stewart, Frank Matich and Warwick Brown to name a few.

The category features an intoxicating mix of machinery including McLaren’s, Chevron’s, McRae’s, Surtees, Elfins, Beggs and the popular Lola T330, T 332’s and T430s.


Brian McInerney Photo Gallery: Tasman Series 1967 – 1969


Here are some wonderful images from the Tasman Series from 1967 – 1969 by photographer Brian McInerney.

They are an absolute treat, because this is the first time they have been published in any medium for 40 years.

Brian is a professional photographer and in the 1960s he was the young assistant photographer at Channel Seven in Sydney. For each of the Tasman Series races in 1967, 1968 & 1969 he acquired a press photographer’s pass and had complete access to the drivers and the track.

As a result he has a truly remarkable collection of images of the Tasman Series stars, including Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jochnen Rindt and the local heroes.

Brian is set to releases a series of Tasman Series framed prints, so watch this space.

Images: Brian McInerney, Fine Image Gallery ©

John Stanley Photo Gallery 2: Tasman Series 1966-1968


Here is another ripper set of photos from the brilliant John Stanley.

Included are some excellent shots of Jochen Rindt, Pedro Rodrigues, Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Piers Courage.

Visit Johns site at

Tasman Legends: Frank Matich


Always a very quick driver who often outqualified the overseas competitors in the ’60s , especially at Warwick Farm. He also competed in Formula 5000s, first in a McLaren and then in a Matich, a car he built and designed himself. A winner of the Australian Drivers Gold Star and twice winner of the Australian Grand Prix.

Here is a story about Matich by Ray Bell

“Anyone who followed racing in the sixties and early seventies knew the name of the best driver in Australia. Frank Matich. Undisputed, even though at times he was restricted to sports cars. Everyone knew that if he had an open wheeler he’d better everyone else. (more…)

Australian Grand Prix Warwick Farm 1971

WARWICK FARM:  36th Australian Grand Prix

Date: November 21 1971

Distance: 45 laps, 162.945 km (101.25 mi)

Frank Matich was favourite to take back to back Australian Grand Prix wins on home soil. He didn’t disappoint starting the race from pole and setting fastest lap to lead home Kevin Bartlett and Alan Hamilton in their McLaren M10B Chevys. (more…)

Category Focus: Formula Ford


Formula Ford has been a hugely popular series of racing in Australia for over 40 years.

The Historic Formula Ford Category caters for Formula Ford racing cars with competition histories from 1969-1983.

Chassis include Elfin, Lola, March, Bowin Reynard and Corsair.

For more information visit:


Peter Schell Photo Gallery: Tasman Revival 2006


A series of wonderful photos from Peter Schell. Tasman Revival Meeting 2006

Tasman Series: Australian Grand Prix Lakeside 1969

Round Five: LAKESIDE                 34th Australian Grand Prix

Date: 2nd February 1969

67 Laps of 2.4kms (160.8kms)

This year there was only one week between the last race in New Zealand and the Australian Grand Prix at Lakeside, Queensland. Unlike previous years when cars were freighted to Australia by sea, they now had to be sent by air, for the South African Grand Prix had forced the Australian three Tasman races forward one week to give to give two clear weeks between the last Tasman and the SAGP.

Only Ferrari and Piers Courage managed to get themselves sorted out in time, while Lotus had all sorts of problems with customs and freight. It was apparent that Ford Australia weren’t behind the Lotus effort this year, for they had to do most of their own organising right from administration down to transport for drivers and mechanics. Ferrari, on the other hand, had the services of David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce to help them over the tricky spots and this deal also included workshop space and transporters. No wonder the Ferraris were better prepared for Lakeside than Lotus. (more…)

Trent Wallis Photo Gallery: Tasman Revival 2008


Fabulous photo Gallery from the 2008 Tasman Revival Meeting.

Images: Trent Wallis

Car Profile: Ferrari 246T 0004


Owner: Graham Adelman – Virginia USA

Drivers: Graham Adelman / Rob Hall

This Ferrari was built in 1967 as a type 166 F2 car with a 1600cc V6 engine but was upgraded to 2.4 litre Tasman specification for the use of Chris Amon in the 1968 series.

Amon was runner up in the series to Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 with wins in the NZ GP at Pukekohe and at Levin, and second place finishes at Wigram and In the AGP at Sandown. The Sandown race was notable for a well remembered close battle in which Amon finished only 1/10 sec behind Clark in what was Jim’s last victory.

On its return from the Tasman series the car was converted back to 166 specification and was driven with some success by Tino Brambilla in European and South American F2 events during 1968 and 1969. It is one of only three Tasman Ferraris built and has been owned by various collectors in the USA since the early 1970’s.

Graham Adelman recently acquired one of the original 2.4 litre Tasman V6 engines and the Tasman Revival will see the cars first appearance since its restoration to full Tasman specification by Hall and Hall in the UK.

John Stanley Photo Gallery: Tasman Series 1968-1969


Here are a series of remarkable photos courtesy of John Stanley

Visit John’s site here

Tasman Series: Surfers Paradise 1968


Rothmans 100

Date: 11th February 1968

50 Laps of 3.219kms (160.950kms)

After a welcome two weeks’ break, the International drivers were soaking up the sun in Surfers Paradise, ready to meet the next four-week challenge in Australia. Chris Amon had a handy lead and only needed another win to put him in a hard position for anyone apart from Clark to catch. Graham Hill joined Jim Clark to make Team Lotus more formidable, and Richard Attwood arrived to team with Pedro Rodriguez in the BRM’s.

Hopes were high in all quarters. BRM, flushed with success at Teretonga, were looking forward to a more trouble free run in Australia. The Gold Leaf Team Lotus (as they were now known) were confident their two-man team would improve their already excellent chances of picking up points for the series, and Chris Amon had a new four-valve engine flown out which produced more power and gave the rear of the car more streamlining, owing to its compact shape. The Alec Mildren team now had two cars as well, as they brought Sydney driver, Kevin Bartlett, into the series in their older Brabham-Climax to back up Frank Gardner. Then there were the loners, Leo Geoghegan in the Lotus 39 Repco V8 and Greg Cusack in the Scuderia Veloce Brabham Repco V8. And right in there too just to upset the apple cart were those troublesome two, Piers Courage and Denny Hulme in the Formula Two cars which had proved so fantastically quick. (more…)

Tasman Revival 2006: Race Report


Over the years I’ve written quite a number of these race reports – you might think I’d be getting quite comfortable with the role by now.

But as I write this, my last report, it seems just as hard as the first time I wrote one while John Sexton was still editing this magazine. I think the fact that so much work, by so many people, went into the organisation of the Tasman Revival, I should really try to do it justice. Fact is, as so often happens, I didn’t get to see much. Luckily you will see that I’ve enlisted the help of some friends to add their comments. Nonetheless this will be less a race report and more just a series of observations. Maybe a future report?

And, as usual, you will find some details in some of the Group Gossip reports later in this magazine; in particular turn to Steve Wood’s coverage of the event where you’ll find some details of the racing amongst the cars that were the real feature of this event. (more…)

Tasman Revival 2008: F5000 Thunder from turn 9

Great clip of the F5000 monsters exiting the turn 9 hairpin.

Video: 2008 Tasman Revival, Repco Tasman Cup

Great piece of fan footage taken from the main straight grandstand. Turn it up.

Tasman Series: Warwick Farm 1968

Sydney Trophy

Date: 18th February 1968

45 Laps of 3.621kms (162.945kms)

Jim Clark and Graham Hill in the super-tough Lotus-Ford V8s drove a brilliant team race to completely overcome the opposition when the Tasman Series played to a crowd of over 35,000 at Sydney’s Warwick Farm. Clark the 100 mile race from start to finish, and moved into the points lead for the first time since the series started seven weeks earlier.

Run in 90 degree temperatures the race saw every Australian 2.5 litre car retire with mechanical failure, which gave local car honours to brilliant Italian-born Alfredo Costanzo in a 1.5 litre Elfin-Ford. During the race the circuit was awash with oil from the cars of such notables as Brabham, Geoghegan, Rodriguez and Gardner, but Brabham set a new outright record of 1:29.0 secs during a futile chase after pitting to replenish his oil supply. However, Australian Frank Matich broke Brabham’s new record when he took his SR3 Repco V8 on to a greasy circuit two races later and set an incredible new record of 1:28.5 secs despite an engine miss that has haunted the car. (more…)

Tasman Series: Longford 1964


1964 was the first season of the famous Tasman Series for 2.5 litre Formula One Cars.

The trip to the super fast 4.5 mile Longford circuit in Tasmania hosted an impressive entry list of cars and stars.

The Aussie attack was naturally spearheaded by Jack Brabham with support from Frank Matich and Bib Stillwell, all driving Repco Brabhams. Frank Gardner, Bill Patterson, John Youl and Lex Davison were all entered in Coopers.

The ever popular 1962 World Champion, Graham Hill was in attendance, no doubt being his witty and charming self. Hill was an early favourite,  running a Repco -Brabham BT4.

The Kiwi contingent included Bruce McLaren in a low slung Cooper T70, Tony Shelley in a Lola T4 and Jim Palmer in a Cooper T53.

The meeting got of to a somber start when US driver Timmy Mayer crashed heavily during second practice and died instantly. He was just 25.

Of course the show must go on and when the race began Jack Brabham hit the front with Hill and Matich in hot pursuit. (more…)