Start of the 1962 Championship race held during the Longford Tasman Series meeting, an all Jaguar front row. Bob Jane Mk 2, Bill Pitt and Bill Burns in Mk 1’s from left to right…
The race was close fought with Jane winning from Pitt and Burns. Jaguar dominated the early years of the ATCC, winning the championship in its first four years. In those far away days the event was decided in one race!, a huge difference to the contemporary ‘V8 Supercars’ title which is decided over fourteen rounds, using three different race formats in Australia and New Zealand.
The inaugural championship was held at Gnoo Blas, Orange NSW, with victory going to David McKay’s Mk1, Bill Pitt prevailed at Lowood, Qld in 1961, similarly mounted and Bob Jane at Longford and Mallala, SA Mk2 in 1962/3.
1969 was the first year the title was decided over multiple rounds in five states, ‘Pete’ Geoghegan winning in his famous, second Ford Mustang.
Touring cars are not my thing, but these shots well and truly capture the ‘fun of the fair’ and a sense of Longford which is spoken about in reverential terms, if also in awe of its danger and technical difficulty by those lucky enough to have been or raced there.
As a postcript, Bill Burns very luckily survived a high speed multiple rollover in those pre-seat belt and rollbar days, two years later, 1964 at the end of the ‘Flying Mile’ just before Mountford Corner.
Unattributed shots via Ellis French, Geoff Smedley, Keverell Thomson Collection