geoff and jack

‘Cmon Dad £1 a week isn’t much…you know i’m saving for a racing car!? Lets cut a deal and then you can go back to qualifying ok?…’

I doubt he did the deal, Jack a notoriously tough negotiator and parsimonious, but Geoff did get his first racer, a Bowin P6F Formula Ford in 1974 and did rather well from there, Jack doing his bit along the way!

 

jack and geoff

Geoff’s first racing car drive? Jack clicking the watches at Oran Park, Sydney 16 August 1972. Car is the Jack Brabham Ford owned Bowin P4X normally raced by Bob Beasley, and in a bit of trivia, the car in which  Jack won his last single-seater race at Calder in 1971 in the ‘Race of Champions’ which pitted current and past stars against each other in FF’s (Getty Images)

brabham bowin p6f

Geoff Brabham in his Bowin P6F FF during his 1974 national campaign, F1 driver, Larry’s brother Terry Perkins won that year in an Elfin 620 (Bob Jane Heritage)

Brabham had done a few races in 1973 in an Elfin 620 FF but mounted a serious camapign for the Australian National FF title in 1974 driving John Leffler’s championship winning car from ’73. These Bowins were very advanced for their day; wedge shape, hip radiators and rising rate suspension front and rear, this in a car first built in 1972.So advanced were the cars that later Reynard designer, Malcolm Oastler was still winning in a P6F in 1983.

http://www.bowincars.org/mediawiki-1.6.12/index.php?title=Bowin_P6

Geoff progressed to Australian F2 in 1975 winning the title in a Birrana 274 Ford, ANF2 then was a 1.6 litre, DOHC 2 valve formula, effectively mandating the Lotus Ford twin cam engine, the ‘ducks guts’ variant, the ‘Hart 416B’ producing circa 205bhp.

This wings and slicks experience was important for Brabham in his UK F3 and US Super Vee racing in various Ralt RT1’s over the next 3 years.

brabham amaroo

Brabham, Birrana 274 leads the F2 field at Amaroo Park, Sydney in 1975. He won the title. Ray Winter Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ in 2nd and Andrew Miedecke Rennmax BN7 3rd, all Hart Ford powered. Birranas’ were jewels of cars built by Malcolm Ramsay and Tony Alcock in Adelaide between 1971 and 1974, around 21 were built; FF,F3,F2.Unable to make a $ in Oz they ceased construction, Alcock moved back to the UK joining Graham Hill and was on that fateful flight… (Unattributed)

gb raltrt1

GB BP British F3 Championship 1977. Brands Hatch 11 September. Ralt RT1 Toyota DNF in a race won by Derek Daly’s Chevron B38 Toyota. (David Lawson)

Brabham raced in the British F3 Championships in 1976 and 1977, moved to the ‘States in 1979 and won the Super Vee Championship in a Ralt RT1 also breaking into ‘big cars’ late that year with a Single Seat CanAm 5 litre Hogan HR001 Chev.

image

Who said spaceframes were a thing of the past in the elite categories by 1979? GB in his Hogan HR001 Chev, Riverside GP, 4th. Jacky Ickx heading out to practice behind in his Lola T333CS Chev, Jacky won the CanAm title that year. Al Holbert raced the Hogan for most of the year, but it wasn’t quick or reliable, GB drove it in the last 2 rounds. (Chris Nally)

brabham vds

VDS001 Chev, GB won the CanAm in this car in 1981. VDS raced the Lola T530 in the previous 2 years, this Trevor Harris designed car used the centre of a Lola T530 monocoque; the fuel cell, roll bar and engine mountings. Front suspension was T530 derived but the rest of the car, inclusive of Tony Cicale designed body was built at VDS California workshop. (Unattributed)

Over the following years he mixed Indycars and CanAm winning the 1981 Championship in Count Rudy Van der Stratens VDS Teams self built car, VDS001 having been quicker than teammate and 1980 Champion Patrick Tambay in identical Lola T530 Chevs in the second half of the season.

He raced Indycars from 1981 to 1987, and then periodically, in the early 90’s, in the last 4 years just competing at Indianapolis, his best Indy finish 4th in a VDS entered Penske PC10 Ford in 1983.

brabham indy car

VDS Racing Penske PC10 Ford, Q 26th finished 4th at Indy in 1983, his best result. (Unattributed)

In sports cars he was an ace, winning 4 IMSA GT Championships with various of Nissans sports cars run by ‘Kas’ Kastner in the US.

He competed at Le Mans with Nissan in 1989 and 1990 and was a logical choice for Renault as a safe, experienced, fast driver as part of the 1993 Peugeot Team to repeat the success of the year before, the 3.5 litre V10 905 Evo 1 a very quick car, in essence a 2 seat GP car. He won the race partnered by Eric Helary and Christophe Bouchot, taking a race win that Jack didn’t, JB wasn’t a LeMans regular but did compete with Matra in 1970, his final season in Europe. https://primotipo.com/2014/09/01/easter-bathurst-1969-jack-brabham-1970-et-al/

Jack settled the family in rural Wagga Wagga in New South Wales in 1971, well away from motor racing but it was not long before the pleasures of bucolic life, whatever they may be, were overwhelmed by the Brabham boys ‘need for speed’, all graduating from Australian Formula Ford to F3 in the UK in turn!

image

Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Le Mans 1993. GB won the race partnered by Eric Helary and Christophe Bouchot. Jean Todt popped him into the car for the final stint. (Unattributed)

Geoff Brabham returned to Australia in the early ’90’s racing both 2 litre ‘Super Tourers’ and ‘V8 Supercars’. He was runner up in both the 1995 and 1997 Super Touring Championship and won the 1997 Bathurst 1000 Super Touring race partnered by his brother David.

brabham in bmw

Mid 90’s in Australia in one of his BMW 2 litre ‘Super Tourers’. (Unattributed)

GB had a remarkably diverse career, as versatile in his time as Jack was in his, and a career of achievement especially if comparisons with his father, such a difficult act to follow, are put to one side!

The Brabham Racing Dynasty continues with Geoffs’ son Matthew finishing 4th in the 2014 Indy Lights Championship driving a Dallara Nissan for Andretti Motorsport. http://matthewbrabham.com/ David Brabhams’ son Sam is also competing and hoping to make the Le Mans grid this year…

Etcetera…

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Another angle of the wild VDS001 Chev in 1981. GB Used both this car and Lola T530 Chev to win the CanAm title that year. Circuit unknown. (Unattributed)

brabham ralt rt4

GB contested a few of our Formula Pacific Australian Grands Prix at Calder. Here Ralt RT4 mounted in 1983, he finished 4th in the race won by Roberto Moreno, also, inevitably in a Ralt! Alan Jones, Jacques Laffitte also contested the race. (John Brewer Collection)

brabham road america

GB at Road America IMSa 1992. Nissan NP91C 3rd behind 2 Eagle Mk3 Toyotas. (Mark Windecker)

905 drawing

1992/3 Peugeot 905 Evo 1. Carbon fibre chassis weighing 750Kg. ‘SA35’ 80 degree 3499cc DOHC 4 valve fuel injected V10. 670bhp@12500rpm. 6 speed ‘box.

Tailpiece…

geoff and jack moulton

Photo Credits…

Bernard Cahier, Chris Nally, Mark Windecker, RIAM Photo Archive, John Brewer Collection, David Lawson, Bob Jane Collection, Getty Images

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Comments
  1. graham64 says:

    Interesting to note the styling of the Bowen and Birrana – the Bowen was using the hip radiators introduced into Formula 1 by the Lotus 72, while the Birrana uses the shovel nose pioneered by the Tyrell 003 – both designers were obviously keeping an eye on overseas developments!

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