(B Thomas)

Kevin Bartlett delicately slides his way around Lakeside’s Eastern Loop during the 13 February 1967 ‘Lakeside 99’ Tasman round, Brabham BT11A Climax 2.5 FPF…

KB posted it on his Facebook page and unsurprisingly cites it as one of his favourite photos of the Alec Mildren owned car which was particularly kind to him. You might say it was the chassis in which he made his name at the top level, if not the car which won him titles.

That weekend he was fifth, second of the Climax engined cars home, and first Australian resident behind his teammate Frank Gardner who raced an F2 based Brabham BT16 FPF to third. Jim Clark won from Jack Brabham in Lotus 33 Climax FWMV V8 2 litre and Brabham BT23A Repco V8 ‘640’ 2.5, with Denny Hulme fourth in another Repco engined Brabham, a BT22.

Clark and Stewart tussled early but both P261 BRM’s driven by the Scot, and Piers Courage were outted by transmission failures, the bete-noire of the BRMs that Tasman squeezed to 2.1-litres as the little V8’s were.

In part the beauty of the shot is the bucolic background, devoid as it is of signage and spectators or their cars- it’s practice no doubt.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Bartlett’s skills here in the Mildren Alfa’s, https://primotipo.com/2014/11/27/the-master-of-opposite-lock-kevin-bartlett-alfa-romeo-gta/, here in the McLaren M10B, https://primotipo.com/2014/11/18/my-first-race-meeting-sandown-tasman-f5000-1972-bartlett-lola-and-raquel/ and perhaps most relevantly here about the Brabham BT11A, https://primotipo.com/2018/04/27/kbs-first-bathurst-100mph-lap/


Brier Thomas perhaps, none of us are sure. Bruce Wells, Warwick Farm Facebook page


(B Wells)

In similar fashion to the shot above but a week later at Warwick Farm’s Esses during the AGP weekend. Sixth in that  race was a great result for the Sydneysider with a broken front roll bar and a gear-lever sans knob. Stewart’s BRM P261 won from Clark and Gardner.

Postscript: The Maestro didn’t always geddit right…


Warwick Farm 1967 Tasman round practice- magic car and driver.


  1. Safety, what safety?? No seat belt, roll bar below head height, exposed steel guard rail opposite, shall we go on? Ah, thems were the days……

  2. Rod Callaghan says:

    I can remember a photo of KB in the Yellow Submarine on full lock and with one arm well up in the air: it must have been a bit crowded in there!
    If someone has a copy of that photo could they post it please. – I’d love to see it again

  3. Lynton Hemer says:

    I love the symmetry in the two oversteer shots.
    Photos of Open Wheelers like these became difficult to take once the use of slick tyres became established.
    I positioned myself at Energol Corner at Oran Park during practice at the 1970 Gold Star round precisely to catch Max Stewart sliding the Mildren Waggott up out of the sweeper on opposite lock.
    He had his right hand up in the air out of the way, as you describe, Rod.
    The posture was repeated throughout the race, so the pleasure continued.
    A year later I was there again, but Max was on slicks, so the moment had gone.
    When I posted a photo of the ‘arm in the air/one-handed slide’ on Fbook a couple of years ago, there were several doubters, suggesting that he was on a slowdown lap.
    So….I posted three more ….just to make my point.


    • markbisset says:

      I should have put one below the other now you say it! I could but it’s a pain in the arse rewriting it.
      One hand technique reminds me of Leffo…
      At Calder circa ‘75 he did the ANF2 round in Paul England’s Brabham/Dolphin. You could see into the cockpit from the mound on the entry to the second gear final right-hander. He would slide the thing on exit – then take his right hand off the wheel, and correct with the lower, left hand – magic, lap after lap.
      R.I.P John Leffler.

  4. Martin says:

    Thanks Mark, a fabulous shot.
    When too much KB/Mildren, ……..is barely enough.
    As BT11a chassis IC-3-64 was used for the Maserati engine, a gentle reminder.
    Patiently waiting for you article about the Brabham Maser.

    I also recall being at Oran Park, and watching Kev and Max both sliding “one-handed” out of Energol onto the straight, awesome car control.


    • markbisset says:

      There ain’t no such thing as too much Mildren.
      You might want to buy next week’s Auto Action #1814, I am reliably informed there may be a 2,100 word feature on that chassis, with that engine installed!

      • Martin says:

        Mark, that was kinda spooky.
        I ask when you might finish the Brabham Maserati article, and you’ve only just finished it, and its published in Auto Action!

        Thanks, it’s a great read. I started to wonder what happened to it, at about the time that the restored BT23D turned up at EC Historics.
        You’ve answered outstanding questions, like what happened to the Maserati engine, and found some fabulous photos some of which I hadn’t seen before.
        Not being at WF practice, image how disappointed I was on race day, when Frank Gardner lines up on the grid in a green yellow nosed Brabham, and it dosen’t have a Maserati engine!

        How did you mange to get an article about a “door-less” race car that didn’t actually race published in Auto Action? Are you black-mailing the editor?


      • markbisset says:

        Hi Martin,

        Yes, it’s one of my favourite obscurities, even though it didn’t race.
        I suspect, but don’t know that Alec probably had use of the engine free, he would have been up for the parts to repair it of course. Maybe if Maserati did not have their Cooper commitments in 1966-7 they could have committed the resources to sort the carburetion/throttle linkage issues. But they had bigger fish to fry, Mildren needed a bespoke chassis too – he could have bought a T81, Cooper sold several customer cars – but that didn’t happen.
        As you know, he stuck with Climax engines in ’67 then went Alfa T33 V8 power in 1968 and 1969 with plenty of Gold Star, if not Tasman success – those Lotus’ and Ferraris were always going to be tough to toss of course.

        Auto Action has been owned for about 5 years now by Bruce Williams, who has raced at elite level in Auscar, maxi-taxis and other stuff with lids on circuit, tarmac and dirt, but he also did a season of Formula Holden in the late nineties before his sponsor went bang, and four or so seasons in unlimited Sprintcars. He still has a TCM Torana.

        He is a racing nutter with diverse tastes, albeit the maxi-taxi mob are the dominant purchasers of AA. Skip the first 6-pages of that shit and there is heaps of interesting local and international modern stuff. I must have written about 10 1,700-3,500 word features now, since November – the monthly ‘chronometric’ column has been going for three months.

        Williams is a commercial beast, as am I. Either sales increase as a result of the old-shite’s presence. Or not – in which case we will be out.

        It’s that simple really.

        There is no such thing as too much Mildren…


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