Posts Tagged ‘1968 ‘Warwick Farm 100’’

(B Jackson)

Alec Mildren Racing prepare their steeds prior to the 1968 ‘Warwick Farm 100’ Tasman round held on 18 February 1968…

That’s Kevin Bartlett steering his Brabham BT11A Climax through the dummy grid area back into the paddock- the car in the distance is Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo.

35,000 people attended the meeting on a glorious Sydney summers day during which Jim Clark led from pole and won from his teammate Graham Hill aboard Team Lotus Lotus 49 Ford DFWs- I’ve done this meeting to death already here; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/14/warwick-farm-100-tasman-series-1968/

and here; https://primotipo.com/2018/08/01/warwick-farm-100-1968-take-three/

but these photographs uploaded by enthusiast Glenn Paine on behalf of the late ‘snapper, Brian Jackson were too good to waste.

(B Jackson)

 

Bartlett and Mildren plotting the next chassis adjustment (B Jackson)

As most of you know, KB graduated to the BT11A after ‘Frank had finished with it’- and went like a jet in it, click here for a story about that; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/27/kbs-first-bathurst-100mph-lap/

The one-off Brabham BT23D Alfa was Alec Mildren’s response to the growth of multi-cylinder engines, as in more than four, in the Tasman Cup, as an Alfa Romeo Dealer Autodelta were more than happy to build some special 2.5 litre versions of their Tipo 33 sportscar V8- that engine story is here; https://primotipo.com/2018/11/30/motori-porno-alfa-romeo-tipo-33-tasman-2-5-litre-v8/

FG looks happy enough, note the ‘Buco’ helmet and driving gloves, Glenn Abbey is the lanky chap attending to the car. BT23D was a one-off but built on Ron Tauranac’s F2 BT23 spaceframe chassis jig. Conventional outboard suspension front and year, no belts- they would become common throughout this year though (B Jackson)

 

Business end- Hewland FG200 five speed transaxle and twin distributors to fire two plugs per cylinder in amongst the shade (B Jackson)

There are not too many folks around at all- perhaps its the Thursday prior to the meeting. A quick look at the Australian Motor Racing Annual race report covers plenty of tyre drama pre-race as a shipment of Goodyears had not arrived in Australia which meant that Goodyear contracted drivers such as FG and Jack Brabham plumped for Firestones come raceday. Both the Mildren cars are fitted with Goodyears in these shots but that delay left ‘Bartlett and Hulme as the only Goodyear equipped cars’.

It wasn’t a great race for the team- KB started from row five with Geoghegan, Lotus 39 Repco and Attwood, BRM P126 V12 and retired with half-shaft failure at Polo on lap 34 whereas FG started from row three alongside Greg Cusack, Brabham BT23A Repco and John Harvey, Brabham BT11A Repco, and, having run as high as fifth retired on lap 40 ‘with a very oily-looking rear end’.

Abbey and BT23D, Mildren were a BP sponsored team throughout, nice Holden EH- it’ll be either light brown or light green with that white roof Holden fans? (B Jackson)

Etcetera…

(B Jackson)

KB swapping notes with Jim Clark and Graham Hill with his back to us- is that Rana Bartlett at right? The Team Lotus duo raced Lotus 49s fitted with Ford Cosworth 2.5 litre ‘DFW’ engines that summer.

Credits…

Brian Jackson

(B Jackson)

These engines were very successful for Mildren- they never took a Tasman round victory but Bartlett won the Gold Star in the BT23D in 1968 and the Mildren Yellow Submarine in 1969- albeit that year the Waggott TC-4V engine also chipped into the pointscore- not to forget KB’s 1969 Macau GP win.

All alloy 90 degree, Lucas fuel injected 2.5 V8 with twin, chain driven overhead camshafts per bank and two valves per cylinder, twin plugs per cylinder fired by Marelli distributors. Note the oil filter, very tricky pipe work to get the exhausts to the right length and clear the frame tubes and tachometer drive off the end of the camshaft.

Tailpiece…

(B Jackson)

Finito…

Graham Hill, works Gold Leaf Team Lotus 49 Ford 2.5 DFW in the Warwick Farm pitlane during the ‘Farm’s February 1968 Tasman Round weekend…

I’ve done the 1968 Tasman Series to death with a series of articles uploaded before including one on this particular weekend but this batch of ‘up close and personal’ photos by enthusiast Bryan Henderson are too good to ignore.

One of the reasons enthusiasts get misty eyed about that series is that both Clark and Hill had been regular, enormously popular visitors to Australasia from the dawn of the sixties pre-Tasman era, 1968 was the last we had the pair of them down south together.

Clark won the Tasman with the still very new Lotus 49 in dominant fashion and then returned to Europe after winning the series and the F1 season opening South African GP to his untimely death aboard a Lotus 48 Ford FVA during a Euro F2 round at Hockenheim. In the words of The Seekers popular song of the day ‘The Carnival Is Over’.

Hill, WF- this shot 1969

 

Clark and Hill, Lotus 49’s, Amon Ferrari Dino 246T, then Courage behind Clark, McLaren M4A FVA and Hulme, Brabham BT23 FVA with Gardner, Brabham BT23D Alfa  behind Denny

We all have our favourite seasons of course but arguably that summer of ’68 was the Tasman peak.

The variety of cars was truly stunning- BRM P261 V8 and P126 V12, Ferrari Dino V6, Brabham Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8, the Lotus 49 Ford V8’s, various Brabham Repco V8’s including Jack’s latest works BT23E Repco ‘740’ V8 and a swag of Coventry Climax FPF engined machines in the hands of locals. The driving pool included just annointed World Champ Denny Hulme, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren, Richard Attwood, Chris Irwin, Frank Gardner, Piers Courage and local hotshoes Kevin Bartlett, Leo Geoghegan, John Harvey, Graeme Lawrence and others. An amazing variety of cars and depth of talent on the grid…

Etcetera…

(B Jackson)

Things go better with…

Graham and the boys bleed the Lotus’ brakes, note the use of a solid rotor rather than the vented discs used initially in 1967. Nice shot of the front bulkhead and inboard front suspension packaging.

Credits…

All photographs- Bryan Henderson, exceptions attributed on the shot

Tailpiece: To the victor the spoils…

Stilrling Moss, long retired but looking disgustingly fit addresses the crowd in advance of presenting Jim Clark his trophy- he won from Graham and Piers Courage in an F2 McLaren M4A Ford FVA. The gent in the shirt and dark tie is the much respected Geoff Sykes, the AARC/Warwick Farm General Manager/Promoter.

Wonderful times…

Finito…

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Blondie surrounded by World Champs; Messrs Hulme, Hill and Clark, Melbourne, 1968…

Ford Australia’s 1967 ‘XR’ Falcon was a big step forward in its market competition with General Motors ‘Holden’ who had a dominant position.  The XR GT packed a 289cid V8 and started the trend of local pony cars which provided wonderful road cars and iconic Bathurst racers for years.

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Barry Cassidy, Ford Falcon ‘XR’ GT, Newry Corner, Longford March 1968 (oldracephotos.com)

This photo is no doubt part of Ford’s ongoing repositioning of their product, ‘Going Ford is the Going Thing’ was FoMoCo’s ‘tag line’ of the day.

‘Blondies’ car is the 1968 ‘XT’ Falcon 500 ‘poverty pack’. A 302cid V8 was cranked under the bonnet to create the GT, a 4 speed box, slippery diff and front disc brakes with firmer springs and shocks completed the performance makeover. This was the only one of the ‘Big Henrys’ which didn’t win the Bathurst enduro classic. An ‘HK’ Holden Monaro 327 coupe driven by Bruce McPhee took the ’68 win.

‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ is the adage…

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The Spencer Martin/Jim McKeown XT Ford Falcon GT auto!,Bathurst 500 1968. The pair were 42nd, the highest placed Ford was the XR GT driven by McIntyre/Stacey which was 7th (unattributed)

The local ranges of Ford and Holden were full of mundane stodge in 1966, perhaps the Cortina GT the ‘highlight’. Times ‘were a changin tho’, by 1970; Ford offered the Falcon 351V8 GT/GTHO, Lotus engined Escort Twin-cam, Capri GT V6 and 1600GT and Holden the Monaro HG 350V8 and Torana XU1 which sported a 186cid ohv triple-carbed straight six, all wonderful cars for 13 year olds to dream about…

ford

Ford Oz ad for the 1972/3 ‘XA’ Coupe GT; 351cid 300bhp V8, 4 speed ‘top loader’ box, slippery diff, disc/drum brakes, great cars!

Ford provided some support to Team Lotus who campaigned Lotus 49 DFW’s for both Jim Clark and Graham Hill during the ’68 Tasman Series which Clark won.

The Falcon shot at the articles start has Victorian plates so the shot was probably taken in the week of 25 February to 4 March 1968. Clark took the Sandown, Victorian round. The world champs were then in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Longford, Tasmania for the series ending race won by Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A FVA F2 car in a stunning wet weather drive.

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Clark ahead of Graham Hill, slices into The Esses during the ‘Warwick Farm 100’, another win for the Scot’s Lotus 49, he took the ’68 Tasman (oldracephotos.com)

Credits…

Ford Australia, oldracephotos.com

brabham op circuit

(R Rice)

Jack Brabham shakes down his 1968 Tasman contender the Brabham BT23E Repco for Sydney’s media at Oran Park, 14 February 1968…

Nestled in the back is Repco’s latest ‘RB740’ 275bhp 2.5 litre V8, the Tasman variant of Brabham’s successful 1967 F1 3 litre (330bhp) engine. Denny Hulme took the drivers title from Jack in a BT24, with Brabham Repco winning the constructors championship for the second year on the trot.

jack, op

Brabham in the OP pitlane February 1968 (R Rice)

 

barbham op

Jack Brabham at Oran Park, Sydney 1968. He might have raced a Holden touring car there in the mid-seventies but didn’t in his ‘heyday’. Built in the 1960’s 60Km west of Sydney near Camden, OP was extended in 1974 hosting the F5000 1974 and 1977 AGP’s. Subsumed by Sydney’s western sprawl ‘Oran Park Town’ will house around 25,000 people (R Rice)

 

BT23E being fettled probably in Sydney during the Warwick Farm weekend, Jack hands on as ever,  RBE740 2.5 V8, Hewland FT200 gearbox (unattributed)

The Brabham BT23E/1was again built on Ron Tauranac’s BT23 F2 jig and powered by a 2.5-litre Repco V8- as it was for the BT23A he campaigned in the 1967 Tasman before its sale to David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce- BT23A used RBE640’s throughout the 1967 Tasman whereas BT23E used both RBE740 and a new design- the RBE830 (short F1 block and between the Vee crossflow, SOHC, two valve heads) on raceday at Sandown.

Jack Brabham made limited appearances in the 1968 Tasman series, he raced the BT23E twice, at Warwick Farm and Sandown Park in February.

bt 23e wf

(Brian McInerney)

Brabham in BT23E in the Warwick Farm pitlane several days after the cars Oran Park shakedown.

The car in front of Jack’s is Pedro Rodriguez’ BRM P261, behind him is the nose of Piers Courage’s McLaren M4A Ford FVA F2 car, third in the race. Jack was seventh in the ‘Warwick Farm 100’ on 18 February, Jim Clark ran away with the race from teammate Graham Hill’s identical Lotus 49 Ford DFW. Click here for an article on this meeting;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/14/warwick-farm-100-tasman-series-1968/

At Sandown on 25 February Clark again won the race and the title, Jack’s new Repco ‘830’ engine failed. It was a bit of a portent of the F1 year he and Jochen Rindt were to experience with the Repco engines.

The Ford Cosworth DFV, in its second year, challenged the new quad-cam 32 valve Repco RB860 V8, its fragility was as problematic as its RB620 and 740 brothers had been reliable…

Sandown AGP 1968. Clark, Lotus 49 Ford DFW, Chris Amon, Ferrari Dino 246T and Jack in BT23E/1. Row 2 is Graham Hill and Leo Geoghegan in Lotus 49 Ford DFW and Lotus 39 Repco 740 respectively. The other glimpse of a car beside the fence is Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT23D Alfa. Jim won in a thriller diller of a race by a ‘bees-dick’ from Chris (HAGP)

 

RBE830 engine cobbled together to fit in the BT23E frame- the blocks were different, note oil cooler and breather arrangements (R MacKenzie)

The car was then sold to Bob Jane Racing and driven by John Harvey, but he was injured in a massive accident in practice on his first outing in the car at Bathurst during the Gold Star meeting.

It was repaired before Harvey recovered from the life threatening accident, which was a bumma for John but also in terms of the ’68 Gold Star competition, it would have been great to have Harves give Kevin Bartlett, who won that year in Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo Tipo V8 a run for his money- Leo raced his ex-Clark Lotus 39 Repco.

Bob Jane gave Ian Cook a run in the car at Lakeside in July and then by Allan Moffat at Sandown Park in August, Moffatt crashed it again and it was out of action until the 1969 Tasman series. Moffat had returned to Australia after making a strong name for himself in the US in the two years before in Lotus Cortinas, a Ford Mercury Cougar in late 1967 and sharing a works Shelby Mustang at Daytona and Sebring in the first quarter of 1968.

Harvey in the bi-winged Brabham BT23E 740 at Bathurst Easter 1969 before the big accident caused by upright failure, the mangled mess is shown below. The car was run in this form only once (oldracephotos.com)

 

(J Davis)

 

(D Harvey)

 

Harvey and the marshalls push BT23E 740 to the inside on the run out of Dandenong Road at Sandown in February 1969- Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 49B Ford DFV sings past (R MacKenzie)

When John and the car were ready to race again he contested Bob Jane Racing’s home race at Sandown but failed to finish after having engine problems.

Harvey raced it through the 1969 Australian Gold Star series, winning at Sandown in September and finishing second at Bathurst at Easter but retired from four races- due to oil pressure at Symmons Plains, undisclosed engine problems at Mallala, a cam-follower at Surfers Paradise and an accident in practice at Warwick Farm. Kevin Bartlett won his second Gold Star in 1969 aboard the Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Alfa from Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco and Max Stewart in the other Alec Mildren entry, the Mildren Waggott TC-4V 1.9 litre.

During this period the car evolved in look a lot- constant experimentation with wings and engine- Bob Jane acquired the latest circa 300bhp RBE830 series V8 prior to the commencement of the Gold Star, the team yielded a performance dividend but not a reliability one. Repco Brabham Engines’ Rodway Wolfe recalls being instructed to give the two works RBE830 engines used by Jack Brabham in his little raced 1969 Tasman campaigner, the Brabham BT31 to Jane after Jack’s last event with that car- a win in the 1969 Easter Bathurst Gold Star round, so Bob/Harvey should have had the best of Repco Tasman V8s.

Harvey, BT23E, Warwick Farm 1970 (R Thorncraft)

 

Harvey, BT23E 830, Warwick Farm 100 Tasman round 1970. That neatly integrated engine cover/cowling wing assembly was fabricated by ex-Repco man John Brookfield in Melbourne (D Simpson)

Formula 5000 cars were eligible to enter the 1970 Tasman Series but despite that a good 2.5, or 2.4 litre car in fact won the championship- Graeme Lawrence won in the same V6 Ferrari Dino 246T chassis Chris Amon used to win in 1969. Bob Jane Racing entered only the Warwick Farm and Sandown rounds- Harves was a good fifth at the Farm where KB won in the Sub 2 litre Waggott powered whereas at Sandown he had an oil leak and retired the car- Niel Allen won ina McLaren M10B Chev.

He raced BT23E in the first round of the 1970 Gold Star series, winning at Symmons Plains in March from Leo Geoghegan and Kevin Bartlett but from the following round at Lakeside the teams front line tool became the Jane-Repco 830 V8- a machine built on Bob Britton’s Brabham BT23 jig but optimised to suit the latest generation of Firestone tyres- with more reliability Harvey had the speed to win the Gold Star that year. The story of that year is told here; https://primotipo.com/2019/07/05/oran-park-diamond-trophy-gold-star-1970/

After the sale of the car by Bob Jane it was converted to an F2 car with a Ford twin-cam engine and raced by Woody Curran in Tasmania from 1970-1977, it was sold to Bill Marshall who restored and historic raced passing via Ray Delaney into the hands of Art Valdez in the United States, and then a consortium in the UK in 2017, in more recent times it was acquired by Australian racer/restorer Aaron Lewis who has rebuilt it in RBE830 engined form.

Symmons Gold Star round 1970. From left Leo Geoghegan, Lotus 39 Repco 730, Kevin Bartlett, Mildren ‘Sub’ Waggott TC-4V 2 litre- Max Stewart on the row behind in the Mildren Waggott TC-4V 2 litre and John Harvey, Brabham BT23E Repco 830. Harvey won from Geoghegan, Bartlett and Stewart (H Ellis)

The last few races for the BT23E in its Repco heyday seem to be the 1970 Symmons Plains Gold Star round (above) on 2 March 1970, the ANF1 races during the Easter Bathurst meeting (no longer a Gold Star round due to safety issues) and finally the ANF1 races held during the RAC Trophy sportscar championship meeting (below) at Warwick Farm on May 3 1970

Harvey, BT23E 830 in its final front-line Repco engine race at Warwick Farm on 3 May 1970 (R MacKenzie)

 

(M Bisset)

 

(M Bisset)

Aaron Lewis’ restoration of the car is superb, as shown it is fitted with an RBE830 2.5 litre V8 and sans wings- that is the specification in which it raced in the 1968 Sandown AGP. This is the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings in Carlton during ‘Motorclassica’ in October 2018.

Surrounding cars include the ex-Alan Jones Williams FW07 Ford, the green ex-Nelson Piquet 1981 AGP Ralt RT4 Ford BDA, ‘Ansett’ Elfin MR8 Chev F5000 and red Allan Hamilton owned McLaren M10B F5000.

Etcetera…

(oldracephotos.com

Bob Jane Racing Council of War at Symmons Plains in March 1970, I guess that weekend they may have run the Shelby Mustang, Brabham, McLaren M6B Repco sporty and a series-production Monaro GTS350 perhaps.

Bob, Harvey, Pat Purcell, an obscured fellow and John Sawyer at right. Harvey is sitting on the rear tyre of the BT23E.

(R MacKenzie)

Three photographs of John Harvey at Bathurst in 1970- this was the famous meeting/event at which Niel Allen set a lap record for Mount Panorama in his McLaren M10B Chev F5000, which stood for a couple of decades .

Note that in the shot above at Easter the car has a separate wing rather than the integrated engine cover cowling and wing- cowling at Symmons in on 3 March, separate wing above on 27-30 March and back to the cowling fot that final meeting at Warwick Farm in May 1970- perhaps they were testing a different wing for the pending Jane V8?

Note the tyre going flat in the closeup shot below on the way down the mountain.

(Wirra)

 

Bathurst Easter 1970 grid (R MacKenzie)

 

(P Townsend)

Photograph in the Warwick Farm paddock during the May 1970 RAC Trophy meeting. That near engine over/wing does have a 1969 F1 Matra MS80 touch about it.

Credits:

R Rice, Brian McInerney, Wirra, Rod MacKenzie, Peter Townsend, Dale Harvey, oldracingcars.com, Harold Ellis, Dick Simpson, ‘History of the AGP’ G Howard and ors, M Bisset, Jeff Davis

Tailpiece: Jack’s BT23E cruisin’ the Warwick Farm paddock…

brabham bt 23e

(Wirra)

Brabham, Brabham BT23E Repco 740, Warwick Farm Tasman meeting 1968, all gorgeous in its turquoise/gold stripe livery.

Finito…