Posts Tagged ‘McLaren M4A FVA’

duetto champs

(Bruce Thomas)

The little Alfa Duetto’s DOHC 1570cc would have struggled ferrying this lot, even for a lap…

It’s the victory parade after the 1968 ‘Warwick Farm 100′ won by Jim Clarks’ Lotus 49 Ford DFW from teammate G Hill, with Piers Courage third in his little McLaren M4A Ford FVA.

What driving talent aplenty in this car!

Driving the car is 1960 Australian Gold Star Champion Alec Mildren, Mildren also an Alfa Dealer and incredibly successful and generous race team owner of the 1960-1970 period, the Dutto immaculate in white and wearing a set of ex-GTA wheels, I wonder who owns it now?

Behind Alec is a youthful Alfredo Costanzo, first local home in an Elfin Mono Ford 1.5 and later to be very successful in Australia’s latter F5000 days and the Formula Pacific era in cars owned by Porsche Cars Australia’s Alan Hamilton, another very generous benefactor of the sport.

Brabham, Moss and Clark needing no introduction…

Clark won the race, the Lotus 49 was the F1 standard from its 1967 Dutch GP launch, reliability cost Lotus the titles that year- the light, nimble beautiful handling Brabham BT24’s did the trick, Denny Hulme pipping Jack for the Drivers Championship and Brabham Repco winning the Constructors laurels.

In 2.5 litre ‘DFW’ spec the Ford Cosworth powered cars were formidable Tasman weapons, Clark won the 1968 title and Jochen Rindt was the fastest man of the series in 1969, if not the most reliable.

clark wf

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 DFW, WF 1968. (Peter Windsor)

The Tasman Cup entries in 1968 were as interesting and diverse as ever

Moreso than previous years in fact- the interesting shot below was taken as the cars lined up for practice in Warwick Farm’s pit lane and shows the business end of the new Len Terry designed 2.5 litre V12 BRM P126. Its Hewland DG300 gearbox is just visible behind the Lucas fuel pump mounted to the rear of the ‘box, the Shell ‘el cheapo’ oil catch tank is a nice ‘in the field’ touch! Richard Attwood in the hotseat retired from the race with gearbox dramas.

Two of the P126’s were entered in the Tasman, Bruce McLaren raced a car in the New Zealand rounds and took a win at Teretonga, the cars were in the Southern Hemisphere to be race proven, after the abortive H16 program, before the European F1 season but there was always a scramble to drive the old, light, nimble and reliable 2.1 litre V8 P261.Pedro Rodriguez raced it at WF finishing sixth in a car which had so much Tasman success, Jackie Stewart took the title in a P261 in 1966.

In front of the BRM is Frank Gardner’s Alec Mildren Racing, one off, Brabham BT23D Alfa. This magic little car was powered by a 2.5 litre V8 developed via Alfas’ endurance racing Tipo 33 program. Its twin vertically mounted distributors fired two plugs per cylinder- a distinctive visual element of the little DOHC, two valve, injected engine. Later in 1968 the car won the Australian Drivers Championship in Kevin Bartlett’s capable, quick hands.

Forward of Frank is Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A Ford FVA- he came to Australasia with this car and two engines and did incredibly well, perhaps its not unfair to say he re-launched his career with this self funded Tasman effort. Numerous podium placings were surpassed by an heroic win in hopelessly wet conditions on one of the ‘biggest balls’ circuits of the world, Longford a fortnight after his strong third at WF ahead of many more powerful and equally nimble cars as his little F2 McLaren.

This McLaren stayed in Australia after the Tasman being bought by Niel Allen, and was also raced successfully by Warwick Brown in the formative stages of his career.

WF pitlane

WF pitlane Tasman Series 1968. (Brian McInerney)

 

gh pitlane

Graham Hill and friends, Warwick Farm paddock 1968. (Brian McInerney)

Graham Hill was perhaps not as focussed on a win as teammate Clark…get your hands off that young woman you bounder!

Was there ever a bloke from ‘central casting’ who looked more like a dashing, debonair driver than G Hill? He did not have the absolute pace of teammates Clark, Stewart or Rindt but was a driver of incredible ability, the only winner of motor racings World F1 Title/LeMans/Indy ‘Triple Crown’ of course.

His greatest moments were to come in 1968 when he picked Team Lotus up by the scruff of the neck, despite the loss of his good friend Jim Clark, providing the leadership the team needed whilst Colin Chapman recovered from his own grief at losing his driver, friend and colloborator in April, only months after this race meeting.

Lotus’ wins in the Drivers and Constructors Titles in 1968 owe a lot to Hill’s character as well as his determination and speed.

hill amon courage wf

Hill from Amon and Courage. Lotus 49 DFW, Ferrari Dino 246T, and McLaren M4A FVA. 2nd, 4th and 3rd respectively. WF 1968, the majesty of the place clear in this shot. (Unattributed)

 Jack Brabham had a short 1968 Tasman.

His Brabham BT23E was powered by Repco’s latest 740 Series SOHC V8 and competed in only the Warwick Farm and Sandown rounds.

In fact Repco, for all their F1 success didn’t ever have much Tasman glory in their own backyeard…to be fair the primary reponsibility of the Repco Tasman program each year was to sort out the engines for the coming Grand Prix season, but all the same, a few local wins should have been achieved given the resources deployed?

This fabulous car stayed in Australia, acquired by Bob Jane at the Tasmans’ duration, it was raced for him by John Harvey who was always fast in it, but also unlucky, surviving a high speed accident at Bathurst after a component failure, the low point for the team.

jb wf pilane

Brabhams BT23E Repco all ready to qualify with a fresh set of Goodyears. Car in front is the BRM P261 V8 of Rodriguez, Courages’ McLaren body on the deck behind Jack. WF pitlane 1968. (Brian McInerney)

 

moss Wf 1968

Stirling Moss tells Clark about the fast way around ‘The Farm, both drivers loved the place and won there. ‘Lucas Opus’ spark-box prominent between the Vee of the Cossie DFW. Ford DFV famous as a load bearing member of the car, this shot showing the suspension componentry and its attachment to the engine and ZF ‘box. Suspension itself conventional for the day; inverted lower wishbone, single top link, twin radius rods and coil spring/damper, adjustable roll bar. Front suspension inboard; top rocker visible. Nice. WF Tasman 1968. (Brian McInerney)

The Eyes Have It.

Chris Amon (below) absolutely focussed on the task at hand. He came back with another two Dinos he ran with the assistance of David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce in 1969, lifting the title in a tremendous and very popular fashion.

In 1968 he was very competitive, winning the first two Kiwi rounds at Pukekohe and Levin but did not ultimately have the speed of the Lotuses of Clark and Hill. The car was a Ferrari 166 F2 (1.6 litre formula at the time) to which was fitted the 2.4 litre DOHC, two valve, injected V6 engine from the cars used at the start of the 3 litre Formula 1 in early 1966.

In the 1968 Australian Tasman Rounds Amon mixed the racing of the Dino single seater with McKay’s P4/CanAm 350 Ferrari i wrote about a week or so back.

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

amon eyes

Chris Amon, Ferrari Dino 246T, WF, Tasman Series 1968. (Brian McInerney)

 This shot captures the atmosphere of the Tasman Series generally and Warwick Farm specifically…

There is no hassle of the drivers by the appreciative crowd and vice-versa, there would be uproar these days of course.

Piers Courage is looking relaxed and happy about his third behind the Lotuses of Clark and Hill, and Amon fourth, is still figuring he could take the title with two rounds remaining at Melbourne’s Sandown and Tasmania’s Longford- ultimately he fell short of Clark by 8 points, Amon taking two wins to Clark’s four.

tasman 68 warm down

Piers Courage and Chris Amon on the WF warmdown lap. McLaren M4A FVA and Ferrari Dino 246T. Australian summer male ‘fashion’ of the day on full display. (Bruce Thomas)

Jim Clark savouring the plaudits of the crowd and one of his last wins, Lotus 49 Ford DFW, 18 February 1968…

jim clark wf lotus 49 1968

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 WF 1968. (wirra)

Grid and Results…

RCN 68 WF Tasman 01

Etcetera…

(B Jackson)

Get a move on chaps…

And things go better with Coke it seems- brake bleed in process. Note the solid front rotor on Graham’s Lotus 49 rather than the vented ones first used in 1967. Nice shot of the front bulkhead and inboard front suspension mounting treatment.

amn pilane

(Peter Windsor)

Chris Amon in the Warwick Farm pitlane, Ferrari Dino 246T, 1968 was a useful exploratory season for the successful two car assault in 1969.

(Brian Jackson)

Piers Courage alights his McLaren M4A Ford FVA as Ray Parsons, in ‘Australian summer mechanic’s clobber’ awaits instructions for the next round of tweaks before the next session, one of which is to increase the size of the nose mounted duct to get a bit more cool air into the cockpit.

fg wf 68

(John Ellacott)

Superb John Ellacott shot of Frank Gardner in the one-off Alec Mildren Racing Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 2.5 V8- she is puffing a bit of blue smoke in best Alfa tradition!

gh wf 68

(Brian McInerney)

‘See you after the race then?’ Hill G dealing with another admirer of the feminine type.

1968 WF Tasman cover

 

(Brian Jackson)

First local driver home was Alfie Constanzo in his Elfin Mono Mk2B Ford twin-cam in eighth place, here shielding his eyes from the late afternoon sun- that’s Ian Fergusson in a Lotus 27 Ford twin-cam behind Alf, both of these cars are ANF 1.5s.

1968 WF Tasman event 5

Photo and Other Credits…

Bruce Thomas, Peter Windsor, Brian McInerney, Wirra, John Ellacott, Brian Jackson

Stephen Dalton for the race program and ‘Racing Car News’ material

Finito…