1969 Australian Touring Car Championship
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The 1969 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS-sanctioned Australian motor racing title open to Group C Improved Production Touring Cars and Group E Series Production Touring Cars.[1] The championship, which began at Calder Raceway on 23 March and ended at Symmons Plains Raceway on 16 November, was contested over a five heat series. It was the tenth running of the Australian Touring Car Championship and the first to be contested over a series of heats rather than as a single race.[2]

The championship was won by Ian Geoghegan driving a Ford Mustang. It was Geoghegan's fifth and final Australian Touring Car Championship victory, creating a record that would not be equalled until 1989. It was also his fourth consecutive title, a feat which would not be achieved again until 2014. Alan Hamilton actually scored the most points across the five races, but drivers were required to drop their worst result which left Geoghegan as champion by a single point.[2] A similar scenario would play out in 1991 with Jim Richards and Mark Skaife.

Drivers

The Ford Mustang with which Ian Geoghegan won the championship. The car is pictured in 2013.

The following drivers competed in the 1969 championship.[3][4] The list is not exhaustive.

Entrant Car No. Driver
Mustang Team Ford Mustang 1 Australia Ian Geoghegan
Peter Manton Racing Morris Cooper S 2 Australia Peter Manton
Jim McKeown Motors Ford Cortina Mark II Lotus 3 Australia Jim McKeown
Norm Beechey Holden HK Monaro GTS327 4 Australia Norm Beechey
Terry Allan [5] Chevrolet Camaro 5 Australia Terry Allan
Bob Jane Racing Team Ford Mustang 6
7
Australia Bob Jane
Bob Jane Racing Team Ford Mustang 6 Australia John Harvey
Graham Ryan Holden EH 7 Graham Ryan
Porsche Distributors Racing Porsche 911 9
19
88
Australia Alan Hamilton
Allan Moffat Racing Ford Boss 302 Mustang 9 Canada Allan Moffat
Phil Barnes Motor Service Morris Cooper S 11 Australia Phil Barnes
B.Hodgson Ford XR Falcon GT 14 Australia B.Hodgson
Indianapolis Speed Shop [3] Chevrolet Chevy II Nova 15 Australia John Kay
Bryan Thomson Racing [5] Chevrolet Camaro 19 [5] Australia Bryan Thomson
Brian Foley Motors P/L [5] Morris Cooper S Mk. II [5] 28 [5] Australia Brian Foley
R. Inglis Ford Cortina Lotus 29 Australia Bob Inglis
C.G. Nancarrow [3] Morris Cooper S 30 Australia Cyril Nancarrow
Auto Transmission Services [4] Holden HR 33 [4] Australia D.Wignall [4]
M.E. Nancarrow Ford Cortina Lotus 33 Australia Malcolm Nancarrow
A.M.I. Racing Team [5] Toyota Corolla 37 [5] Australia Bob Morris
Ron Brownrigg Racing Team [5] Morris Cooper S 41 [5] Australia Ron Brownrigg [5] [6]
MTR Services Holden HK Monaro GTS327 44 Australia Nick Petrilli
Alec Mildren Racing Alfa Romeo GTA 49 Australia John French
G. Bishop Morris Cooper S 57 Australia Graeme Bishop
Brownrigg Racing Team [5] Ford Escort Mark I Twin Cam 58 Australia Allan Whiteley
Malcolm Motors [4] Morris Cooper S 59 Australia Ron Gillard
Ross Ambrose BMC [7] Morris Cooper S 78 Australia Ross Ambrose
M.Savva [4] Ford XT Falcon GT 85 Australia Mike Savva [8]
Bessant Motors [7] Morris Cooper S 90 Australia Robin Bessant
Tony Calvert [7] Ford Cortina Lotus 94 Australia Tony Calvert
Ford Mustang Australia Robin Pare
British Leyland [7] Morris Cooper S [7] Australia J. Smith [7]
AMI Racing Team [7] Toyota Corolla [7] Australia R Thurston [7]
P. Cloak [7] Ford Cortina Lotus [7] Australia G. Wigston [7]

Calendar

The championship was contested over a series of five heats.[2]

Heat Heat name Circuit Location Date Winner Car Entrant
1 Calder Calder Raceway [5] Melbourne, Victoria 23 March Bob Jane Ford Mustang Bob Jane Racing Team
2 Bathurst Mount Panorama Circuit Bathurst, New South Wales 7 April Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang Mustang Team
3 South Australia South Australian Touring Car Championship [3] Mallala Race Circuit [3] Mallala, South Australia 16 June Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang Mustang Team
4 Queensland Touring Car Championship [9] Surfers Paradise Motor Racing Circuit [9] Surfers Paradise, Queensland 31 August Norm Beechey Holden HK Monaro GTS327 Norm Beechey
5 Tasmanian Touring Car Championship [7] Symmons Plains Raceway Launceston, Tasmania 16 November Norm Beechey Holden HK Monaro GTS327 Norm Beechey

Race summaries

Calder

Ian Geoghegan qualified on pole position with a record time of 48.3 seconds. Bob Jane was second ahead of Norm Beechey and Alan Hamilton. After blowing an engine, Beechey and his crew faced an overnight rebuild in order to make the grid. Beechey's car was repaired in time for the race and he took the lead off the start, only for Geoghegan to move past at the first corner. After a slow start, Jane passed Beechey on lap 4 and then overtook Geoghegan for the lead on lap 5. Beechey suffered another engine failure on lap 7. After conceding a five-second lead to Jane in the first two-thirds of the race, Geoghegan began closing the gap towards the end of the race. Both drivers set a new lap record of 49.1 seconds before Geoghegan made a move for the lead at the end of the straight. The Mustang's brakes faded however and Geoghegan ran wide, allowing Jane to take the win by five seconds. Hamilton finished third, one lap down on the leading pair.[2]

Bathurst

Ian Geoghegan dominated the second round of the championship at Mount Panorama. After qualifying on pole position by over five seconds, he proceeded to build his lead by over ten seconds per lap during the race, winning by a lap over the Porsche of Alan Hamilton. Phil Barnes, driving a Morris Cooper S, finished in third place. Bob Jane had qualified second but blew an engine on lap 9, while Norm Beechey did not even start the race after an accident in practice. Hamilton did not have a smooth run, either, damaging his car's suspension in practice and having it repaired at a local workshop.[2]

Ron Gillard, in a Cooper S, and Bob Morris, in a Corolla, battled during the early phases of the race before the Corolla's clutch failed. Morris stopped at the top of the circuit, planning to coast down to the finish on the final lap. However, the car stopped fifty yards short of the finish line and Morris had to push it to the finish. With Jane's retirement, Geoghegan took the lead in the points standings while Hamilton moved up to second place.[2]

Mallala

Bob Jane took pole position for the Mallala round ahead of Ian Geoghegan and Allan Moffat. Norm Beechey again did not start after blowing an engine in a preliminary race. Geoghegan was left with an easy victory after Moffat retired on lap 2 and Jane retired at the halfway mark. Alan Hamilton finished second, 44 seconds behind Geoghegan, with Peter Manton in third. Only seven of the fifteen starters finished the race. Geoghegan assumed an eight-point lead in the championship over Hamilton, with Jane maintaining third place courtesy of his victory at Calder.[2]

Surfers Paradise

Ian Geoghegan took his third pole position of the season ahead of Norm Beechey, whose time was equalled by Alan Hamilton. Geoghegan moved into the lead at the start of the race and pulled away from Beechey, before hitting a dropped exhaust pipe on lap 8. This punctured a rear tyre and the resulting pit stop left Geoghegan two laps down on Beechey.[2]

Despite being up to four seconds a lap faster than Beechey, the race was not long enough for him to reach higher than sixth place. Beechey took his first win of the season, and the first championship race victory for Holden, with Hamilton again finishing in second place. Jim McKeown finished third. Geoghegan's troubles saw his championship lead drop to just three points over Hamilton, meaning that the title would be decided at the final round at Symmons Plains. Peter Manton moved into third place in the points standings after Jane did not take part in the race.[2]

Symmons Plains

Ian Geoghegan led Alan Hamilton by three points coming into the final round. However, due to each driver being required to drop their worst result from the five rounds, Hamilton had to win with Geoghegan failing to score in order to take the title, as he would drop his four points for third place at Calder. Geoghegan took pole position ahead of John Harvey, driving Bob Jane's Mustang. Harvey was followed by Allan Moffat, Norm Beechey and Hamilton. Geoghegan's car failed to start at the one-minute signal and the race began while he was still in the pits. His pit crew eventually push started the car but this meant that Geoghegan would be disqualified. With Geoghegan out of the running, Hamilton just required a win to take the title. Harvey took the lead at the start ahead of Moffat and Beechey. Moffat's engine failed on lap 7, elevating Beechey and Hamilton into second and third respectively. Harvey led the race by ten seconds, with Hamilton fourteen seconds off the lead.[2]

Tyre punctures for Harvey on laps 15 and 16 forced him out of contention, leaving Beechey in the lead and Hamilton in second. Beechey extended his lead until transmission problems saw him unable to use the lower gears. As a result, he had to slip the clutch to keep the car accelerating at low speed. Hamilton closed the gap, getting to within a car length of Beechey going into the final corner. Beechey was able to accelerate away from the Porsche on the run to the finish to take the win over Hamilton and Jim McKeown. Despite the looming disqualification, Geoghegan continued on in the race, breaking the lap record and eventually making it back on to the lead lap. With Hamilton failing to take victory, Geoghegan clinched the title by one point. Beechey's consecutive wins in the final two rounds saw him take third place in the points standings ahead of McKeown and Peter Manton.[2]

Points system

Points were awarded as follows to the top six finishers in each heat. Drivers were required to drop their worst score from the five heats.[2]

Position 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Points 9 6 4 3 2 1

Championship standings

Results in parentheses are those not counted in the final points score. Points totals without parentheses are championship points; those in parentheses are total points scored.

Pos. Driver Car Cal
Victoria (Australia)
Bat
New South Wales
Mal
South Australia
Sur
Queensland
Sym
Tasmania
Pts.
1 Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang 2 1 1 6 DSQ 25
2 Alan Hamilton Porsche 911 (3) 2 2 2 2 24 (28)
3 Norm Beechey Holden HK Monaro GTS327 Ret DNS DNS 1 1 18
4 Jim McKeown Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II 4 3 3 11
5 Peter Manton Morris Cooper S 4 3 4 10
6 Bob Jane Ford Mustang 1 Ret Ret 9
7 Phil Barnes Morris Cooper S 5 3 6
8 Bob Inglis Ford Cortina Lotus 4 3
Robin Bessant Morris Cooper S 4 3
10 Ron Gillard Morris Cooper S 5 2
Graeme Bishop Morris Cooper S 5 2
John French Alfa Romeo GTA 5 2
Ross Ambrose Morris Cooper S 5 2
14 Ron Brownrigg [5][6] Morris Cooper S 6 1
Nick Petrilli Holden HK Monaro GTS327 6 1
Malcolm Nancarrow Ford Cortina Lotus 6 1
Tony Calvert Ford Cortina Lotus 6 1
Pos. Driver Car Cal
Victoria (Australia)
Bat
New South Wales
Mal
South Australia
Sur
Queensland
Sym
Tasmania
Pts.
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Withdrew (WD)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not participate (DNP)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Excluded (EX)

Bold - Pole position

References

  1. ^ Conditions for Australian Titles, 1969 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, Page 77
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. pp. 82–88. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e Mallala Races Official Programme. 16 June 1969. p. 24.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Medley, John (1997). Bathurst, Cradle of Australian Motor Racing. Wahroonga, New South Wales: Turton & Armstrong Pty Ltd. pp. 391 to 401. ISBN 978-0-9080317-0-2.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Official Programme, Calder Raceway, March 23rd 1969
  6. ^ a b Adrian Ryan, Jane's Takeover Bid, Racing Car News, April 1969, pages 64 & 65
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Steven Chopping, So Near ... Yet So Far, Racing Car News, January 1970, pages 42 & 43
  8. ^ Peter Wherrett, Bleak Bathurst, Racing Car News, May 1969, pages 28 to 31
  9. ^ a b Official Programme, Aug. 31st, Surfers Paradise Motor Racing Circuit

External links