The 1961 Australian Drivers' Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title for drivers of Formula Libre cars. The title was contested over a five race series with the winner awarded the 1961 CAMS Gold Star. It was the fifth Australian Drivers' Championship.
The series was dominated by Victorian racer Bill Patterson driving a Cooper T51 Climax. Patterson won three of the five races and was second and fourth in the other two. He finished the series 36 points ahead of Lex Davison (Aston Martin DBR4 & Cooper T51 Coventry Climax). Bib Stillwell (Cooper T51 Coventry Climax & Cooper T53 Coventry Climax) placed third in the points standings.
|Bakers Milk International||Longford||6 March||Roy Salvadori||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Jack Brabham|
|Craven A Gold Star||Mount Panorama, Bathurst||3 April||Bill Patterson||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Bill Patterson Motors P/L|
|Queensland Road Racing Championship||Lowood||11 June||Bill Patterson||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Bill Patterson Motors P/L|
|Craven "A" Trophy||Caversham||12 August||Bill Patterson||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Bill Patterson Motors P/L|
|Australian Grand Prix||Mallala||9 October||Lex Davison||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||B.S. Stillwell||Report|
A sixth championship race was originally scheduled to be held Phillip Island on 10 December. Although a "Racing Car Scratch Race" (The Isle of Wight Trophy) was held at the circuit on that date, a contemporary report in Australian Motor Sports magazine does not label this as a "Gold Star" race and it is omitted from 1961 Gold Star championship summaries at "members.optusnet.com.au/dandsshaw" and "www.oldracingcars.com"
Championship points were awarded on a 12-7-5-3-2-1 basis for the first six places in each race. Points were awarded only to drivers racing under an Australian licence. Ties were determined by the relevant competitors' placings in the Australian Grand Prix.
|1||Bill Patterson||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Bill Patterson Motors Pty. Ltd.||12||12||12||12||3||51|
|2||Lex Davison||Aston Martin DBR4 & Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Ecurie Australie & B.S. Stillwell||3||-||-||-||12||15|
|3||Bib Stillwell||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax & T53 Coventry Climax||B.S. Stillwell||-||5||-||-||7||12|
|4||Stan Jones||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Stan Jones Motors Pty. Ltd.
Moran Motors Pty. Ltd.
|5||Alec Mildren||Cooper T51 Maserati||A.G. Mildren Pty. Ltd.||2||2||7||-||-||11|
|6||John Youl||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||J. Youl||7||-||-||-||-||7|
|=||Doug Green||Ferrari 500||Reimann Motors||-||-||-||7||-||7|
|8||David McKay||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||Scuderia Veloce||-||1||-||-||5||6|
|9||Austin Miller||Cooper T51 Coventry Climax||A. Miller||5||-||-||-||-||5|
|=||Jack Ayres||Cooper Mk V Ford||J. Ayres||-||-||-||5||-||5|
|11||Arnold Glass||Cooper T45 Maserati||Capitol Motors Pty. Ltd.||-||3||1||-||-||4|
|12||Bruce Coventry||Lotus 18 Ford||A.B. Coventry||-||-||3||-||-||3|
|=||Lionel Beattie||Repco Holden Sports||L. Beattie||-||-||-||3||-||3|
|14||Murray Trenberth||Alta F2 Holden||M. Trenberth||-||-||-||-||2||2|
|15||Noel Barnes||MG TC Special||N.F. Barnes||-||-||2||-||-||2|
|=||Bob Annear||Pegasus Holden||R. Annear||-||-||-||2||-||2|
|17||Eddie Clay||Cooper T23 Bristol||E. Clay||-||-||-||-||1||1|
|18||John Roxburgh||Cooper T45 Coventry Climax||J.B. Roxburgh||1||-||-||-||-||1|
|=||Jim Ward||Alta GP-2||J Ward||-||-||-||1||-||1|
The opening race at Longford was won by Englishman Roy Salvadori who was not eligible for championship points. First place points for that race were therefore awarded to the second placed driver, Bill Patterson.
The championship was referred to by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport in the 1961 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport simply as "The CAMS Gold Star". However historical records published by CAMS use the term "Australian Drivers’ Championship" and that title has been used in this article.
- Records, Titles & Awards, 2006 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 14-4
- "Gold Star Winners - 1957 - 2009". formula3.com.au. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- 1961 Gold Star races at members.optusnet.com.au/dandsshaw via web.archive.org Retrieved on 3 June 2013
- The CAMS Gold Star, 1961 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 50
- Souvenir Programme, Bathurst Gold Star Meeting, Sun. 2nd, Mon. 3rd April 1961, page 5
- Official Programme, Lowood, Sunday, 11 June 1961
- A Happy Christmas at Phillip Island, Australian Motor Sports, February 1962, pages 42 & 43
- Australian Gold Star 1961, www.oldracingcars.com Retrieved on 4 June 2013
- Patterson's victory gives him big lead for CAMS Gold Star, Sports Car World (magazine), circa May 1961