Layout of the Mount Panorama Circuit (1938-1986)

The 1966 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title open to Group C Improved Production Touring Cars.[1] It was contested over a single 20-lap race staged at the Mount Panorama Circuit near Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia on Easter Monday, 11 April 1966, and was the seventh running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. The race was sponsored by the Neptune Oil Company, Sydney.[2]

Ian Geoghegan, driving a Ford Mustang, claimed his second Australian Touring Car Championship title and the first of four consecutive titles that he would achieve in Mustangs.[3]

Race summary

Ian Geoghegan had upgraded to a Ford Mustang and took pole position ahead of Norm Beechey, who had qualified both his Mustang and his new Chevrolet Chevy II Nova. Despite lapping quicker in the Mustang, Beechey elected to race the more powerful Chevy II Nova. Don Smith had qualified sixth in his Holden EH S4, but was unable to start due to an accident in a preliminary race.[3]

Beechey led away from the start and gradually increased his lead during the first half of the 20-lap race, moving 9.6 seconds ahead of Geoghegan by the end of lap 8. Three cars had been retired at this point: T. McGee's Morris Cooper, Malcolm Bailey's Ford Zephyr and Bob Edgerton's Morris Cooper S.[3]

Geoghegan started to reduce the gap on lap 9 and caught Beechey on lap 13 before passing him on lap 14. Terry Allan retired from the race on lap 13 while fellow Holden runner Warren Weldon retired on lap 16 with a broken crankshaft. Beechey's pace dropped off for the remainder of the race, with reported clutch troubles, allowing Geoghegan to take an easy victory. Kevin Bartlett, driving an Alfa Romeo GTA, was the only other driver to finish on the lead lap, albeit nearly two minutes behind Beechey. John Harvey and Phil Barnes completed the top five, one lap down on the leaders.[3]

Results

Pos. Driver No. Car Entrant[2] Class Laps Time/Remarks Grid[4][5]
1 Australia Ian Geoghegan 1 Ford Mustang Total Team Over 3000cc 20 54:30.2 1
2 Australia Norm Beechey1 3 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova Neptune Racing Team Over 3000cc 20 +32.8 3
3 Australia Kevin Bartlett 12 Alfa Romeo GTA Alec Mildren Racing Pty Ltd 1501–2000cc 20 +2:19.8 4
4 Australia John Harvey 76 Austin Cooper S R.C. Phillips Sports Car World 1101–1500cc 19 +1 lap 5
5 Australia Phil Barnes 99 Morris Cooper S Vaughan & Lane 1101–1500cc 19 +1 lap 8
6 Australia John French 15 Morris Cooper S J. French 0–1100cc 18 +2 laps 10
7 Australia Bill Brown 71 Volvo 122S Scuderia Veloce 1501–2000cc 18 +2 laps 13
8 Australia Bob Holden 13 Morris Cooper S B.M.C. (Australia) Pty Ltd 1101–1500cc 17 +3 laps 17
9 Australia Don Holland 38 Morris Cooper S Don Holland Motors 1101–1500cc 17 +3 laps 18
10 Australia A. Patterson 42 Ford Cortina Mark I GT A.R. Patterson 1101–1500cc 17 +3 laps 22
11 Australia Peter Mander 75 Morris Cooper S Marque Motors 1101–1500cc 17 +3 laps 19
12 Australia David Frazer 64 Renault R8 Gordini Renno Motors 1101–1500cc 16 +4 laps ?
13 Australia John Hall 23 Holden X2 H. Taylor 2001–3000cc 16 +4 laps 24
14 Australia A. Barrow 82 Holden FJ A. Barrow 2001–3000cc 16 +4 laps 28
15 Australia John Prisk 33 Morris Cooper Varsity Auto Centre 0–1100cc 16 +4 laps 25
16 Australia Digby Cooke 84? [6] Morris Cooper Marque Motors 0–1100cc 16 +4 laps ?
17 Australia M. Schneider 54 Morris Mini Deluxe Marque Motors 0–1100cc 16 +4 laps ?
18 Australia Ross Edgerton 43 Renault R8 Ross Edgerton 0–1100cc 13 +7 laps 23
19 Australia G. MacDonald 45 Ford Cortina Mark I GT Esso Servicenter 1101–1500cc 7 +13 laps ?
Ret Australia Charlie Smith 100 Morris Cooper S C.G. Smith 1101–1500cc 17 12
Ret Australia Bill Stanley 84? [6] Morris Cooper Marque Motors 0–1100cc 16 27
Ret Australia Warren Weldon 119 Holden EH Special S4 Waggott Engineering 2001–3000cc 15 Crankshaft 7
Ret Australia Bruce Wright 28 Morris Cooper S Peter Owen Racing 1101–1500cc 14 15
Ret Australia R. Lindsay 32 Renault R8 Gordini R. Lindsay 1101–1500cc 13 26
Ret Australia Terry Allan 2 Holden EH Special S4 Syndal Motors 2001–3000cc 12 Clutch failure[4] 9
Ret Australia Bob Edgerton 66 Morris Cooper S Robert Edgerton 0–1100cc 7 ?
Ret Australia Malcolm Bailey 53 Ford Zephyr M. Bailey 2001–3000cc 5 ?
Ret Australia T. McGee 11 Morris Cooper Esso Servicentre (Waterloo) 0–1100cc 4 ?
DNS Australia Norm Beechey1 2 Ford Mustang Neptune Racing Team Over 3000cc - Withdrew (2)
DNS Australia Don Smith 55 Holden EH Special S4 Smith Auto Accessories 2001–3000cc - Accident in preliminary race[7] (6)
DNS Australia Alton Boddenberg 105 Chrysler Valiant Advanx (Gosford) Motor Service Over 3000cc - Clutch problems in preliminary race[7] (11)
Sources:[3][4][7]

Notes:

Statistics

  • Attendance: 20,000[8]
  • Pole position: Ian Geoghegan, 2:40.7[3]
  • Fastest lap: Ian Geoghegan, 2:40.4[3] (New record[4])
  • Race distance: 20 laps, 123.44 km[3]
  • Winner's average speed: 135.89 km/h[3]

References

  1. ^ Conditions for Australian Titles, 1966 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, pages 70 to 73
  2. ^ a b Souvenir Programme, Bathurst National Open Meeting, 11 April 1966, page 35
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 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. 64–69. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  4. ^ a b c d Medley, John (1997). Bathurst, Cradle of Australian Motor Racing. Wahroonga, New South Wales: Turton & Armstrong Pty Ltd. pp. 359–360. ISBN 978-0-9080317-0-2.
  5. ^ The grid lineup shown on page 360 of John Medley's Bathurst, Cradle of Australian Motor Racing does not show names for all grid positions.
  6. ^ a b W Stanley and D Cooke are both listed to drive the No 84 Marque Motors Morris Cooper in the entry list for the ATCC race in the Souvenir Programme
  7. ^ a b c Howard, Graham (May 1966). "Geoghegan – The Greatest". Racing Car News. Chippendale, New South Wales: Publishers Photo Digest Pty Ltd. pp. 26–27.
  8. ^ James Laing-Peach, Geoghegan: A Title Regained, Sports Car World, June 1966, pages 42, 43 & 62

External links