Rahul Sharma

1960 Australian Touring Car Championship

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1960 Australian Touring Car Championship

The 1960 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Appendix J Touring Cars. The title, which was the inaugural Australian Touring Car Championship, was contested over a single 20 lap, 75 mile race held on 1 February 1960 at the Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit near Orange in New South Wales. The race was the first to be run under Appendix J Touring Car regulations, ushering in a new era that would last until January 1965 when CAMS replaced Appendix J with Group C for Improved Production Touring Cars.

Contents

The championship was won by David McKay driving a Jaguar Mark 1 3.4 Litre.

Race

This, the first Australian touring car race to be run under a set of national regulations which defined a level of modification, was dominated by the three Jaguar Mark 1 drivers. The journalist racer David McKay, remembered for his efforts promoting racing cars and sports cars with his Scuderia Veloce team, claimed the racing achievement he is best remembered for, in a touring car race.

A single day of practice was held on Sunday, 31 January, with the fastest lap times from official practice used to set the grid for the race the following day. McKay set the fastest lap time of 2:40 to take pole position, with Bill Pitt and Ron Hodgson, also in Jaguars, setting times of 2:41 and 2:42 respectively to line up second and third on the grid. Later in the day, Hodgson set a lap time of 2:39 in unofficial practice. Multiple cars, including the three Jaguars, suffered overheating problems during the day, while Hodgson also had gearbox troubles with the car jumping out of gear. Roy Sawyer blew an engine which was rebuilt overnight.

Hodgson led away from the start, getting the jump on McKay and Pitt, with the three Jaguars quickly pulling away from the rest of the field. All three drivers missed their brake markers going into Windsock Corner on lap 1, with Hodgson running wide and McKay and Pitt both spinning. This gave Hodgson a lead heading into lap 2 but McKay caught him halfway through the lap. Hodgson again left his braking too late at Windsock, allowing McKay, Pitt and several other cars through. By the time Hodgson restarted his car, he was around one minute down on McKay and Pitt. Hodgson was able to regain third place within the next lap, leaving Max Volkers in fourth while Ian Geoghegan led a battle for fifth until blowing a head gasket.

By lap 14, McKay had a lead of 26 seconds over Pitt, while rain was beginning to fall over the circuit. Sawyer spun his car coming over the crest at Connaghans Corner, hitting the inside bank and rolling. Jack van Schaik narrowly missed Sawyer's car while Ken Miller scraped his roof on one of Sawyer's bumpers. Des West stopped to held Sawyer escape the car while the driver of a Ford Zephyr had also stopped, their car blocking the track. After helping Sawyer, West burned his hands while restarting his own car. McKay was able to slow safely as he approached the scene but was forced to use his car to move the stationary Zephyr out of the way. This allowed Pitt to close the gap and he took the lead when McKay spun on the following lap. However, the overdrive mechanism in Pitt's car began to fail and McKay was able to retake the lead with two laps remaining. McKay led to the finish, six seconds ahead of Pitt, with Hodgson more than a minute behind. Volkers was the best of the rest, finishing one lap down in fourth place.

Statistics

  • Pole position: David McKay, 2:41
  • Fastest lap: David McKay, 2:35
  • Average speed: 133 km/h
  • There were 44 starters of which 31 finished.
  • References

    1960 Australian Touring Car Championship Wikipedia


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