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The Tasman Series was held from 1964 to 1975 in Australia and New Zealand,
and races were run from January to March of each year during the Formula One
off season. Many top F1 drivers ran this series while enjoying the summer months
in the southern hemisphere. From 1964 to 1969, the Tasman Series specified open
wheel single-seater racing cars similar to Formula One cars, yet retaining F1 engine
rules that were in effect until 1960. Thus, engines of 2500 cm that were obsolete
for the contemporary Formula One class were eligible for the Tasman Formula.
After F1 upgraded to 3000 cm in 1966, the Tasman Series regulations continued
to specify a 2500 cm limit for another four years. Usually, the chassis of the
previous F1 season were fitted with “Tasman” engines. In what many consider
Tasman’s zenith season, 1968, Cosworth even produced a Tasman variant of its
legendary DFV V8, known as the DFW, and BRM equipped its cars with a reduced
capacity version of their F1 V12. Unfortunately for the Tasman Series, F1’s
“return to power”, coupled with ever increasing costs, reduced the allure of the
Tasman Series by F1 teams, and after 1968 teams became increasingly unwilling
to invest significant funds into what many perceived as a lesser championship.
In an attempt to reduce costs, the Tasman Series was extended to incorporate
Formula 5000 cars from 1970 and the limit on pure racing engines was reduced
from 2.5 litres to 2.0 litres from 1972. Even these changes failed to contain
spiraling costs and at the end of the 1975 event the series folded.
Many high-profile local drivers from that era, such as Jack Brabham,
Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon,and Denny Hulme, who took part in their
home event, but the series also attracted international F1 stars like
Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt, and Jackie Stewart.
1963 Australian Grand Prix (72 min – b&w)
A complete live telecast from Australian TV! This was the final race of the 1963 season, and the
prelude to next year’s 1964 Tasman Series. Broadcast from the famous Warwick Farm Raceway in
Sydney Australia, the F1 teams were in full force. Jack Brabham would win the race in his BT4,
followed closely by John Surtees in a Lola Mk. 4, and Bruce McLaren in a Cooper T62. Also on the
grid were Graham Hill, who piloted the 4WD Ferguson, and Chris Amon, driving a Cooper T53.
1964 South Pacific Trophy (5 min – color)
A brief highlight reel (in color) from the Longford Circuit in Tasmania, the final race of the 1964 Tasman
Series season. Tragedy struck during practice when Timmy Mayer, driving a Cooper T70, got airborne
over the hump of King’s Bridge, lost control, and was killed. Mayer was the only American in the field. As
for the race, it was Graham Hill taking the win in a Brabham BT4, with Bruce McLaren close behind.
1965 Warwick Farm International 100 (5 min – color)
Another brief highlight reel (in color) of the International 100 from Warwick Farm. This is an old
Speedvision broadcast (watermark in corner), and Jim Clark takes the win, followed by Jack Brabham,
and Graham Hill takes 5th place. Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren both retire with mechanical problems.
1968 Rothmans 100 (13 min – b&w)
From Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland, this was Round 5 of the series. This is just the
opening laps of this race. Drivers included Denny Hulme, Jim Clark, and Graham Hill.
1968 Warwick Farm International 100 (76 min – b&w)
The entire TV broadcast, while not as clear as the other clips, contains some great footage
from this year 1968, the peak of the Tasman Series. Jim Clark, Graham Hill, and Chris Amon
make up the front row. An exciting race, with the Lotus Team of Clark (1st) and Hill (2nd)
taking the victory. Again, this footage is not as clear as the other clips, but the race is
complete, and includes the start as well as a post-race interview with winner Jim Clark.
1971 Warwick Farm International 100 (10 min – b&w)
Most of the F1 drivers had left the Tasman Series by 1971, as F1 teams did not feel they
needed to invest all the time and money in a series they considered to be secondary, and far
away from the highly publicized European circuit. This is an edited highlight reel, consolidated
from the live TV feed. The leading cars were nearly all powered now by big Chevrolet V8’s.
Frank Gardner would take the win in a Lola T192, followed the Ford powered Lotus of Chris
Amon, then Kevin Bartlett, Niel Allen, and Teddy Pilette, all with Chevrolet V8 power.
Quality Note : This footage has some significant framing issues, but is still watchable.
1973 Chesterfield 100 (30 min – b&w)
Another live TV broadcast, edited down to a 30-minute reel for Australian television, some
great footage in this one showing the new 1973 Tasman Series cars. Steve Thompson would
take the win in his Shell sponsored Chevron B24, with Frank Matich in 2nd place in his Matich
A50 powered by Repco. Finishing 7th was the only American in the field, the legendary Sam
Posey in a Surtees T11, with the now commonplace Chevrolet V8 for a powerplant.