Round Five: SURFER'S PARADISE
Matich and Walker lead the opening lap.
After the fast and furious four rounds in New Zealand, the teams then made the long trek across the Tasman to Australia and north to Surfers Paradise. The already overworked crews are at their busiest during and after this hop and Frank Matich was hoping to be able to take advantage of this fact to be able to step into a brand new Matich A51 at the circuit. Unfortunately the car was not ready in time and Matich was little better off than the rest. Lawrence's Surtees had finally arrived from England and had been assembled for this meeting, but Oxton and some of the other New Zealanders had abandoned the series. Noyes and McConnell, had also disappeared from the scene, but there were some Australians to take their place. Johnnie Walker in the Matich A50 Repco, Garrie Cooper's Elfin MR5 Repco and Gary Campbell's Lola T330 Chevrolet.
Matich seems to have a dramatic recovery when he returns to Australian soil and this year was no different. He dominated practice, then led the race from start to finish. McRae had missed a gear at the start and was back in the midst of a spectacular battle for second involving Walker, Stewart, McCormack and Bartlett.
McCormack had to pit for a check after having been off the circuit. Campbell and Rollinson both went out with overheating in the hot Queensland sun. McRae battled to the head of his group to take second, ahead of Walker, Bartlett, Stewart, Posey and Thompson. Bartlett then stopped with a puncture, giving Stewart the clear run he needed to catch and pass Walker, while Thompson stopped out on the circuit with overheating problems. Behind Matich, the victor, came McRae, Stewart, Walker, Posey and McCormack.
The meeting had been marred by the near-disastrous crash of Warwick Brown when a tyre on his Lola suddenly deflated on a warm up lap just before the race. The bouncing and rolling Lola destroyed itself at some 120mph, but Brown was fortunate enough to survive with broken legs and other less serious injuries.
Cooper having an off in the Elfin-Repco.
Lawrence makes a return in the Surtees TS15.
Date: 4th February 1973
Venue: Surfers Paradise
50 laps of 3.21kms (160.5kms)
|1||Frank Matich||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||50||58m 19.9s|
|2||Graham McRae||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||50|
|3||Max Stewart||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||50|
|4||Johnnie Walker||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||50|
|5||Sam Posey||USA||Surtees TS11 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||50|
|6||John McCormack||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||49|
|7||Graeme Lawrence||NZ||Surtees TS15 / Hart 1927cc 4cyl||47|
|8||Noritake Takahara||Jpn||Brabham BT36 / Cosworth 1790cc 4cyl||47|
|9||Dexter Dunlop||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||47|
|10||Kevin Bartlett||Aust||Lola T300 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||46|
|Ret||Steve Thompson||UK||Chevron B24 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||42||Overheating|
|Ret||Alan Rollinson||UK||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||22||Overheating|
|Ret||Garrie Cooper||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||22|
|Ret||Gary Campbell||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||10||Overheating|
|DNS||Warwick Brown||Aust||Lola T300 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||Accident|
Fastest Lap: F Matich, 1m 08.0s
Round Six: WARWICK FARM
Steve Thompson celebrates his win.
After Surfers, McRae had 27 Tasman points to Matich's 18 and most people felt that Matich would take his usual Warwick Farm win and close the gap, perhaps equal McRae if the Champ didn't finish, but it was not to be. Once again it was the rain which upset the calculations, and once again it was Steve Thompson, his Chevron, and his Firestone tyres which stood out. Thompson was quickest on the wet practice day and just walked away with the race with a minimum of fuss.
Walker and Stewart were fighting out second in the opening laps, followed by McRae, Posey and Matich, in a position most unfamiliar to him on his home circuit.
Just past one-third distance Stewart spun in the Esses in his efforts to get past Walker, while Matich meanwhile had found his wet weather feet and passed first Posey then a few laps later McRae as well. His team-mate Walker let him through to second when the time came, then applied himself to covering 'the boss' from the rear. He was mainly intent in keeping McRae as far down the list as possible to give Matich a chance to gain on series points.
Walker leads Stewart down the back straight.
He tried damned hard too, but McRae was not giving in. As Thompson lapped Max Stewart and charged under the chequered flag for his first Tasman win, with Matich 90 secs in arrears, McRae was attacking Walker down the far end of the track. The two went into Creek Corner too fast and spun in unison. Stewart on his slow down lap could have passed them, but it would have done him no good, as he had already been flagged off. McRae out fumbled Walker in the race to get back onto the circuit and reached the finish in third place, with Walker fourth, Stewart a lap down in fifth, then McCormack took sixth in a desperate last post battle with Posey that saw them both slide off the circuit after the finish line, tangled together.
Once again McRae had retained his lead by a handy margin. The score now read McRae 31, Matich 24, Thompson 18, Rollinson 15 and McCormack 14.
Steve Thompson has a wet win in the Chevron-Chevrolet B24.
Date: 11th February 1973
Venue: Warwick Farm
45 laps of 3.62kms (162.9kms)
|1||Steve Thompson||UK||Chevron B24 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||45||1hr 14m 35.0s|
|2||Frank Matich||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||45|
|3||Graham McRae||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||45|
|4||Johnnie Walker||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||45|
|5||Max Stewart||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||44|
|6||John McCormack||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||44|
|7||Sam Posey||USA||Surtees TS11 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||44|
|8||Kevin Bartlett||Aust||Lola T300 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||42|
|9||Graeme Lawrence||NZ||Surtees TS15 / Hart 1927cc 4cyl||41|
|10||Tony Stewart||Aust||Dolphin England||41|
|11||Dexter Dunlop||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||40|
|12||Errol Richardson||Aust||Wortmeyer SCV / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||40|
|Ret||Alan Rollinson||UK||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||31||Battery|
|Garrie Cooper||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8|
|DNS||Gary Campbell||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||Accident|
Fastest Lap: Steve Thompson 1m 37.5s
Round Seven: SANDOWN
Matich leads on opening lap with McRae coming on the inside.
The penultimate round at Sandown Park in Victoria proved to be the clincher for McRae. Matich and McCormack put on a brilliant display to lead from McRae with Stewart fourth, Rollinson fifth, then Walker and Bartlett, but it was not to last. Matich had a leaking radiator which spilled glycol-water mixture under his rear wheels and made the car difficult to drive. McCormack had already succumbed to McRae's onslaught and the crowd were treated to an all-to-brief dust up between Matich and McRae, before Matich had the first of four spins that were to put him out of contention for a major place.
McCormack's Elfin MR5 leads Max Stewart's Lola T330
and Frank Matich's Matich-Repco A50.
McCormack drove with great verve but was unable to hold McRae and was 30 seconds off the pace at the finish but in a well earned second. Stewart came through to third, while Matich managed to stay as high as fourth, backed up by Walker in fifth, then Sam Posey in sixth ahead of Thompson.
Rollinson leads Cooper, Walker, Thompson and Bartlett.
Date: 18th February 1973
52 laps of 3.1kms (161.2kms)
|1||Graham McRae||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||52||55m 32.3s|
|2||John McCormack||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||52|
|3||Max Stewart||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||52|
|4||Frank Matich||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||52|
|5||Johnnie Walker||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||51|
|6||Sam Posey||USA||Surtees TS11 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||51|
|7||Steve Thompson||UK||Chevron B24 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||51|
|8||Graeme Lawrence||NZ||Surtees TS15 / Hart 1927cc 4cyl||49|
|9||Dexter Dunlop||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||48|
|Ret||Stan Keen||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Cosworth 1790cc 4cyl||38|
|Ret||Kevin Bartlett||Aust||Lola T300 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||27|
|Ret||Alan Rollinson||UK||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||9|
|Ret||Garrie Cooper||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||4|
|Ret||Bob Muir||Aust||McLaren M10B / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||1|
Fastest Lap: Frank Matich 1m 02.6s
Round Eight: Adelaide Raceway
The final race at Adelaide International Raceway was almost a complete reversal of the recent races. In fact the wheel had almost turned full circle and the series ended as it had started, with the favourites retiring and the outsiders coming to the fore.
John McCormack scored another popular win, this time in front of a crowd from the city that had fathered the car he drove. McRae had ended the series on an ignominious note when he burnt out his clutch almost before he had left the line. Matich on the other hand led for more than three-quarters of the race only to have his fuel pressure drop and he had to pit for fuel. The car then proved reluctant to restart.
Trying to make up the leeway from the fifth place to which he had dropped, Matich slid off the circuit just before the short back straight and damaged his suspension in the ditch.
Posey had already gone out with a spectacular blow-up and Rollinson had been given the signal to close in on the new leader McCormack. It was almost like a repeat of round one for those who were unable to make it, but McCormack kept cool and held a seven-tenths of a second lead to the flag.
Thompson was third, Stewart, who had earlier stopped with the gearbox jammed in fourth, placed fourth, followed by Bob Muir in the McLaren, while the Elfin MR5's of Garrie Cooper and Stan Keen, Repco and Ford powered respectively, took sixth and seventh placings.
The start of the race at Adelaide.
Date: 25th February 1973
Venue: Adelaide Raceway
71 laps of 2.41kms (171.11kms)
|1||John McCormack||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||71||1hr 1m 6.9s|
|2||Alan Rollinson||UK||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||71|
|3||Steve Thompson||UK||Chevron B24 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||69|
|4||Max Stewart||Aust||Lola T330 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||69|
|5||Bob Muir||Aust||McLaren M10B / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||68|
|6||Garrie Cooper||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Repco 4994cc V8||68|
|7||Stan Keen||Aust||Elfin MR5 / Cosworth 1790cc 4cyl||68|
|8||Graeme Lawrence||NZ||Surtees TS15 / Hart 1927cc 4cyl||66|
|9||Kevin Bartlett||Aust||Lola T300 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||60|
|Ret||Frank Matich||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||58||Suspension|
|Ret||Sam Posey||USA||Surtees TS11 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||42|
|Ret||Dexter Dunlop||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||8|
|Ret||Tony Stewart||Aust||Dolphin England||7|
|Ret||Johnnie Walker||Aust||Matich A50 / Repco 4994cc V8||6|
|Ret||Graham McRae||NZ||McRae GM1 / Chevrolet 4995cc V8||0||Clutch|
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