The Australian Championship
This winter the regular series of races run in New Zealand and Australia were held to a new Formula limiting engine capacity to 2½-litres, which meant that all competitive machinery was powered by Coventry-Climax 4-cylinder engines, producing racing not unlike that experienced in Europe in 1959-60. Bruce McLaren took out two special Cooper cars, built for this season, and Jack Brabham took out a special Brabham with 2½-litre Climax engine, this car adding to the collection of Brabham’s already out in Australia. Chris Amon took out one of the Parnell Lola-Climax 4-cylinders and sold it to Tony Shelly half-way through the season, while Graham Hill went out to Australia for some of the races, driving the Brabham-Climax owned by David McKay. The Championship proved a win for McLaren with his special Cooper, but the series was marred by the death of Tim Mayer, who crashed during practice for the Longford race. He was driving McLaren’s second Tasman Cooper and was due to be No. 2 in the Cooper Grand Prix team.
Starting with a 500-mile race for saloons in California the American International racing scene followed with the Daytona Speed Week, which include a race for sports and prototype cars and a round in the GT Championship on the road circuit, and the series of high-speed races for stock saloons on the banked track culminating in the 500-mile race for saloon cars, run at an average of over 154 m.p.h., including all stops for fuel and tyres. During the race lap speeds of 175 m.p.h. were recorded.
In South America a series of races were run to a “closed-shop” Formula Two to which British drivers were not invited, only Continentals and Argentinians being permitted to start, which is one way of stopping British drivers winning all the races. Most of the winning was done with British cars and engines, however, which made this revival of the “Argentine Temporada” a bit of a washed-out affair compared with the seasons of a few years ago.