This tough but erratic Queenslander gave up a possible career in Australian Rules Football to race a Ford Escort in 1970. Having competed in Formula Ford, it was with a Birrana 274 (built to local Formula 2 rules) that he first made an impression during 1974. That growing reputation was augmented in the national Formula 5000 series a year later when his Lola T332 was a regular race winner and Allison was only denied the title by a frustrating lack of reliability.
Racing in Europe and Grovewood success
Determined to make the grade overseas, Allison sold everything to finance a year in the 1977 ShellSport International Group Eight series in Great Britain. His VDS Racing Chevron B37-Chevrolet was in the barriers as often as in the lead – he certainly made an impression as he finished seventh overall when top of the F5000 runners in a field dominated by Formula 1 cars. His season was capped by winning the prestigious Grovewood Award that recognised the most promising emerging Commonwealth driver of the year.
F5000 cars were banned from the newly renamed Aurora AFX British F1 Championship in 1978 and Allison returned with a RAM Racing March 751-Ford. That was replaced by a new March 781 chassis for Mallory Park in July and the Australian withstood late pressure from eventual champion Tony Trimmer to score his breakthrough victory on his first appearance with the car.
Return to Australia
Allison returned home after just two seasons in Britain. He continued to race in Australia for a time and was in the field for the 1981 Australian Grand Prix. The non-championship race was a Formula Pacific event that year and attracted the likes of Nelson Piquet, Alan Jones, Jacques Laffite and surprise winner Roberto Moreno. Allison qualified fifth (matching Laffite’s time) but slipped to eighth at the finish.
Aurora AFX British F1 Championship
Mario Deliotti Racing
12% win rate
ShellSport International Championship
0% win rate
SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Theodore Racing Hong Kong
0% win rate