|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 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.
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.
Ron Hodgson led away from the McKay and Bill Pitt at the start. The three Jaguar drivers missed their braking markers at the end of the long back straight, Hodgson running wide at the apex of Windsock corner and McKay and Pitt spinning. Despite this, McKay managed to take the lead from Hodgson at Windsock corner on the next lap after Hodgson had mechanical dramas which left him down the order and one minute behind McKay, who was battling with Pitt for the lead. Hodgson regained third place from Max Volkers, who was settling into a lonely race as the fastest Holden runner.
McKay led Pitt by 26 seconds at three-quarters race distance when rain started to fall. Roy Sawyer fell victim to the rain, sliding into the bank at Connaghan's corner and rolling, narrowly missed by Jack van Schaik's Simca and scraped by Ken Miller's Holden. Des West, who was behind Sawyer at the time of the incident, stopped to help his fellow Holden driver escape the wreckage and this, coupled with a stopped Ford Zephyr, caused the track to be blocked. McKay was warned by a flag marshal about the incident and was able to slow before he reached it. McKay pushed the Zephyr out of the way with his own car, but Pitt had caught up by this stage, turning the final five laps into a duel between the two Jaguar drivers.
McKay spun at Mrs Muttons corner on lap 16 and allowed Pitt to take the lead, but the positions reversed once more on lap 18 when Pitt has gearbox troubles. McKay held on to win by six seconds over Pitt, with Hodgson a distant third, 77 seconds behind. Volkers took fourth, one lap down on the Jaguars.
Ironically, despite a race driving career that would continue until 1979, David McKay did not appear in another ATCC race as a driver.
- Pole Position - #71 David McKay - 2:41
- Fastest Lap - #71 David McKay - 2:35
- Average Speed - 133 km/h
- There were 44 starters of which 31 finished.
- David McKay, First Touring Titles Decided, Modern Motor, April 1960, pages 22–23 & 80-81
- Orange Road Races – Feb. 1st, Australian Motor Sports, February 1960, pages 68 & 71
- Peter Wherrett, Speedy Orange, Sports Car World, March 1960, page 52
- Mark Oastler, Des West's 'Appendix J' Holden 48-215, Australian Muscle Car, Jan/Feb 2011, pages 36–63
- Official V8 Supercar website Contains historical ATCC information.
- CAMS Manual reference to Australian titles > About CAMS > Titles – Australian Titles
- Simon Brady's images from Gnoo Blas - February 1960 - page 1
- Simon Brady's images from Gnoo Blas - February 1960 - page 2
- Images from Gnoo Blas - February 1960
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