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Jim Clark in the Lotus 39 at Longford in 1966.  Copyright oldracephotos.com/com/David Keep.  Used with permission.

Tasman Cup 1966

Champion Jim Clark and Team Lotus were back for 1966 with the unique Lotus 39, a car originally designed for the stillborn Coventry Climax FWMW 1.5 litre flat-16 engine but now fitted with a standard 2.5-litre FPF, and Jack Brabham had announced a 2.5-litre version of his new Repco F1 engine, but both were beaten by another new works entry, the BRM team. BRM prepared 1930cc P60 versions of the Formula 1 P56 V8 engine and these were fitted into their current P261 F1 cars. With Jackie Stewart and experienced Tasman winner Graham Hill driving, the team won seven of the eight races: four for Stewart, two for Hill and one for Richard Attwood, who stood in for Hill at two races. Clark had a dreadful time in New Zealand, either retiring or spinning out, but won at Warwick Farm after a rare trouble-free weekend.

Jack Brabham's converted F1 BT19 only appeared at two races but the car was showed promise, beating the BRMs to take pole position on its debut at Sandown Park, before retiring early. The heat at Longford was too much for the Repco but Jack had the consolation of third place behind the BRMs but ahead of Clark.

Jim Palmer finished ahead of the rest of the locals with a succession of thirds and fourth places in the ex-Clark Lotus 32B. Also impressing were Frank Gardner in Alec Mildren's Brabham BT11A, Spencer Martin in the Scuderia Veloce BT11A and Dennis Marwood who had acquired an ex-F1 Cooper T66 with backing from Rothmans.

The races

08 Jan 1966 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

15 Jan 1966 > Levin International

22 Jan 1966 > Lady Wigram Trophy

29 Jan 1966 > Teretonga International at Teretonga Park

13 Feb 1966 > Warwick Farm "100"

20 Feb 1966 > Australian Grand Prix at Lakeside

27 Feb 1966 > Sandown Park Cup

07 Mar 1966 > South Pacific Trophy at Longford

1966 Tasman Cup table

1Jackie Stewart1.9-litre BRM P261 - V845 pts4 wins
2Graham Hill1.9-litre BRM P261 - V830 pts2 wins
3Jim ClarkLotus 39 - Climax FPF25 pts1 win
4Jim PalmerLotus 32B - Climax FPF21 pts 
5Frank GardnerBrabham BT11A - Climax FPF18 pts 
6Richard Attwood1.9-litre BRM P261 - V815 pts1 win
7Spencer MartinBrabham BT11A - Climax FPF11 pts 
8Dennis MarwoodCooper T66 - Climax FPF7 pts 
9Roly Levis1.5-litre Brabham BT6 - Ford twin cam5 pts 
10Jack BrabhamBrabham BT19 - Repco V84 pts 
11=Leo Geoghegan1.5-litre Lotus 32 - Ford2 pts 
11=Andy BuchanenBrabham BT7A - Climax FPF2 pts 
11=Ken Sager1.5-litre Brabham BT6 - Ford twin cam2 pts 
11=Kevin Bartlett1.5-litre Brabham BT2 - Ford2 pts 
15="Red" DawsonBrabham BT7A - Climax FPF1 pts 
15=Glyn Scott1.5-litre Lotus 27 - Ford1 pts 
15=Les Howard1.5-litre Lotus 27 - Ford1 pts 

Previous: the 1965 season

Next: the 1967 season

All cars are 2.5-litre Tasman formula cars unless otherwise noted.