Tasman Cup 1968
With the 3-litre Formula 1 now two years old, both Lotus and BRM brought 2.5-litre variants of the F1 cars to Tasman for 1968. Lotus had simply put a 2.5-litre Cosworth DFW into their normal F1 cars and brought two Lotus 49s for Jim Clark and Graham Hill. BRM had abandoned their H16 engine and were using the Tasman series as a test session for their new V12 engines and Len Terry-supplied BRM P126 cars. Drivers would be Bruce McLaren and Pedro Rodriguez, also both new to the team, and an old P261 V8 was available as a backup. Double World Champions Repco-Brabham sent a F2 BT23 for Denny Hulme with Cosworth FVA engine and Jack himself had a new BT23-based special with Repco V8 engine for two guest drives in Australia. Two F2 McLaren M4As were also present and showing off the power of Cosworth's preeminent FVA engine.
The big news was that Kiwi Chris Amon was back at the Tasman Cup for the first time since 1964 and had persuaded employers Ferrari to field a car. This was a 166 Formula 2 car fitted with a 2.4-litre Dino V6 engine, as used in Ferrari's early 1966 F1 car. Amon was fastest in the opening races, when the better of his two engines was performing at its best, and won the first two races. He was second to Clark at Wigram but then hit problems and slipped back, allowing Clark to take control. The Scotsman went on to take his third title.
Once again, Frank Gardner had the best of the locally owned cars. Alec Mildren had commissioned another BT23-based special, this one fitted with a 3-litre Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8 engine and the Australian expat was right on the pace, finishing a deserved second to Amon at the opening race and taking two further podium positions. The Climax FPF was now utterly outclassed - it scored just six points in the Tasman series and not one in the following Australian Gold Star season.
06 Jan 1968 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe
13 Jan 1968 > Levin International
20 Jan 1968 > Lady Wigram Trophy
27 Jan 1968 > Teretonga International at Teretonga Park
11 Feb 1968 > Surfers Paradise '100'
18 Feb 1968 > Warwick Farm "100"
25 Feb 1968 > Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park
04 Mar 1968 > South Pacific Trophy at Longford
1968 Tasman Cup table
|1||Jim Clark||2.5-litre Lotus 49 - Cosworth DFW V8||44 pts||4 wins|
|2||Chris Amon||2.4-litre Ferrari Dino 246T/68 V6||36 pts||2 wins|
|3||Piers Courage||1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA||34 pts||1 win|
|4=||Frank Gardner||2.5-litre Brabham BT23D - Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8||17 pts|
|4=||Graham Hill||2.5-litre Lotus 49 - Cosworth DFW V8||17 pts|
|6||Bruce McLaren||2.5-litre BRM P126 V12||11 pts||1 win|
|7=||Pedro Rodriguez||2.5-litre BRM P126 V12|
2.1-litre BRM P261 V8
|7=||Denis Hulme||1.6-litre Brabham BT23 - Cosworth FVA||8 pts|
|9||Jim Palmer||1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA||7 pts|
|10||Richard Attwood||2.5-litre BRM P126 V12||4 pts|
|11=||Leo Geoghegan||2.5-litre Lotus 39 - Repco V8||3 pts|
|11=||Roly Levis||1.5-litre Brabham BT18 - Ford twin cam||3 pts|
|13=||Paul Bolton||2.5-litre Brabham BT22 - Climax FPF 4||2 pts|
|13=||"Red" Dawson||2.5-litre Brabham BT7A - Climax FPF 4||2 pts|
|13=||Kevin Bartlett||2.5-litre Brabham BT11A - Climax FPF 4||2 pts|
|16=||Graeme Lawrence||1.5-litre Brabham BT18 - Ford twin cam||1 pts|
|16=||Bill Stone||1.5-litre Brabham BT6 - Ford twin cam||1 pts|
All cars are 2.5-litre Tasman formula cars unless otherwise noted.