Tasman Cup 1969
Chris Amon was back for 1969 and taking it much more seriously with two Ferrari 246T/69s for himself and teammate Derek Bell and four 300 bhp 24-valve engines. Despite the loss of Jim Clark, Lotus were present with a two-car team of Lotus 49Bs for Graham Hill and new teammate Jochen Rindt. BRM did not enter so the only other overseas entry was Frank Williams who had a Brabham BT24 for Piers Courage.
Rindt proved to be Amon's closest rival but spun away the lead at both Pukekohe and Levin, leaving Amon to win both races, before the Austrian took a comfortabe win at Wigram. A dominant victory at Lakeside's Australian GP for Amon meant Rindt could no longer catch him and when Amon and Courage tangled at Warwick Farm, the Kiwi was champion. He rounded off the season with victory at Sandown, his sixth in two seasons.
Now that the visiting British teams were using F1 cars and then taking them home, there was no longer the annual influx of new machinery for the locals. Alec Mildren had the funding necessary to commission specials but the number of competitive 2.5-litre cars was definitely dropping. Dave McKay's Scudria Veloce was the nominal entrant of Amon's Ferraris but no longer ran their own car. This season, Mildren had installed his Alfa V8 in a car built for him by local Rennmax constructor Bob Britton.
04 Jan 1969 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe
11 Jan 1969 > Levin International
18 Jan 1969 > Lady Wigram Trophy
25 Jan 1969 > Teretonga International at Teretonga Park
02 Feb 1969 > Australian Grand Prix at Lakeside
09 Feb 1969 > Warwick Farm "100"
16 Feb 1969 > Sandown Park Cup
1969 Tasman Cup table
|1||Chris Amon||2.4-litre Ferrari Dino 246T/69 V6||44 pts||4 wins|
|2||Jochen Rindt||2.5-litre Lotus 49B - Cosworth DFW V8||30 pts||2 wins|
|3||Piers Courage||2.5-litre Brabham BT24 - Cosworth DFW V8||22 pts||1 win|
|4||Derek Bell||2.4-litre Ferrari Dino 246T/69 V6||21 pts|
|5||Graham Hill||2.5-litre Lotus 49B - Cosworth DFW V8||16 pts|
|6||Frank Gardner||2.5-litre Mildren - Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8||14 pts|
|7||Leo Geoghegan||2.5-litre Lotus 39 - Repco V8||11 pts|
|8||Jack Brabham||2.5-litre Brabham BT31 - Repco V8||4 pts|
|9=||Graeme Lawrence||1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA||3 pts|
|9=||Niel Allen||1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA||3 pts|
|9=||Kevin Bartlett||2.5-litre Brabham BT23D - Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8||3 pts|
|12||Roly Levis||1.6-litre Brabham BT23C - Cosworth FVA||2 pts|
|13||Graham McRae||1.5-litre McRae 69 - Ford twin cam||1 pts|
|13||Max Stewart||1.6-litre Mildren - Alfa Romeo||1 pts|
All cars are 2.5-litre Tasman formula cars unless otherwise noted.
The Australian and New Zealand authorities argued over the need for a change from the 2.5-litre Formula and eventually settled on a move to Formula 5000, now flourishing in the US and in Britain. So this would be the last 2.5-litre Formula Tasman Cup and the last time the F1 teams would participate. A new and equally memorable phase was about to begin.