John Youl in the Cooper T55 at Warwick Farm in December 1963. Copyright John Ellacott 2020.  Used with permission.

Australian Gold Star 1963

The importance of consistency was clearly demonstrated by Bib Stillwell in 1963 as he took the Gold Star without winning a race in his all-new Brabham BT4, a beefed-up 2.7-litre version of the BT3 F1 car. His strong performances in the Internationals had bagged maximum points at two races but not before his rival John Youl had qualified an impressive second at Lakeside only to retire. When the season restarted in September, Youl took a second and two wins from the last three places but couldn't catch Stillwell for the Gold Star.

Jack Brabham won the Australian GP in his works Brabham BT4 from John Surtees in the Bowmaker team's ex-F1 Lola Mk 4 and Surtees then won the Lakeside International a week later in Jack's absence. Bruce McLaren won at Longford and Sandown Park in Tommy Atkins' custom-built Cooper T62. Lex Davison then took over that car to win the Victorian Trophy at Calder and the Bathurst 100, both in April and neither counting towards the Gold Star. Davison won again at the Victorian Road Race Championship at Sandown Park in September before John Youl won the final two races in his 1961 ex-F1 Cooper T55.

The races

10 Feb 1963 > Australian Grand Prix at Warwick Farm

17 Feb 1963 > Lakeside International

04 Mar 1963 > South Pacific Championship at Longford

10 Mar 1963 > Sandown Park International

11 Apr 1963 > Victorian Trophy at Calder

15 Apr 1963 > Bathurst 100

15 Sep 1963 > Victorian Road Race Championship at Sandown Park

14 Oct 1963 > Advertiser Trophy at Mallala

01 Dec 1963 > Hordern Trophy at Warwick Farm

Australian Gold Star events shown in bold

1963 Australian Gold Star table

1Bib Stillwell2.5 Brabham BT4 - Climax FPF41 pts 
2John Youl2.5 Cooper T55 - Climax FPF38 pts2 wins
3David McKay2.7 Brabham BT4 - Climax FPF25 pts 
4=Jack Brabham2.7 Brabham BT4 - Climax FPF12 pts1 win
4=Lex Davison2.7 Cooper T62 - Climax FPF12 pts1 win

Previous: the 1962 season

Next: the 1964 season

In 1963, the first three rounds of the six-race Gold Star were the three Internationals at Warwick Farm, Lakeside and Longford so the winner of those races was typically not eligible for the Gold Star. Jack Brabham won the Australian Grand Prix at Warwick Farm but the other two were won by John Surtees (with Bib Stillwell getting 12 pts for third place) and Bruce McLaren (with Stillwell second) respectively.

So Stillwell ended the season with two 12-point scores and one second place and Youl scored two wins, one second place and a 7-point score from Longford. Brabham and Davison each had just one win, Davison having retired from every other Gold Star race.