John McCormack in the McLaren-Leyland M23 at Winton in 1976.  Copyright oldracephotos.com/Neil Hammond. Used with permission.

Australian Gold Star 1976

Max Stewart bought a second Lola T400 at the end of 1975, the one prepared by Haas Racing as a backup for Brian Redman and therefore probably the best developed of the T400s, and raced it in the 1976 Gold Star. Ken Shirvington had also bought the T400 developed by VDS for Peter Gethin, and John Leffler had acquired the last car built from Carl Haas, so with Kevin Bartlett still having his car, five T400s raced in Australia in 1976. Up against them were two interesting new cars: John McCormack installed the lightweight Leyland P76 alloy engine in an ex-F1 McLaren M23, and Garrie Cooper produced the Elfin MR8.

After John Goss won the Australian GP in his Matich A51/A53 from Vern Schuppan in the new Elfin MR8, the remaining three rounds were won by Stewart, McCormack and the Lola T332 of Alfredo Costanzo, but when the points were counted it was Leffler that had won the title.

The races

12 Sep 1976 > Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park

19 Sep 1976 > Oran Park

17 Oct 1976 > Calder

07 Nov 1976 > Rose City "10,000" at Winton

28 Nov 1976 > Mirafiori 5000 at Phillip Island

Australian Gold Star events shown in bold

1976 Australian Gold Star table

1John LefflerLola T400 - Chevrolet V822 pts 
2Max StewartLola T400 - Chevrolet V812 pts1 win
3John McCormackMcLaren M23 - Leyland P76 V811 pts1 win
4Bruce AllisonLola T332 - Chevrolet V810 pts 
5=John GossMatich A51/A53 - Repco Holden V89 pts1 win
5=Alfredo CostanzoLola T332 - Chevrolet V89 pts1 win
7Garrie CooperElfin MR8-C - Chevrolet V88 pts 
8Kevin BartlettLola T400 - Chevrolet V86 pts 
9Chris MiltonMcLaren M18/M22 - Chevrolet V84 pts 
10Andrew Miedecke(ANF2) 1.6-litre Brabham BT36 - Ford twin cam3 pts 

Previous: the 1975 season

All cars are 5-litre ANF1 (F5000) cars unless otherwise noted.