Sam Posey in his Surtees TS11 in the pits at Sandown Park in 1973.  Copyright Stewart Clark 2017. Used with permission.

Tasman Cup Formula 5000 1973

The International entry for the 1973 Tasman series was significantly thinner that the previous year. Sam Posey, who had finished second in the US L&M series behind McRae was the only major North American entrant with his Surtees TS11, and the British contingent was limited to just Steve Thompson, in the ex-Brian Redman Chevron B24, and Alan Rollinson with a brand new production McRae GM1. Having won the Tasman and US series in 1972, and not been far away from winning the British series, Graham McRae was favourite to win, and he had the new McRae GM1 that he had used at the end of the British season. Local competition would be led by Frank Matich in the Matich A50, and John McCormack in the Elfin MR5, both using the same cars they had raced 12 months previously. The newest cars on display were the Lola T330 of Max Stewart and the two McRaes, a marked difference from the three works teams that had come to the 1972 series.

McCormack won the opener, but McRae then won at Levin and Wigram before Rollinson won at Teretonga. As usual, Matich was much stronger in the Australian races, and won from McRae at Surfers Paradise, then Steve Thompson won by a mile at Warwick Farm. McRae tied up the title by winning the Sandown Park Cup, and John McCormack secured second in the title race by winning narrowly from Rollinson at Adelaide.

The races

06 Jan 1973 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

13 Jan 1973 > Levin International

20 Jan 1973 > Lady Wigram Trophy

28 Jan 1973 > Teretonga International at Teretonga Park

04 Feb 1973 > Surfers Paradise '100'

11 Feb 1973 > Warwick Farm "100"

18 Feb 1973 > Sandown Park Cup

25 Feb 1973 > Adelaide '100' at Adelaide International Raceway

1973 Tasman Cup table

1Graham McRaeMcRae GM1 - Chevrolet Bartz V8
McRae GM1 - Chevrolet Morand V8
40 pts3 wins
2John McCormackElfin MR5 - Repco Holden V829 pts2 wins
3Frank MatichMatich A50 - Repco Holden V827 pts1 win
4Steve ThompsonChevron B24 - Chevrolet RES V822 pts1 win
5Alan RollinsonMcRae GM1 - Chevrolet V821 pts1 win
6Max StewartLola T330 - Chevrolet V817 pts 
7Warwick BrownLola T300 - Chevrolet V810 pts 
8Sam PoseySurtees TS11 - Chevrolet Bartz V89 pts 
9Johnnie WalkerMatich A50 - Repco Holden V88 pts 
10David OxtonBegg FM5 - Chevrolet V84 pts 
11Kevin BartlettLola T300 - Chevrolet V83 pts 
12=Garry PedersenBegg FM4 - Chevrolet V82 pts 
12=Dexter DunlopMcRae GM1 - Chevrolet V82 pts 
12=Noritake Takahara1.8-litre Brabham BT36 - Cosworth FVC2 pts 
12=Bob MuirMcLaren M10B - Chevrolet V82 pts 
16=Ken Smith1.9-litre March 722 - Cosworth FVC1 pt 
16=Garrie CooperElfin MR5 - Repco Holden V81 pt 

Points table from Autocourse 1973/74 p185, which gave the first 12 names, plus Smith and Cooper added for their sixth place finishes.