Penang Grand Prix

Penang, 30 Apr 1979

1 Ken Smith March 782/79B [15] - Ford BDA
(see note 1)
2 Graeme Lawrence Chevron B49 [49-79-04] - Ford BDD
(see note 2)
3 José "Pocholo" Ramirez Chevron B34 [34-76-21] - Ford BDA
4 Narcisco de la Merced Chevron B34 [34.76.25] - Ford BDA Hart

5 Diana Poon Brabham BT40 - Ford twin cam
(see note 3)

R Albert Poon Chevron B39/B40 - Ford BDA
(see note 4)
DNS Chong Kim Fah Chevron B39 - Ford BDA
Did not start

All cars are 1.6-litre F/Pac unless noted.

1 Ken Smith (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 782/79B [15] - Ford BDA
2 Albert Poon (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B39/B40 - Ford BDA
3 Graeme Lawrence (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B49 [49-79-04] - Ford BDD

Notes on the cars:

  1. March 782/79B [15] (Ken Smith): Ricardo Zunino's works car at Thruxton 27 Mar 1978 and presumably all season. Converted to Formula Atlantic for Teo Fabi to race in New Zealand in January 1979 (where it was reported to be wearing plate "782-16", an observation that is now thought to have been incorrect). To Ken Smith (New Zealand) and raced in Formula Pacific in the 1979/80, 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons. Then to Warren Heron, but not raced until Bay Park in March 1989. Raced twice in 1990, but then stored until two further races, in 1998 and 1999. Sold back to Ken Smith in 2009. To Robert Shaw (UK) in 2010, and restored back to Formula 2 specification. To Marc Devis (Belgium) late 2016.
  2. Chevron B49 [49-79-04] (Graeme Lawrence): New to Graeme Lawrence (New Zealand) and raced in the Southeast Asian Formula Pacific races in 1979. Crashed in the Selangor Grand Prix in September, and reported to have been written off. To Peter Haskett and rebuilt. Entered by Haskett for Charlie Thomasen in the 1983/84 New Zealand season. Raced by Haskett in the 1983/84 season, and retained for 1984/85. Then unknown until 2003 or 2004, when it was bought from Kenny Smith by Kevin Ban (Christchurch, NZ) of Kelford Cams. It went to Barry Leitch for restoration, and Murray Sinclair commented on TNF in June 2006 that it would need a new monocoque, which was being fabricated. It was shown complete in March 2015, when Ban was due to pick it up.
  3. Brabham BT40 (Diana Poon): New to Albert Poon (Hong Kong) and fitted with a Hart twin cam engine for the Southeast Asian 2-valve 1600cc formula. Raced by Poon in 1973 and 1974 and then, after Poon acquired a newer Chevron B29, the Brabham was raced by Graeme Lawrence in the Malaysian GP in March 1975 and by Kevin Bartlett in the Macau Grand Prix in November 1975. Then raced by Poon's wife, Diana Poon, from 1976 to 1979. At some point, the Brabham was badly damaged, and its tub has been rebuilt by new owner Neville McKay. Reported to be still owned by McKay but in pieces in 2004.
  4. Chevron B39/B40 (Albert Poon): New to LC Kwan (Hong Kong), owner of the Equipe 66 garage, for Albert Poon (Hong Kong) to drive in Formula Pacific in Southeast Asia. Before it was shipped to Asia, to was borrowed by Ardmore Racing and fitted with a Swindon BDX engine for Divina Galica to race in the Donington Park F2 event in October 1977. It was then shipped to Hong Kong in time for the Macau Grand Prix a month later. Although Poon entered his car as a B40, an article in the Malaysia Grand Prix race programme in May 1978 described the car as a "new car which he has just bought in the US". Also raced by Kevin Bartlett at Macau in 1978 and by Andrew Miedecke at Macau in 1979. Then raced by Poon at Macau in 1980, 1981 and 1982.


The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.

The results of the Formula Pacific races in South East Asian at Macau, Penang, Selangor and Shah Alam were originally provided by Chris Townsend based on the short reports in Autosport and Motoring News plus the information supplied by a wide range of contributors. These have been developed further by Andrew Horrox using material in New Zealand Motoraction. For the Macau Grand Prix, further data comes from Philip Newsome's book 'Color and Noise: 40 Years of the Macau Grand Prix' (Studio Publications Ltd, 1993).

All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can help in any way with our research.

Individual sources for this event

Motoring News 10 May 1979 p15, Autosport 24 May 1979 p7. Former competitor Brian Tyler wrote a report for Autosport on the Penang and Malaysians GPs. There were only 8 starters at Penang's 'round the streets' race after Kim Fah's car could not be repaired after his practice tangle with Lawrence. Two of the starters were not mentioned.