Jim Clark leads Chris Amon at Surfers Paradise in 1968.  Copyright Rod Mackenzie 2012.  Used with permission.

Tasman Cup 1964-1969

An informal series of races in New Zealand and Australia had given some of the European stars a welcome winter break for many years before they were formalised into an eight-race Tasman Cup in 1964. The traditional four New Zealand races would take place on consecutive weekends in January followed by a matching set of Australian races during February. An engine limit of 2.5 litres was imposed, one which favoured the venerable Climax FPF.

The early races were typically won by Jack Brabham or Bruce McLaren but Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart later stamped their superiority on this championship as well. The cars followed a matching pattern - Brabhams and Coopers in the early years; BRMs and Lotuses following later.

After six superb seasons it was time for a change and Tasman warmly welcomed F5000 for the 1970 season. At this point the star drivers started to disappear, finding that a lengthening F1 season left them little appetite for the antipodes.