Piers Courage in Frank Williams? Brabham BT24 - Cosworth DFW at Pukekohe in 1969.  Copyright oldracephotos.com/Terry Marshall.  Used with permission.

Tasman Cup 1969

Chris Amon was back for 1969 and taking it much more seriously with two Ferrari 246T/69s for himself and teammate Derek Bell and four 300 bhp 24-valve engines. Despite the loss of Jim Clark, Lotus were present with a two-car team of Lotus 49Bs for Graham Hill and new teammate Jochen Rindt. BRM did not enter so the only other overseas entry was Frank Williams who had a Brabham BT24 for Piers Courage.

Rindt proved to be Amon's closest rival but spun away the lead at both Pukekohe and Levin, leaving Amon to win both races, before the Austrian took a comfortabe win at Wigram. A dominant victory at Lakeside's Australian GP for Amon meant Rindt could no longer catch him and when Amon and Courage tangled at Warwick Farm, the Kiwi was champion. He rounded off the season with victory at Sandown, his sixth in two seasons.

Now that the visiting British teams were using F1 cars and then taking them home, there was no longer the annual influx of new machinery for the locals. Alec Mildren had the funding necessary to commission specials but the number of competitive 2.5-litre cars was definitely dropping. Dave McKay's Scudria Veloce was the nominal entrant of Amon's Ferraris but no longer ran their own car. This season, Mildren had installed his Alfa V8 in a car designed for him by Len Bailey and constructed by Alan Mann Racing in England.

The races

04 Jan 1969 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

11 Jan 1969 > Levin International

18 Jan 1969 > Lady Wigram Trophy

25 Jan 1969 > Teretonga International at Teretonga Park

02 Feb 1969 > Australian Grand Prix at Lakeside

09 Feb 1969 > Warwick Farm "100"

16 Feb 1969 > Sandown Park Cup

1969 Tasman Cup table

1Chris Amon2.4-litre Ferrari Dino 246T/69 V644 pts4 wins
2Jochen Rindt2.5-litre Lotus 49B - Cosworth DFW V830 pts2 wins
3Piers Courage2.5-litre Brabham BT24 - Cosworth DFW V822 pts1 win
4Derek Bell2.4-litre Ferrari Dino 246T/69 V621 pts 
5Graham Hill2.5-litre Lotus 49B - Cosworth DFW V816 pts 
6Frank Gardner2.5-litre Mildren - Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V814 pts 
7Leo Geoghegan2.5-litre Lotus 39 - Repco V811 pts 
8Jack Brabham2.5-litre Brabham BT31 - Repco V84 pts 
9=Graeme Lawrence1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA3 pts 
9=Niel Allen1.6-litre McLaren M4A - Cosworth FVA3 pts 
9=Kevin Bartlett2.5-litre Brabham BT23D - Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V83 pts 
12Roly Levis1.6-litre Brabham BT23C - Cosworth FVA2 pts 
13Graham McRae1.5-litre McRae 69 - Ford twin cam1 pt 
13Max Stewart1.6-litre Mildren - Alfa Romeo1 pt 

Previous: the 1968 season

All cars are 2.5-litre Tasman formula cars unless otherwise noted.

The Australian and New Zealand authorities argued over the need for a change from the 2.5-litre Formula and eventually settled on a move to Formula 5000, now flourishing in the US and in Britain. So this would be the last 2.5-litre Formula Tasman Cup and the last time the F1 teams would participate. A new and equally memorable phase was about to begin.