Tim Schenken

Tim Schenken

26/9/1943

Formula One driver from Australia. He participated in 36 grands prix, debuting on August 16, 1970. He achieved 1 podium, and scored a total of 7 championship points.

Tim Schenken was born in Sydney in 1943. He started his racing career in Melbourne in an Austin A30 at Templestowe hill climb and quickly progressed to a Lotus 18, winning a number of local titles. Driving for a friend, he also won the 1994 Australian hill climb Championship. Tim decided to pursue a professional career and travelled to the UK in 1965. In a short time he turned "professional" and won a number of British Championships.

With 42 wins in Formula Ford and a Grovewood Award in 1968, Tim Schenken was obviously a man to watch, and in 1969 he continued the good work in Rodney Bloor's Sports Motors Formula 3 Brabham at home and abroad, winning the French Craven A title.

For 1970 Tim and the Sports Motors team took the step up to Formula 2 and had an up-and-down season, the best results being second at Paul Ricard, and third at Pau and Mantorp Park. Schenken also made his Grand Prix debut, coming into a Williams team still reeling from the loss of Piers Courage, but he could do nothing with the de Tomaso.

The following season he appeared to have made the big breakthrough. Signed as number two to Graham Hill in the Brabham team, Tim was restricted to the old BT33 (possibly an advantage, as it was an easier car to set up than the 'lobster-claw' BT34) but overshadowed the former World Champion for much of the year. Schenken's two points finishes were not really just reward for his efforts, though in non-title races he took third place in the International Trophy and fourth in the Race of Champions.

With Brabham, he scored his best Formula 1 placing in Austria, where he finished third and became one of only three Australians to have scored points in the FIA World Championship.

In 1972 he made what turned out to be the biggest mistake of his career, joining Team Surtees for a season which effectively sabotaged his long-term Grand Prix ambitions. There was some solace, for he had been leading the Rondel Formula 2 outfit with distinction and was invited to join the Ferrari sports car team, for whom he scored a win in the Buenos Aires 1000 Km and the Nürburgring 1000 Km in addition to four second places, all paired with Peterson.

After ambitious plans to race a Formula 1 Rondel failed to materialise in 1973 and the Trojan project with his old Brabham boss Ron Tauranac turned into an embarrassing failure in 1974, poor Tim must have thought things couldn't get worse, but they did when he was invited to handle a Lotus 76 in the 1974 US GP and found the car almost undriveable, his one race for the Hethel team ending in non-qualification.

Schenken then embarked on a programme of sports car and GT racing for George Loos, racing his stable of Porsches during 1975-77 and winning the Nürburgring 1000 Km with Hezemans and Stommelen in 1977. Tim also shared the Jaguar XJ12C with John Fitzpatrick in the 1977 European GT championship.

In 1976, he founded Tiga Racing Cars with Howden Ganley and built over 400 racing cars before selling the company in 1984. During this period, he also became a team owner and manager, running cars in F2 and F3. He also had a short spell in the US running an IMSA Sports car team before returning to Australia to take up a position with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport Ltd (CAMS) in 1984.

Tim is currently the Director - Racing Operations with CAMS and the Chairman of the Organising Committee and Clerk of the Course for the Australian Grand Prix. He is also the Clerk of the Course for the Adelaide round of the ALMS and the Surfers Paradise round of CART, as well as the Race Director for the Shell Championship Series V8 Super Cars.

Leave a comment

Comments