18/2/1968

Round 6 of the Tasman Cup, Sydney New South Wales Australia, won by Jim Clark in a Lotus 49-Ford.

Jim Clark drove his Lotus 49-Ford to victory in the 'International 100', round 6 of the Tasman Cup series, held on the 2.25 mile Warwick Farm circuit. Clark's 2nd straight series win and 3rd of the season also moved him into the points lead. Oily, slippery track conditions led to a number of Goodyear shod teams switching to other tire brands for the race. BRM team manager Tim Parnell switched to Dunlop while Jack Brabham switched to Firestone, despite being contracted to Goodyear. There was talk of lawsuits against the 3 time World Champion for his move. Brabham was making the first of two planned starts, trying out a new chassis built for the Tasman as well as a lightened Repco V8 motor. Pole winner Clark jumped into the lead on the start ahead of teammate Graham Hill and points leader Chris Amon. At the 1/3 mark of the 45 lap race, the order was Clark, Hill, Amon, Piers Courage and Brabham. Brabham, trying to catch up to the leading Ford powered cars, overdid it a bit and lost three seconds in an excursion up a dirt bank. Two laps later, Brabham pitted to take on a pint and a half of oil, losing almost 2 laps and falling to 10th in the process. By lap 30, Clark had a five second lead over teammate Hill. After a sideways slide around Creek Corner, Amon finally lost the 2.4 liter Ferrari coming off of Northern Crossing. Courage moved into 3rd and Denis Hulme closed up on Amon. Courage then set his F2 McLaren-Ford after second running Hill, closing to 1.5 seconds back by lap 34 as Hulme was only a half second behind Amon. Hulme ducked his F2 Brabham-Ford briefly into 2nd when Amon again ran wide, but Amon re-passed down the long front straight. Brabham continued to run, still spraying oil onto the already slippery circuit (the Brabham had been spraying oil from the first practice). From there nothing changed. The final excitement came when the cannon that was used to signal the start and finish of the race was fired a lap early. Drivers whipping around on their last lap found spectators right on the edge of the circuit. Having led from the start, Clark went on to take the win ahead of Hill, Courage, Amon, Hulme and Pedro Rodriguez. Already upset over his 4th place finish, Amon was furious about the spectators being allowed to crowd the course on the last lap and Hulme also was disturbed over the incident. A visiting Stirling Moss presented Clark with the trophy. It was Clark's 3rd win in the event and moved him past Amon and into the series points lead. With two rounds remaining, it was Clark with 33, Amon with 30 and Courage with 23. It was another great drive turned in by Courage, who said he was open to works team offers.

Jim Thurman

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