Australian Formula Junior History

 

Australians were slow to accept the new formula. It was 1960 before these cars emerged racing initially as Formula Libre. As numbers increased in 1961 Formula Junior only events were held predominately in Victoria and NSW. In October 1962 at "Catalina Park", Frank Matich won the first Australian Championship event in an Australian built Elfin Cosworth. The 1963 championship  at Warrick Farm Circuit was won by Leo Geoghegan in his Lotus 22 Ford. The race covered 75 miles with a field of 14 cars.

During the Formula Junior period, Australians imported a range of overseas built cars and these more technically advanced vehicles competed against locally built cars that included one-off specials and professionally  built cars like Elfin, Lynx, Nota, Rennmax and Jolus. Australian dealerships for Brabham and Lotus were established and cars often shipped for our summer season  of events were purchased by locals and never returned to England.

From 1964 Australian Formula Juniors were re-classified as Australian Formula Two (AF2) and competed as a separate class in composite events which  included many modified Formula Juniors with 1500cc engines.

The most unique feature of Formula Junior in Australia was that these were the first cars to enjoy a series of events run to an international formula. Prior to this and since, Australia has opted to run local regulations for local or modified overseas cars.

Australia did endeavour to change International Formula Junior rules during 1960-1961. One of the changes included the ability to use up to 1500cc engines, which had this been accepted by Australian competitors, would have resulted in a 300lb weight penalty for the car, and consequently they were never seriously used.

For a comprehensive list of car grids dating from 1960 - 1963, please click on the link below

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Last updated 15 May 2014
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