1939 Australian Grand Prix

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Australia  1939 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Formula Libre handicap race
Lobethal Circuit.svg
Date 2 January 1939
Location Lobethal, South Australia
Course Temporary road circuit
13.8 km (8.6 mi)
Distance 17 laps, 241.35 km (150 mi)
Weather Sunny

Fastest lap
Driver Australia Alf Barrett Alfa Romeo
Time 5:40
First Australia Allan Tomlinson MG
Second Australia Bob Lea-Wright Terraplane Special
Third Australia Jack Phillips Ford Special

The 1939 Australian Grand Prix was a motor race held on the Lobethal Circuit, a road course centred on the South Australian town of Lobethal on 2 January 1939. The race had 17 starters. It was held over 17 laps of the fourteen kilometre circuit, the longest ever used for the Grand Prix, for a race distance of 241 kilometres. The average speed for the race was the fastest of any Australian Grand Prix prior to 1956,[1] with race winner Alan Tomlinson averaging 84.00 mph.[2]

It was the eleventh Australian Grand Prix and the second since the 1938 revival of the Grand Prix. The track utilised was three country roads which in a triangle formation took in the nearby village of Charleston. The advantage of using these country roads, for the first time the Grand Prix was held on a bitumen sealed surface instead of dirt roads.

The race was won by relatively unknown Westeran Australian racer Allan Tomlinson in one of the best individual performances in Australian Grand Prix history, racing his supercharged MG T to victory. Bob Lea-Wright's Terraplane Special finished in second position ahead of Jack Phillips Ford Special. The fastest time over the race distance was recorded by Jack Saywell driving a Grand Prix Alfa Romeo.

Later in 1939 Australia would declare war on the AXIS powers. As World War II enveloped Australia, motor racing wound down and would not resume until the mid-1940s. The Australian Grand Prix would rise again in 1947.


Race winner Allan Tomlinson (MG TA) contesting the 1939 Australian Grand Prix

Results as follows.[1]

Pos No. Driver Car Laps Time
1 12 Australia Allan Tomlinson MG TA / MG s/c 1.3L 17 2h 00m 27s
2 19 Australia Bob Lea-Wright Terraplane Special / Terraplane 17 2h 02m 31s
3 15 Australia Jack Phillips Ford Special / Ford 3.6L 17 2h 02m 46s
4 3 Australia John Snow Delahaye 135 / Delahaye 3.6L 17 2h 04m 11s
5 17 Australia Les Burrows Hudson Special / Hudson 17 2h 04m 38s
6 1 Australia Jack Saywell Alfa Romeo P3 / Alfa Romeo 2.9L 17 2h 06m 48s
7 6 Australia John Crouch Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Le Mans / Alfa Romeo s/c 2.4L 17 2h 08m 33s
8 2 Australia Alf Barrett Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 / Alfa Romeo s/c 2.4L 17 2h 09m 11s
9 20 Australia R. Curlewis MG TB / MG 1.3L 17 2h 09m 57s
Ret 23 Australia R. W. Manser MG N / MG 1.3L 14
Ret Australia J. O'Dea MG P / MG 0.8L 14
Ret 24 Australia Russell Bowes MG N / MG 1.3L 10
Ret 25 Australia Jim Boughton Morgan 4/4 / Coventry Climax 1.1L 10
Ret 13 Australia Tim Joshua Frazer Nash / Meadows 1.5L 7
Ret 31 Australia J. Wilson MG L / MG 1.1L 7
Ret 16 Australia C. R. E. Downing Riley Brooklands / 1.5L 5
Ret 4 Australia Frank Kleinig Kleinig-Hudson 8 Special / Hudson 4.2L 3
DNS 7 United Kingdom Alan Sinclair Sunbeam Special
DNS 10 Australia Colin Dunne MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L
DNS 11 Australia Jim Gullan Ballot
DNS 21 Australia John Summers MG N / MG 1.3L


  1. ^ a b Bell, Ray (1986). "1939". In Howard, Graham. The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 104–115. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5. 
  2. ^ Australian Grand Prix Winners, Sandown, Australian Grand Prix Programme, 9 February 1964, page 23
Preceded by
1938 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by
1947 Australian Grand Prix