Allan George Moffat, OBE (born 10 November 1939 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) is an Australian racing driver known for his four wins in the Australian Touring Car Championship, six wins in the Sandown 500 and his four wins in the Bathurst 500/1000. Moffat was inducted into the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame in 1999.
Moffat and his long-time friend and rival (and later co-driver) Peter Brock are the only drivers to have won The Great Race at Bathurst in both its 500 mile and 1000 kilometre formats.
Born in Canada, Moffat moved to Australia as a 17 year old college student with his parents when his father, who worked for Massey Ferguson, was transferred to Melbourne for work and in the early 1960s embarked on his record-setting motor racing career. He started his racing career at the wheel of a Triumph TR3.
1965 to 1971
Moffat first entered the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) in 1965, driving a Lotus Cortina. Following this Moffat spent time in the United States where he drove in the new Trans-Am Series in 1966, showing his talent by winning the 3rd round of the series, the Bryar 250, at the Bryar Motorsports Park, outright in an Under 2L division Lotus Cortina on 10 July 1966, leading home Bruce Jennings driving a Plymouth Barracuda by over a lap.
Moffat returned to Australia but also spent more time in the USA, continuing to drive the Cortina as well as Ford Mustangs for Carroll Shelby in Trans-Am with various Australian co-drivers including Trans-Am regular Horst Kwech and Ford Australia's, and future Holden rival, Harry Firth. Moffat's time in Trans-Am included competing with Kwech in the Trans-Am class at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring and driving four Trams-Am races in a Mercury Cougar for Bud Moore Engineering.
By 1969 Moffat had returned to live full-time in Australia and from 1969 he had become a regular ATCC competitor and his bright red Coca-Cola-sponsored Ford Boss 302 Mustang, which was supplied brand-new to Moffat from Ford's American 'in-house' race car fabrication and engineering facility "Kar Kraft" and finished off by Bud Moore Engineering, was unmistakable at circuits around Australia. With the help of Tom Hamilton and chief mechanic Lou Mallia, he would go on to win 101 championship and non-championship touring car races from 151 starts in this car between 1969 and 1972, including the first ever win by one of the seven factory Boss Mustangs built for racing in its debut at the Southern 60 at Sandown in May 1969, yet his dream of winning the ATCC in the Mustang eluded him. He failed to place in the top 10 in 1969, finished 6th in 1970, 2nd in 1971 and 3rd in 1972.
Moffat and his Coke Mustang were involved in two of the most memorable ATCC races on record. In 1971 he went into the 7th and final round at Oran Park only 4 points behind three time ATCC champion Bob Jane in his 7.0 litre Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1. Both started from the front row (Moffat on pole) and entered into an enticing duel. In mid-race Moffat was forced to pit in order to free a jammed gearbox but battled back to only be six-tenths of a second behind Jane at the finish. Then in 1972 he was involved in a race long dice with Ian "Pete" Geoghegan at the Easter round of the series (Round 3) at the 6.172 km Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst. Up against Geohegan's more powerful, 5.8L "Super Falcon", Moffat, while being left behind on the long Mountain and Conrod Straights, was able to keep with the Falcon using its superior handling and brakes and again only lost by less than a second. Moffat drove for over half the race with his safety belts undone so that he could put his head out of the drivers window in order to see where he was going, the Falcon having a small oil leak which saw some oil sprayed onto the Mustangs windscreen. By his own admission, Moffat did the wrong thing and turned his wipers on which only made the situation worse as it smeared the oil over the window and with the race only being 13 laps long he was forced to carry on. Following the race Moffat protested Geoghegan's Falcon but the protest was dismissed after Geoghegan's crew had time to wipe away the excess oil before the scrutineer's could examine the car.
Although Moffat and a number of other drivers raced Mustangs for ATCC competition - the five ATCC titles from 1965 to 1969 were won by Norm Beechey (1965) and Pete Geoghegan (1966–69) driving Mustangs - this car, modified to CAMS Improved Production Touring Car regulations was ineligible for the Bathurst 500 (later Bathurst 1000), which was restricted to standard production cars prior to 1973. Moffat therefore made his debut in that race in 1969 in a Ford works team entered Ford Falcon XW GTHO. He and co-driver Alan Hamilton finished fourth. Due to the severe tyre problems suffered by the works GTHOs, Moffat was called into the pits early to change tyres. To the amazement of Ford team manager Al Turner, Moffat's tyres were not as near worn as those on the lead Geoghegan brothers or the Gibson/Seton Falcons, showing that Moffat was a driver who could be kind to his car and still go fast. Moffat maintains the view that he never wanted to pit at the time and that had he been left "to his own devices", he and Alan Hamilton would have won the 1969 500. Moffat had actually been near last on the first lap of the race after his Falcon became stuck in neutral as he was powering out of The Cutting. This turned out to be fortunate as it allowed him to avoid the Bill Brown rollover going over Skyline which blocked the track and took out approximately a quarter of the field who had no warning of the impending disaster.
The following two years would see Moffat come into his own as one of Australia's most dominant race drivers, and the Falcon GTHO as an almost unbeatable car. For 1970, Ford Australia had made significant improvements to the Falcon XW GTHO Phase II over the previous year's model and Moffat, racing without a co-driver, took the car to two crushing victories in both the 1970 and 1971 Bathurst races, and also the 1970 Rothmans 250 Production Classic endurance race. In 1971 he became the first driver to lead the Bathurst 500 from start to finish while driving the famed Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III
Moffat looked headed for an historic third straight Bathurst victory in 1972 when Ford unveiled plans for a "Phase IV" Falcon GTHO, even faster but more subtle than the Phase III which Moffat had taken to victory in 1971. Sydney based motoring journalist Evan Green caught wind of these plans however and his article, with headlines across the country that screamed, "160mph Supercars On Our Roads!" created the Supercar scare. Facing pressure from the media and government not to produce this car, as entering it at Bathurst would also require at least 200 units to be sold at dealerships in Australia, Ford scrapped production of the Phase IV and forced Moffat and other Ford drivers to resort to year-old Phase III cars for Bathurst that year. Peter Brock won the race that year for arch-rival manufacturer Holden after wet weather and brake dramas hobbled the Fords. This race would be seen as the start of the Moffat-Brock rivalry that would dominate Australian touring car racing in the years to come.
1973 to 1980
In 1973, both the ATCC and the Bathurst endurance race were open for the first time only to the newly introduced CAMS Group C Touring Cars. These mildly modified cars replaced both the existing highly modified Group C Improved Production Touring Cars (which had contested the ATCC since 1965) and the virtually standard Group E Series Production Touring Cars (which had previously contested the Bathurst event). Ford, smarting from the Phase IV controversy the year before, withdrew their factory teams from competition at the end of 1973. This left Moffat and other Ford drivers to form their own privateer teams, despite the Factory team and Moffat being victorious in both the 1973 ATCC - his first ever - and the 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 (with co-driver Ian Geoghegan). Moffat, Geoghegan and Ford have the distinction of being the first winners of the Bathurst race following its conversion from a 500-mile event to 1000 km.
Following the change from Improved Production to Group C for the ATCC in 1973, Moffat's Boss 302 Mustang was no longer eligible for that series. Moffat ran the Mustang in Sports Sedans in 1973 and 1974, though he refused to follow the trend at the time of moving the engine back in the cabin, later stating in a 2004 interview he "was never going to contaminate such a jewel", though he did replace the bodywork with fibreglass to avoid damaging the cars sheetmetal. Following 1974 Moffat sent the Mustang back to Bud Moore in America where it sat for sale until 1995 when it was purchased and restored by Queensland based entrepreneur David | best finishs voted the most popular Muscle Car ever to race in Australia by readers of Australian Muscle Car magazine.
Moffat struggled through the 1974 and 1975 seasons. He failed to finish Bathurst in those years, and was only moderately competitive in ATCC races. In 1975 he drove a BMW 3.0CSL with Brian Redman and Hans-Joachim Stuck to win the 12 Hours of Sebring for the factory backed BMW Motorsport.
Moffat returned to drive his XB Falcon GT Hardtop full-time in the 1976 ATCC and won his second title. This occurred despite the setback of a transporter fire which destroyed his race car with several rounds left to run, forcing Moffat to borrow a car from rival John Goss for two rounds. Moffat also won the inaugural Australian Sports Sedan Championship that year, driving firstly a Chevrolet Monza and later a Ford Capri RS3100. He failed to finish Bathurst again in 1976 despite taking pole and leading comfortably with co-driver Vern Schuppan.
Moffat re-established his dominance in 1977 with a two-car factory-supported team under the Moffat Ford Dealers Team banner. He won his second consecutive ATCC title in 1977, backed up brilliantly by new team-mate Colin Bond who had switched to Ford after driving the previous eight years for the Holden Dealer Team. This was the third ATCC win of his career, but this performance was overshadowed by the victory for Moffat and Belgian co-driver Jacky Ickx in the 1977 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst. By the midpoint of the race the Moffat/Ickx car and the Bond/Alan Hamilton car led the field by over two laps. Late in the race Moffat's car encountered serious brake problems due to Ickx's hard driving of what was to him an unfamiliar car and had to slow, allowing Bond to catch up for the cars to complete the final two laps of the race side-by-side and cross the finish line in tandem with Bond allowing Moffat to stay barely in front for a crushing 1-2 victory for Ford. This moment is remembered as one of the most famous in Australian motor sport history and still regarded by many as Ford's finest hour. The following year Moffat received an Order of the British Empire in 1978 for exceptional services to motor sport.
Moffat was unable to repeat his 1977 successes over the following three years. Moffat and Bond split at the end of the 1978 season and Moffat retired from the 1978, 1979 and 1980 Bathurst races (his last drive in an Australian Ford product) and did not win the ATCC title in those years as Holden began to gain a manufacturer's edge with their Torana A9X SS which was lighter and more nimble than the heavy Falcons.
In 1980 he competed in various cars and in various countries. He drove a Porsche 934 turbo to win the Australian Sports Car Championship. He also drove at the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans, sharing a Porsche 935 turbo with Indycar legend Bobby Rahal, where they were forced to withdraw whilst in fourth place. He also did a guest drive for the Holden Dealer Team taking third place in the 1980 Hang Ten 400 at Sandown driving a Holden Commodore. The event was marked by the fact that it was only the second time Moffat had raced a Holden and the first time that he was driving in the same team as his arch rival Peter Brock.
1981 and beyond
Much to the dismay of the Aussie Ford fans, Moffat left the "Blue Oval" brand in 1981 to drive a Peter Stuyvesant-sponsored Mazda RX-7 as both the ATCC and Bathurst began to exhibit a shift towards lighter touring cars with less raw power. Moffat drove the RX-7 to four consecutive top-six finishes at Bathurst between 1981 and 1984 including a second in 1983 and 3rd in 1984, while winning his fourth and final ATCC title in 1983. During this time Moffat drove his RX-7 to victories in the 1982 and 1984 Australian Endurance Championships.
Moffat also competed at the 24 Hours of Daytona in an RX-7, taking a class win in 1982 with co-drivers Lee Mulle and Kathy Rude. In 1982 he again competed at Le Mans in a factory RX-7-based sportscar, achieving a class win. In his bid to win the 1983 ATCC, Moffat had to turn down a factory drive for Mazda at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans as the final round of the ATCC was held the same weekend as the French classic. Moffat went into the ATCC race in second place behind the Nissan of George Fury and with the Nissan team not attending the meeting, Moffat needed to finish no lower than fifth to claim his fourth title. He eventually finished in third place to claim the ATCC by just six points.
In 1985 he took his own RX-7 that he campaigned previously in Australia to Daytona for the 24 Hour race, sharing the car with Australian drivers Gregg Hansford, Kevin Bartlett and Peter McLeod. The car differed from its Australian configuration, a new rear wing was run on the car and 20 kg of ballast was removed (bringing it to its actual homologated weight of 930 kg). The engine was in fact the same one that had carried Moffat and Hansford to third place in the '84 James Hardie. Moffat qualified the car in 38th (12th in the GTO class) and eventually finished 24th and 7th in class, some 221 laps behind the race winners.
After sitting out the 1985 Australian season, Moffat returned to touring car racing for four more years (1986–1989). 1986 was notable in that Moffat had joined longtime rival and friend Peter Brock and the Holden Dealer Team. The pair were immediately successful, winning the 1986 Wellington 500 in the brand-new Holden Commodore VK Group A SS. Moffat and Brock then went to Europe to tackle the FIA Touring Car Championship (formerly the European Touring Car Championship) with two 5th placings at Donington and Hockenheim being their best on-track results. Despite not actually winning the race overall, the HDT's two-car attack on the 1986 Spa 24 Hours was considered to be a success because they won the prestigious "Kings Cup" teams prize along with Allan Grice's Commodore (the Kings Cup is awarded to the "team" who has the highest overall placings for at least 3 of their cars at the end of the race). Moffat, Brock and John Harvey finished the race itself in 22nd place after suffering two head gasket failures. The lead car finished four places behind the team's second car, which finished in 18th spot. The HDT's 1986 European campaign was to be a precursor to an all-out attack on the 1987 World Touring Car Championship.
The HDT then came home and Moffat partnered Brock in the 1986 Castrol 500 at Sandown Raceway. Between them Moffat and Brock had won 14 of the previous 17 Sandown Enduro's. Brock qualified the car on pole but tyre problems in the race meant only a 4th placed finish for the pair in their second ever Australian race together, the first being just a few weeks previous at the BP Plus 300 held at the Surfers Paradise International Raceway. The HDT went to the 1986 James Hardie 1000 confident of victory and the Brock/Moffat partnership in car 05 were favored to win with the pair having won 12 of the previous 16 Bathurst 1000's between them. Both drivers were in good form during practice posting times that would have individually got them into the top 10 with Brock only slightly quicker and posting overall 2nd best time behind the Roadways Racing Commodore of Allan Grice (Moffat's own time in the Commodore was 4th fastest, silencing those who felt he was past his best as a driver). Then early in Friday's qualifying session Moffat, in what turned out to be his only serious crash at Bathurst, put the 05 Commodore into the wall at the top of the mountain. This unfortunately caused the car to miss the Hardies Heroes Top 10 run off the next day as the car could not be repaired in time, its place in the top 10 being taken by the Commodore of former motorcycle racer Graeme Crosby. This meant that the Brock/Moffat car would start 11th on the grid. According to the team the car was repaired 'better than new' by the TAFE apprentices and Brock recorded a 2:18.80 lap in Saturday afternoon's practice. The race though only gave the Brock/Moffat team 5th place after they lost some 7 minutes in the pits bypassing a leaking oil cooler. Moffat himself was hampered by an injured wrist sustained in Friday's crash. While not showing any discomfort on RaceCam, he was unable to push as hard as he would have liked although he lost no time to the leaders during his driving stints. Despite the loss of two and a half laps and with the engine close to overheating due to not running the oil cooler, Brock and Moffat ran hard and fast for the rest of the race and made up ground to be only 1 lap down on the winning Grice/Graeme Bailey car at race end. The HDT's other car driven by John Harvey and Neal Lowe finished the race in 2nd place after a relatively trouble free run.
1987 started well with Brock and Moffat again winning the Wellington 500. Then the HDT as a factory team fell apart after Holden cut all official ties with Brock over his public launch of the VL Commodore based HDT Director. Moffat then quit the team and purchased the brand-new VL Commodore Group A SS that Brock had intended to take to Europe to compete in the World Touring Car Championship. Moffat purchased the car through a middleman to avoid having his former employer knowing the true buyer. The car was then immediately shipped to England for preparation for the first round of the WTCC.
In the first round held at Monza, Moffat and his co-driver, ex-HDT driver John Harvey who had also quit the Brock team after 10 years of loyal service, qualified the car in 9th place and finished the race 7th on the road. Hours after the race, the Rothmans sponsored Commodore was declared the winner after a protest by a private BMW entry from Germany had seen the works BMW M3's (which had finished 1-6) disqualified for being underweight (as of December 2012 neither Moffat, nor Harvey, have possession of the winner's trophy as they never received it). Despite being declared the outright winners of the race, they did not receive championship points as the team had not paid the USD$60,000 championship entry fee imposed by series promoter Bernie Ecclestone (only cars whose teams had paid the fee were eligible for points, this saw some leading teams, notably Tom Walkinshaw's TWR, pull out of the championship before it began). The car was then a DNF at the next two rounds at Jarama and Dijon before Moffat and Harvey drove the Commodore to a sensational fourth place outright and a class win at the Spa 24-hour race. This also proved to be the cars final race as Moffat, realising that to be competitive at Bathurst he would need one of the new, powerful Ford Sierra RS500's, completed a deal to lease the Andy Rouse run Sierra for the Australian rounds of the championship which was backed by new major sponsor ANZ Bank. This deal also left Harvey without a drive for the rest of the year as Rouse and his co-driver Thierry Tassin would share the driving with Moffat. The deal proved a disaster for Moffat as the car was retired at both the James Hardie 1000 and the Calder 500 before Moffat got his turn to race.
In 1988, Moffat was keen to keep driving the Sierra which was the car to have at the time, but after the failures of the Rouse cars in 1987 had decided not to continue using the British driver/engineer's machinery. Instead he managed to do something that very few had managed to do. He persuaded Swiss touring car tuning ace Ruedi Eggenberger to build him a customer Sierra RS500 that was identical to the works Fords that the Eggenberger team was using in the renamed ETCC. The deal was rumored to have cost Moffat around A$300,000. Moffat and former Mazda co-driver Gregg Hansford campaigned the car in the 1988 ATCC in a low-key run while the team got to know the car. They then won the 1988 Enzed 500 at Sandown in what was Moffat's last ever win in Australia, and almost pulled off an upset at the Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst where Eggenberger himself joined the team and along with his Ford Europe driver, German ace Klaus Niedzwiedz. With Eggenberger waving his 'magic wand' over the Sierra, and Niedzwiedz leading the driving, the pair turned the car into one of the fastest on the track, qualifying 4th and winning the $40,000 "Tooheys Top Gun" run-off, which for the only time in its history wasn't for pole (Moffat's fastest time in practice was some six seconds slower than the German and eight seconds off the pole time set by Dick Johnson). The car ultimately was a DNF after head gasket failure on lap 129 of 161 with Hansford at the wheel. Neidzwiedz had taken the lead from Tony Longhurst on lap 29 and the car remained in the lead for 100 laps before a vapor lock (caused by the car cooling down too much during a safety car period) led to the car's failure.
This race was also significant in that it was the last time Moffat raced at Bathurst. He did enter and qualify for the 1989 Tooheys 1000, but decided not to actually race as the lead team car driven by Neidzwiedz and Frank Biela had a chance at victory and since they were much faster he felt it best to leave them to it (the Moffat Sierra would ultimately finish second).
Other than his four wins at Bathurst, Moffat also won the Sandown Endurance race six times, being the only driver to win it under three different national regulations, these being Series Production (1969, 1970), Group C (1974, 1982, 1983) and Group A (1988).
Moffat's last race and indeed last race win was in 1989 driving with Niedzwiedz. The pair drive Moffat's Sierra (with Ruedi Eggenberger again on hand to engineer the car) in the Fuji 500km race in Japan. Allan Moffat quietly retired from competitive race driving after the Fuji win, keeping a promise he had made to himself and wife Pauline that he wouldn't race beyond his 50th birthday (the Fuji 500 was run 2 days after Moffat's 50th). He has since worked as a TV commentator for Channel 7 and a spokesman for BMW. He also appears at various Ford club events across Australia, and more recently (2009-) has been seen in television adverts in Australia promoting Ford Performance Vehicles GT Falcons.
Moffat continued as the team owner and manager of Allan Moffat Enterprises which ran the RS500 Sierra's until the demise of Group A at the end of 1992. In a significant partnership, car builder Eggenberger and ace driver Niedzwiedz joined Moffat at Bathurst every year from 1988-1992 excluding the 1991 race when they were not available due to other commitments. The best result for the team during this period was Niedzwiedz's second place with Frank Biela at the 1989 race. Neidzwiedz gave the Moffat-ANZ team pole position at the 1990 Tooheys 1000 while he had also won the Top 10 run-off in 1988 when race regulations meant that the run-off did not count for grid positions.
After the Sierra's were banned in their RS500 form at the end of 1992, Moffat decided to continue his long association with Ford and built an eye-catching Ford EB Falcon painted black and bright green in the colours of team sponsor Cenovis for the 1993 Tooheys 1000. The team's first Bathurst with a Falcon since 1980 did not turn out much better than their previous attempt. The car's V8 engine was built by another longtime Moffat associate, Kar Kraft, in the USA (who had supplied Moffat with his Boss Mustang back in 1969) and was built with a Carburetor instead of the fuel injection of the leading cars. Driven by Charlie O'Brien and Andrew Miedecke, the car qualified 18th but retired with gearbox failure after completing just 41 of the races 161 laps. For the 1994 Tooheys 1000, Moffat had his race engines supplied by Dick Johnson Racing and the team, with drivers Miedecke and Englishman Jeff Allam were more competitive, qualifying 16th and finished a well-deserved 8th, only four laps behind the winning Falcon of Dick Johnson and John Bowe.
The 1995 Tooheys 1000 saw the team struggle once more. Andrew Miedecke was again lead driver and qualified the aging EB Falcon in 16th place but co-driver Mark Noske never got a drive with the car retiring on lap 16 with engine trouble. The 1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 was the last time that an Allan Moffat-built or driven (in this case just built) car raced at Bathurst. In what was also his last Bathrust race, Klaus Niedzwiedz returned to the team, where he joined Ken Douglas in a strong run to finish 10th after Niedzwiedz qualified the older and underpowered Falcon in 25th place.
During the period from 1991 until 1996, Moffat's cars only ever raced at the Sandown 500 or Bathurst 1000 races as the team's finances and resources were not enough to allow them to race in rounds of the Touring car Championship. Moffat himself also doubled as an expert commentator for Channel 7 during its motor sport telecasts during this time, including at Bathurst, where he had the dual role of commentator and race team manager.
Beyond Motor Racing
On 2 February 2004, he received Australian citizenship in a ceremony at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation offices in Melbourne. He had been eligible for citizenship since the early 1970s but, in his own words, "one way or another I never followed it through." The citation itself was given by his old friend and sparring partner, Peter Brock.
Although Moffat has lived permanently in Australia for over 35 years, his broad Canadian accent has remained intact and continues to be his trademark. Moffat is a Director of the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety (AIMSS).
Moffat's two sons Andrew Moffat and James Moffat have followed their father into motor racing.
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|IMSA||71||Dick Barbour Racing|| Bobby Rahal
|Porsche 935 K3||G||134|
|Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6|
|82||Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.|| Yojiro Terada
|Mazda 13B 1.3L 2-Rotary|
Complete World Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|1987||Allan Moffat Racing||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A||MNZ
|Ford Sierra RS500||BAT
† Not registered for series & points
- 1966 SCCA Trans-American Championship Results
- Official Programme, Sandown, 11–14 February 1982, page 8
- James Hardie 1000 Bathurst 1982 Retrieved on 6 August 2011
- Official Programme, Adelaide International Raceway, Sunday, 1 May 1983, page 31
- Official Programme, Mount Panorama Bathurst, Sunday, 2 October 1983, page 65
- Official Programme, Mount Panorama Bathurst, Sunday, 30 September 1984, page 65