Australian Drivers' Championship

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Australian Drivers' Championship
Category Open wheel racing
Formula 3
Country Australia
Inaugural season 1957
Drivers 23
Teams 10
Constructors Dallara
Mygale
Engine suppliers 2.0 litre Inline 4
Tyre suppliers Kumho Tires
Drivers' champion Australia Simon Hodge
Official website formula3.com.au
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Australian Drivers' Championship is a motor racing championship which has been contested annually since 1957 by drivers of cars complying with Australia's premier open-wheeler racing category as determined by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Since 2005 this category has been Formula 3 and the championship series is currently promoted as the Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship. Each year, the winner is awarded the CAMS Gold Star.[1]

It is the third oldest continuously awarded title in Australian motorsport, with only the Australian Grand Prix (since 1928) and the Australian Hillclimb Championship having a longer uninterrupted history. While originally intended to be the premier prize for domestic motor racing it has faded in importance over time and since the 1980s has been effectively a feeder series for sedans based series Australian Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars, or a launch pad for drivers to start international careers.

History[edit]

The oldest national championship still contested, the first title in 1957 was open in regulation, effectively Formula Libre. While the age of the 'Australian special', handbuilt racecars developed by local mechanic/engineers away from the European/American manufacturers that had dominated pre-World War II racing, was not yet dead, most notably the series of Maybach specials were still competitive as second-hand Formula 1 and Formula 2 cars from Europe became increasingly popular with competitors, with the Maserati 250F finding a few homes in the top echelon of drivers.

The rise of Cooper in Europe, led by Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren and the rest of the Australian/New Zealand invasion that flooded into Formula 1 in the 1960s, saw a trickle down effect increase as the smaller cheaper rear-engined packages proved quickly popular amongst competitors. The competitive nature of the racing as well as the reputation of antipodean personnel in Europe saw the factory teams look towards racing in Australia/New Zealand during the European winter. This led to the development of the Tasman Series regulations and a flood of Coopers and Brabhams into Australian racing, as well as encouraging the rise of domestic manufacturers like Elfin Sports Cars.

As the Tasman series faded there was a considerable push for a two-litre open formula to replace the Tasman regulations, however with Formula 5000 already having a strong foothold with competitors two-litre fell by the wayside. While F5000 was popular by this stage the Australian Touring Car Championship had surpassed it for popularity, a situation that would conitinue until today where the Australian Drivers' Championship is now seen as a young driver development category.

Formula 5000 continued until 1981, with fields shrunk to less than ten cars at some venues, a local variant of Formula Atlantic already in use since the late 70s, was adopted and proved immediately successful with large numbers of Ralt RT4s imported. But Pacific, or Formula Mondial as it was later re-badged, faded by 1987 and the local Australian Formula 2 category was adopted for a single race format while a Formula 3000 based formula, later titled Formula Holden was developed. Formula Holden ran from 1989 to 2003 by which stage this formulae had become unviable, the international death of Formula 3000 causing a supply of chassis to dry up. In 2005 the present international Formula 3 regulations was adopted.

Champions[edit]

Max Stewart (Mildren Waggott), winner of the 1971 championship
Frank Matich (Matich A50 Repco Holden), winner of the 1972 championship.
Ben Clucas (Dallara F304), winner of the 2006 championship
Englishman Ben Barker (Dallara F307), winner of the 2010 Australian Drivers' Championship.

Sourced in part from:[2]

Season Champion Car Formula
1957 Lex Davison Ferrari 500 Formula Libre
1958 Stan Jones Maserati 250F Formula Libre
1959 Len Lukey Cooper T45 Climax FPF Formula Libre
1960 Alec Mildren Cooper T51 Maserati Formula Libre
1961 Bill Patterson Cooper T51 Climax FPF Formula Libre
1962 Bib Stillwell Cooper T55 Climax FPF Formula Libre
1963 Bib Stillwell Brabham BT4 Climax FPF Formula Libre
1964 Bib Stillwell Brabham BT4 Climax FPF Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1965 Bib Stillwell Brabham BT11a Climax FPF Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1966 Spencer Martin Brabham BT11a Climax FPF Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1967 Spencer Martin Brabham BT11a Climax FPF Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1968 Kevin Bartlett Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1969 Kevin Bartlett Mildren Alfa Romeo
Mildren Waggott
Australian National Formula & Australian Formula 2
1970 Leo Geoghegan Lotus 59B Waggott Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1971 Max Stewart Mildren Waggott Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1972 Frank Matich Matich A50 Repco-Holden Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1973 John McCormack Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1974 Max Stewart Lola T330 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1975 John McCormack Elfin MR6 Repco-Holden Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1976 John Leffler Lola T400 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1977 John McCormack McLaren M23 Leyland Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1978 Graham McRae McRae GM3 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1
1979 Johnnie Walker Lola T332 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1
1980 Alfredo Costanzo Lola T430 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1
1981 Alfredo Costanzo McLaren M26 Chevrolet Australian Formula 1
1982 Alfredo Costanzo Tiga FA81 Ford Australian Formula 1
1983 Alfredo Costanzo Tiga FA81 Ford Australian Formula 1
1984 John Bowe Ralt RT4 Ford Formula Mondial
1985 John Bowe Ralt RT4 Ford Formula Mondial
1986 Graham Watson Ralt RT4 Ford Formula Mondial
1987 David Brabham Ralt RT30 Volkswagen Australian Formula 2
1988 Rohan Onslow Cheetah Mk8 Volkswagen
Ralt RT30/85 Volkswagen
Australian Formula 2
1989 Rohan Onslow Ralt RT20 Holden Formula Holden
1990 Simon Kane Ralt RT21 Holden Formula Holden
1991 Mark Skaife SPA 003 Holden Formula Brabham
1992 Mark Skaife SPA 003 Holden Formula Brabham
1993 Mark Skaife Lola T91/50 Holden Formula Brabham
1994 Paul Stokell Reynard 91D Holden Formula Brabham
1995 Paul Stokell Reynard 91D Holden Formula Brabham
1996 Paul Stokell Reynard 91D Holden Formula Holden
1997 Jason Bright Reynard 91D Holden Formula Holden
1998 Scott Dixon Reynard 92D Holden Formula Holden
1999 Simon Wills Reynard 94D Holden Formula Holden
2000 Simon Wills Reynard 94D Holden Formula Holden
2001 Rick Kelly Reynard 94D Holden Formula Holden
2002 Will Power Reynard 94D Holden Formula Holden
2003 Daniel Gaunt Reynard 96D Holden Formula 4000
2004 Neil McFayden Reynard 96D Holden Formula 4000
2005 Aaron Caratti Dallara F304 Sodemo-Renault Formula 3
2006 Ben Clucas Dallara F304 Spiess Opel Formula 3
2007 Tim Macrow Dallara F304 Spiess Opel Formula 3
2008 James Winslow Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2009 Joey Foster Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2010 Ben Barker Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2011 Chris Gilmour Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2012 James Winslow Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2013 Tim Macrow Dallara F307 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3
2014 Simon Hodge Mygale M11 HWA Mercedes-Benz Formula 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Drivers' Championship – CAMS Gold Star, docs.cams.com.au As archived at www.webcitation.org on 14 April 2014
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]