Toby Lee Series

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Toby Lee Series
Category Touring car racing
Sports Sedan
Single seaters
Formula 5000
Country Australia
Inaugural season 1970
Folded 1975
Last Drivers' champion Australia Max Stewart

The Toby Lee Series was an Australian motor racing series run at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney, between 1970 and 1975.

In 1970 Oran Park, with backing from sponsors Toby Lee (a brand of shirts) and department store Grace Brothers, launched a new series of races for Group E Series Production sedans. The "Toby Lee Series" usually featured a 100 lap final round and quickly became very popular, attracting large crowds to Oran Park.

The series featured a number of leading Sydney-based drivers, such as Holden Dealer Team driver Colin Bond, emerging Ford privateer John Goss, Ford stalwart Fred Gibson and Chrysler drivers Leo Geoghegan and Doug Chivas. The Toby Lee played its part in popularising production sedan racing and in establishing the passionate Holden-Ford rivalry that would endure for decades to come.

After three years of racing under Series Production regulations (1970–1972) the Toby Lee Series switched to Sports Sedans during the 1973 and 1974 seasons. 1973 saw competitive racing with big fields. Leading contenders included John Harvey and Colin Bond in Torana Repco V8s, Bill Brown and Jim McKeown driving Porsche Carreras, Leo Geoghegan's Porsche 911S, and Allan Moffat's famous Trans-Am Mustang. But when John McCormack rolled out his highly modified Ansett Charger Repco V8 in 1974 it dominated the series. This led to a lessening of interest in the series and the fields dwindled in the second half of 1974.

For its final year of 1975 a radical switch was made away from sedan racing altogether and the Toby Lee became an open-wheeler Formula 5000 series. Max Stewart's Lola T400 won the 1975 series from the Matich A53 of John Goss.

List of winners[edit]

Year Driver Car Team
1970 Fred Gibson[1] Ford Falcon GTHO Phase I Road and Track
1971 Fred Gibson[2] Ford Falcon GTHO Phase II Road and Track
1972 Colin Bond[3] Holden Torana GTR XU-1 Holden Dealer Team
1973 John Harvey[4] Holden Torana Repco V8 Bob Jane Racing
1974 John McCormack[5] Chrysler Charger Repco Holden V8 Ansett
1975 Max Stewart[6] Lola T400 Sharp Racing Team

References[edit]

  1. ^ The History of the Falcon GT (Stewart Wilson) © 1978
  2. ^ The History of the Falcon GT (Stewart Wilson) © 1978
  3. ^ Racing Car News, November 1972
  4. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook 1974
  5. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook 1975
  6. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook 1976