1938 Australian Grand Prix

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Australia  1938 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Formula Libre handicap race
Date 18 April 1938
Location Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, New South Wales
Course Temporary road circuit
Course length 6.12 km (3.84 mi)
Distance 40 laps, 244.8 km (153.6 mi)
Weather Sunny
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Peter Whitehead ERA
Time 3m 23s [1]
First ERA
Second Terraplane Special
Third MG
Peter Whitehead (ERA) takes the flag to win the 1938 Australian Grand Prix

The 1938 Australian Grand Prix was a motor race held at Mount Panorama Circuit near Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia on 18 April 1938. The race, which had 30 starters, was held over 40 laps of the six kilometre circuit for a total distance of 241 kilometres.

The race was the tenth Australian Grand Prix and the first to be held in New South Wales. It marked a revival of the Australian Grand Prix title which had not been used since April 1935. The track utilised was the newly completed Mount Panorama Circuit, a dirt surface tourist drive which climbed the slope of Mount Panorama in the Bald Hills to the south of the city of Bathurst. The Grand Prix was the feature race at the inaugural meeting at the rural New South Wales venue. With a circuit length of just over 3.8 miles it was the shortest circuit to host the Australian Grand Prix to this time.

The format for the race was much the same as used previously for Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, incorporating a handicap start with the slowest car starting first and other cars starting at intervals according to their predicted pace. The meeting was enlivened by two visiting British drivers, Peter Whitehead and Alan Sinclair who had brought with them supercharged racing machinery, respectively an ERA and an Alta. While Sinclair was unable to start the race, Whitehead did and it was quickly realised that his position as the scratch handicap competitor was too generous and by races end he had driven through the field. The only driver who had offered any resistance was Les Burrows driving a 1933 Terraplane-based racing car. However Burrows slowed near the end, his engine reducing in power sufficiently to allow Whitehead to sweep by to take victory despite Burrows starting the race 15 minutes earlier.


Results as follows.[2]

Pos No. Driver Car Laps Time
1 1 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead ERA B Type / ERA s/c 1.5L 40 2h 46m 50s
2 22 Australia Les Burrows Terraplane Special / Terraplane 2.6L 40 2h 48m 21s
3 31 Australia Alan Crago
Australia John Sherwood [3]
MG TA / MG 1.3L 40 2h 29m 20s
4 3 Australia Tom Peters Bugatti Type 37A / Ford s/c 2.9L 40 2h 50m 19s
5 32 Australia John Crouch MG TA / MG 1.3L 40 2h 51m 38s
6 17 Australia Jack Phillips Ford Special / Ford 3.6L 40 2h 52m 28s
7 20 Australia Charles Whatmore Ford Special / Ford 3.6L 40 2h 52m 56s
8 39 Australia Ron Uffindell Austin 7 Special / Austin 0.7L 40 2h 55m 07s
9 37 Australia Les Murphy MG PB / MG 0.8L 40 3h 02m 40s
10 15 Australia George Bonser Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L 40 2h 56m 47s
11 18 Australia Bob Lea-Wright Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L 40 2h 58m 01s
12 38 Australia Colin Anderson Morris Cowley / Morris 1.7L 40 2h 57m 47s
13 19 Australia D. Kerr Ford Special / Ford 3.6L 40 2h 59m 59s
14 16 Australia Harry Beith Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L 40 3h 05m 19s
15 12 Australia George Martin BMW 328 / BMW 2.0L 40
16 14 Australia Barney Dentry Riley Special / Riley 1.1L 40
Ret 21 Australia Paul Burton Alvis / Alvis s/c 1.5L
Ret 26 Australia Reg Seville Singer / Singer 1.5L
Ret 30 Australia Jack Boughton Morgan 4/4 / Coventry Climax 1.1L
Ret 5 Australia Jim Fagan MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L
Ret 36 Australia John Pike Singer 9 / Singer 1.0L
Ret 35 Australia Arthur Beasley Singer 9 / Singer 1.0L
Ret 23 Australia Fred Foss Ford Special / Ford 3.6L
Ret 33 Australia R. Kerr MG TA / MG 1.3L
Ret 9 Australia Tim Joshua Frazer Nash / Meadows 1.5L
Ret 24 Australia C. Williamson Chrysler Special / Chrysler 4.2L
Ret 11 Australia George Reed Ford Special / Ford 3.6L
Ret 2 Australia Frank Kleinig Kleinig-Hudson 8 Special / Hudson 4.2L 5
Ret 25 Australia Alf Barrett Lombard AL3 / Lombard 1.2L 3
Ret 34 Australia George Thame Riley Nine Imp / Riley 1.1L 3
DNS 8 Australia Wally James Frazer Nash / Ford 2.9L
DNS 4 Australia Colin Dunne MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L
DNS 6 Australia Lyster Jackson MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L
DNS 7 United Kingdom Alan Sinclair Alta / Alta s/c 1.1L
DNS 10 Australia John Barraclough Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS / Alfa Romeo s/c 1.8L
DNS 27 Australia John Sherwood MG NE / MG 1.3L
DNS 28 Australia John Summers MG Magna / MG 1.1L
DNS 29 Australia C. Frederick MG Magnette Special / MG 1.3L


  1. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928–1939, Volume 1, 1981, page 168
  2. ^ Medley, John (1986). "1952". In Howard, Graham. The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 92–103. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5. 
  3. ^ John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928–1939, Volume 1, 1981, page 161
Preceded by
1937 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by
1939 Australian Grand Prix