1938 Australian Grand Prix

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1938 Australian Grand Prix
Formula Libre handicap race
Race details
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 the Mount Panorama Circuit near Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia on 18 April 1938. It was staged over 40 laps of the six kilometre circuit for a total distance of 241 kilometres. The race, which was organised by the Light Car Club of New South Wales, attracted 38 entries, 30 of which started the race.[1]

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.

Whitehead was awarded the RAC of Australia Cup and £250 prizemoney for winning the race.[1] He also received £100, the NRMA Trophy and the title of Australian Road Racing Champion for achieving the fastest time and the Courtney and Bohlsen Cup for setting the fastest lap.[1]


Results as follows.[2]

Pos No. Driver Car Entrant [3] Laps Time
1 1 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead ERA B Type / ERA s/c 1.5L P.N. Whitehead 40 2h 46m 50s
2 22 Australia Les Burrows Terraplane Special / Terraplane 2.6L L. Burrows 40 2h 48m 21s
3 31 Australia Alan Crago
Australia John Sherwood [1]
MG TA / MG 1.3L F.A. Crago 40 2h 29m 20s
4 3 Australia Tom Peters Bugatti Type 37A / Ford s/c 2.9L T. Peters 40 2h 50m 19s
5 32 Australia John Crouch MG TA / MG 1.3L J.F. Crouch 40 2h 51m 38s
6 17 Australia Jack Phillips Ford Special / Ford 3.6L J.K. Phillips 40 2h 52m 28s
7 20 Australia Charles Whatmore Ford Special / Ford 3.6L C. Whatmore 40 2h 52m 56s
8 39 Australia Ron Uffindell Austin 7 Special / Austin 0.7L R.G. Uffindell 40 2h 55m 07s
9 37 Australia Les Murphy MG PB / MG 0.8L J.H. O'Dea 40 3h 02m 40s
10 15 Australia George Bonser Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L G. Bonser junior [4] 40 2h 56m 47s
11 18 Australia Bob Lea-Wright Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L R.A. Lea-Wright 40 2h 58m 01s
12 38 Australia Colin Anderson Morris Cowley / Morris 1.7L A.I Barrett 40 2h 57m 47s
13 19 Australia D. Kerr Ford Special / Ford 3.6L D. Kerr 40 2h 59m 59s
14 16 Australia Harry Beith Terraplane Special / Terraplane 3.5L H.J. Beith 40 3h 05m 19s
15 12 Australia George Martin BMW 328 / BMW 2.0L G.C. Martin [4] 40
16 14 Australia Barney Dentry Riley Special / Riley 1.1L G.B. Dentry 40
Ret 21 Australia Paul Burton Alvis / Alvis s/c 1.5L P.H. Burton
Ret 26 Australia Reg Sevil [1] Singer / Singer 1.5L R.B. Sevil [4] [1]
Ret 30 Australia Jack Boughton Morgan 4/4 / Coventry Climax 1.1L J.S. Boughton
Ret 5 Australia Jim Fagan MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L J.H. Fagan
Ret 36 Australia John Pike Singer 9 / Singer 1.0L J.E. Pike
Ret 35 Australia Arthur Beasley Singer 9 / Singer 1.0L A. Beasley
Ret 23 Australia Fred Foss Ford Special / Ford 3.6L F.J. Foss
Ret 33 Australia R. Keir [4] [3] [1] MG TA / MG 1.3L R.C. Keir [4] [3] [1]
Ret 9 Australia Tim Joshua Frazer Nash / Meadows 1.5L C.M. Joshua [4]
Ret 24 Australia C. Williamson Chrysler Special / Chrysler 4.2L C. Williamson
Ret 11 Australia George Reed Ford Special / Ford 3.6L N.F. Aubin
Ret 2 Australia Frank Kleinig Kleinig-Hudson 8 Special / Hudson 4.2L W.A. McIntyre 5
Ret 25 Australia Alf Barrett Lombard AL3 / Lombard 1.2L A.I Barrett 3
Ret 34 Australia George Thame Riley Nine Imp / Riley 1.1L G.J. Thame 3
DNS 8 Australia Wally James Frazer Nash / Ford 2.9L W. James
DNS 4 Australia Colin Dunne MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L C.A. Dunne
DNS 6 Australia Lyster Jackson MG K3 / MG s/c 1.1L L. Jackson
DNS 7 United Kingdom Alan Sinclair Alta / Alta s/c 1.1L A.J. Sinclair
DNS 10 Australia John Barraclough Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS / Alfa Romeo s/c 1.8L J.A. Barraclough
DNS 27 Australia John Sherwood MG NE / MG 1.3L J.O. Sherwood
DNS 28 Australia John Summers MG Magna / MG 1.1L J.H. Summers
DNS 29 Australia C. Frederick MG Magnette Special / MG 1.3L C. Frederick


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i John B Blanden, A History of Australian Grand Prix 1928–1939, Volume 1, 1981, pages 151 to 168
  2. ^ Medley, John (1986). "1952". In Howard, Graham (ed.). The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix. Gordon, NSW: R & T Publishing. pp. 92–103. ISBN 0-9588464-0-5.
  3. ^ a b c John Medley, Bathurst - Cradle of Australian Motor Racing, page 19
  4. ^ a b c d e f Record entry for Grand Prix at Easter, The Advocate, Wednesday, April 6, 1938, page 10, as archived at trove.nla.gov.au
Preceded by
1937 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
Succeeded by
1939 Australian Grand Prix