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#1 Prototype

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 12:44

I've always had a huge admiration for Frank Matich. I guess in his day (and on his day) he was unbeatable; what would have happened if he had seriously committed to Europe or the USA, would he have made a big impact...BUT (as always) were there problems with the Matich persona:

...can anyone tell me why his mechanics refused to work on his car at Longford (in the Tasman Series either 63, 64, or 65)?;

- or why (as he claims: the SR3 or SR4 were banned from racing in the Can Am series [despite the fact his '67 campaign with the SR3 was a non event]) and as he claims they changed the rules to prevent him from racing in the Can Am?

- was he really McLaren's test and development F5000 driver, despite being 12000 miles from their base...?

- and what was his beef with Australian F5000 racers and how they went about their business - like Bartlett, Stewart, McCormack et al ?

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#2 GD66

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 12:58

Over to you, Ray.... :wave:

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 13:09

On the Longford business...

As I posted a long time ago in the day by day thread, the guys were fed up with him. Tempers and patience wore very thin during the consecutive weeks of racing and they boiled over.

Matich, just like any single-minded competitor, was demanding. He was also the team boss, so his demands were expected to be met.

I have no doubt that he contributed to the McLaren data collection for a while, especially because he was able to test tyres so often due to his connections with Goodyear.

On your final point, there was a lot of animosity there. 'Frank Who' was the way they referred to Frank during the '72 Gold Star. I could imagine that Frank considered their approach somewhat ad hoc as he spent so much time (as mentioned) tyre testing. They didn't have that facility at their disposal.

#4 RA Historian

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 14:16

- or why (as he claims: the SR3 or SR4 were banned from racing in the Can Am series [despite the fact his '67 campaign with the SR3 was a non event]) and as he claims they changed the rules to prevent him from racing in the Can Am?

Oh? Now that is a new one. I would be most interested to hear from anyone in any way confirming this. I can only say at this time that an element of doubt exists in my mind about this claim.
Tom


#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 18:46

From memory he said it was to do with his engine in the SR4...

Something about limiting pure race engines as distinct from stock block engines. And it may have been a rule change proposal that wasn't clarified until it was too late.

It never made sense to me.

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 18:52

The 7-litre Ferrari was a stock-blocker?

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 19:07

Note the words in the original post, David...

"As he claims". These are points Matich has raised at times.

#8 kayemod

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 19:14

The 7-litre Ferrari was a stock-blocker?


And the various Porsches of course. Don't recall that CanAm ever had a specific stock-block requirement.


#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 20:42

Frank never says that they did...

But he says that it was mooted and deterred him from preparing for the series with the SR4. Then when it never went ahead, it was too late for him to go.

#10 aaron

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 21:19


The long gestation period for the SR4 must have been a factor too. No one could build the body in aluminium as he wanted. Then Sam Johnson did it in fibreglass quickly with no problems at all.
I agree that the Ferrari and Porsche engines used in Can-am make the claim of engine rules doubtful, especially when the Repco was stock block based. He blamed that smart lawyer from McLaren Teddy Meyer but I have not read anywhere else anything to substantiate his claim. In truth that engine would have been about 200 h.p. down on the big blocks. Our Group A rules limited the engine to 5 litres too.
Having said that I reckon Frank was one of the best we ever produced. His professionalism and ability to attract sponsorship would have caused jealosy and I believe he had an abrasive personality at the time BUT most top sportsman are like that in their pursuit of excellance. It is called competetiveness.
He did have some damning things to say about just about every other driver when he retired and that was unecessary and patently incorrect.
It is a pity more people couldn't afford to buy the SR3 which was available as a customer car. He really did try to improve the sports car ranks and depth of fields but no one had the money, or they felt that Frank would have a newer better car anyway. Remember Elfin also made very few big sports cars. The SR4 is an icon and now back on the track (demonstrations) looking and sounding great. There has been an SR3 running around for a, long time and I am running an A50 F5000 so all in all we get a good reminder of what Frank has left for posterity.
I got to talk about his cars with him at the Tasman last year and that was a great experience for me as he is someone I truly admire. Aaron.

#11 Wirra

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 21:25

I don't know how the notion ever developed that Frank had an obsession with tyres!

Posted Image

Like many fans in that period I thought well of Frank Matich, however, I believe the huge steps he took towards professionalism spelt the end of so much we now miss. Nothing personal, just a man of the times.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 21:33

I don't think you can lay that on him...

David McKay was also in there, and Bob Jane's team came along with huge expansion under Shell's banner. Beechey, McKeown and the Tridents... there are other examples. It was just how the times were moving.

#13 Wirra

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:34

Ray – I don’t believe anyone before or since has come close to matching Matich’s achievements. McKay, Jane and company were simply wealthy or well-funded amateurs who merely bought cars and raced them – usually in an attempt to keep up with Matich. I much admire Matich for his achievements beyond his driving but he was, in my opinion the catalyst (in Australia) for the paradigm shift from a sport powered by enthusiasm to a business powered by money. Even though change is inevitable it takes a special person to be at the forefront and I admire him personally for that. As stated, I agree with you that times were changing and the big issue for me was not that Matich led the charge but more that the change happened.

Call me a Luddite if you want, but since this photo was taken I haven't seen a top level sports car race where the lead ever changed.

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#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:48

I'm not talking about achievements or ability or speed... I'm talking about professionalism and sponsorship...

McKay with Victa and Shell. He landed good sponsorship so he could put first rate cars under himself and Spencer Martin. Jane followed through after the bustup with Spencer.

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:35

FM's professionalism certainly wowed us when he turned up in NZ with two cars (Brabham and Lotus) and a dirty great Peterbilt rig. We'd never seen anything like it before, and turned our noses up at it a bit
Little did we know it was a foretaste of the future...

#16 Derek Pitt

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:55

I've always had a huge admiration for Frank Matich. I guess in his day (and on his day) he was unbeatable; what would have happened if he had seriously committed to Europe or the USA, would he have made a big impact...BUT (as always) were there problems with the Matich persona:

As Dryden said to General Allenby......"Difficult question Sir"

Lets consIder the facts:

Matich was not overly impressive in C Type or D type Jaguars .. Bill Pitt in the Anderson D type was able to annoy Whiteford's 300S....Matich in the same car, never looked like doing the same.

The 2.5 Lotus XV (15), was in a class of its own and Matich was never tested.

Similarly, the Lotus XIX (19) was way ahead of anything else, but even so, it was often bested, indeed sometimes defeated, by the ageing Stillwell Cooper Monaco...

In 1963, the Sydney-centric press trumpted a new age would occur when Matich apeared in the 2.5 Brabham Climax...and yes, FM did do some specatular one-off laps, but the fact remains in that time he never won anything of importance ...whilie the record shows Bib Stillwell won another 3 Gold Stars in the same period, which, significantly, included a comprehensive out-driving of Matich in the 1965 Sandown Gold Star Race.

I have no doubt FM later became a driver of international standing, particularly in the 68-73 period and it is interesting to note he made a stand against the red-neck truck engine cultists who destroyed our motor racing, but lets keep it in some context.

derek

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:58

[b]Bill Pitt in the Anderson D type was able to annoy Whiteford's 300S....Matich in the same car, never looked like doing the same

...because they never raced each other?


#18 David Shaw

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 09:45

[b]Similarly, the Lotus XIX (19) was way ahead of anything else, but even so, it was often bested, indeed sometimes defeated, by the ageing Stillwell Cooper Monaco...

In 1963, the Sydney-centric press trumpted a new age would occur when Matich apeared in the 2.5 Brabham Climax...and yes, FM did do some specatular one-off laps, but the fact remains in that time he never won anything of importance ...whilie the record shows Bib Stillwell won another 3 Gold Stars in the same period, which, significantly, included a comprehensive out-driving of Matich in the 1965 Sandown Gold Star Race.

I have no doubt FM later became a driver of international standing, particularly in the 68-73 period and it is interesting to note he made a stand against the red-neck truck engine cultists who destroyed our motor racing, but lets keep it in some context.

derek

Stillwell was definitely the better percentage driver Stan, but he very rarely had the raw speed that would annoy the internationals. The big stage was where Frank wanted to be and would push his car too hard for its own health with the intent of proving himself as a serious contender.

I think to say that in the Lotus 19 he was often bested by Stillwell is contentious.

His time in the Brabham open-wheeler was only brief, but at its first outing in the 1963 Hordern Trophy he served it up to Stillwell until they came together, and this was with a 2.5 Climax vs. Bib's 2.7

Stillwell attacked the race with the intention of finishing the race as quickly as he could, with Frank finishing wasn't necessarily the most important thing.

If you were to ask the Internationals who they feared more, I think you would find that Bib's frequent result of first resident home wasn't as impressive as Frank's performances.

I do definitely agree with you on the 1965 Victorian Trophy though, he did outdrive Frank that day and I wish we could have seen more of that raw speed from him more often.


#19 johnny yuma

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:53

I have no doubt FM later became a driver of international standing, particularly in the 68-73 period and it is interesting to note he made a stand against the red-neck truck engine cultists who destroyed our motor racing, but lets keep it in some context-----quote..STAN.

So what was this "stand" Frank Who made against all his peers exactly ? If it was good enough for Jack Brabham,Denny Hulme,Alan Jones,David McKay,Leo Geoghegan etc etc to race in an annual sedan classic,why didn't Cranky Frankie.Fraid he might have been shown up ?

Edited by johnny yuma, 17 May 2009 - 10:55.


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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:28

Whatyatalkin' about there, Johnny?

Frank had superb reliability out of his 2.6 FPF in the 19, but for some reason such reliability eluded the 2.5 in his Brabham.

We saw him striding away out in front at the 1964 Lakeside International, for instance. Timmy Mayer was a little way behind but not challenging. The, after about seven laps, the engine fell apart.

Stillwell never did anything like that. Nor did he lead the field away in the Warwick Farm race, or match lap times in practice tenth for tenth with so many internationals.

I don't think David's right about him not putting any priority on finishing either. He struggled on at the Farm after getting the cement dust in his steering and almost locking it up on him, he pressed on at Longford when he had a miss and no crew to help out. Would you if you didn't care about finishing?

As for the 'annual sedan car classic,' Frank ran in that at least twice. Once in a Renault R8 with George Murray, the other time in a Cooper S. And he was handily quick in that thing too!

#21 Derek Pitt

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:34

...because they never raced each other?

David,

You are either an Engineer or a Barrister...both insist on facts

From memory, the Anderson D Type was sold to Leatom Motors in late 1959 ,

I cant be bothered checking old mags, I am a big picture person, but I am fairly certain the ATT Longford 1960, was Matich 3rd in the D Type with Whiteford 2nd with a slipping clutch and Jolly a lucky winner in the lovely Lotus XV

Derek

#22 cooper997

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:22

Go to the top of the class, Derek.

Day 2 Longford programme for Monday March 7th, 1960 has both Frank & Doug in the entry list for event 5, 24 lap Australian Tourist Trophy. AMS March 1960 event report records the results as you mention. Great memory.

Stephen

#23 David McKinney

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 14:03

Neither an engineer nor a barrister, but I do like facts

After thinking to myself "1959 D-Type, 1960 Lotus 15" I did a quick check of 1959 results and couldn't see anything

But of course you're quite right about the Longford TT

So my humble apologies to you Pitters, and to Mr W's memory :)

Edited by David McKinney, 17 May 2009 - 14:04.


#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 21:19

One swallow does not a summer make...

Without the details to hand, I wouldn't make any judgments on a comparison of Matich and Anderson competing against Whiteford. Longford would make any car problem (misfire, gear problem, brakes failing etc) seem like the driver was running poorly... was Matich in some kind of car trouble there?

And how did Anderson go against Whiteford specifically at Longford?

Longford did suit the 300S, I'm fairly sure. Whiteford was right in the thick of the running at the start of the 1959 AGP... we know that because he threw a universal joint at Alec Mildren.

Periodically we get these accusations that Matich wasn't the driver we know he was. I don't know why... a simple look at his lap times at Warwick Farm or Lakeside, the two circuits that really counted when it came to assessing a driver's ability at that time, showed that he was always the master of the locals there.

No other Australian driver led all the Internationals at any Tasman race.

No other Australian driver raced head to head with Jim Clark in a competitive car for any distance.

No other Australian driver beat Chris Amon in a 2.5 while driving a 1.5.

Why Stillwell's name keeps on cropping up is beyond me. Sure, he won Gold Stars, but he did that the same way every previous Gold Star winner did... by being there at all the races with front line equipment. Matich only ever contested one Gold Star series in the Brabham!

#25 David Shaw

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 04:51

I don't think David's right about him not putting any priority on finishing either. He struggled on at the Farm after getting the cement dust in his steering and almost locking it up on him, he pressed on at Longford when he had a miss and no crew to help out. Would you if you didn't care about finishing?


That's not quite what I said Ray. I said that finishing wasn't necessarily the most important thing to him at the time. If it was, we would have seen him running around mid-pack with Stillwell, driving at 8/10ths to ensure he finished rather than laying down the gauntlet to the internationals.

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:52

And how did Anderson go against Whiteford specifically at Longford?


A cursory check suggests the two cars never met at Longford in that period

They did however meet in the following events:

1957
Victorian TT (Albert Park): Whiteford 1st, Pitt 2nd, 30sec behind
Victorian Trophy (AP): Whiteford 3rd, Pitt 5th

1958
Bathurst 100: Whiteford 1st, Pitt 3rd
Australian TT (Bathurst): Whiteford was ahead of Pitt when they both retired
Victorian TT (AP): Whiteford 1st, Pitt 3rd
Melbourne GP (AP): Whiteford 3rd, Pitt 6th

I’m not saying they were the only times the two met, but they’re certainly the most important races.
And they do support my original gut feeling, that Whiteford and the 300S were pretty well untouchable by any other sportscar entry at the time
DP's memory may be clouded by the fact that the Melbourne man tended to take it easy at the start, so the D-Type was often ahead of him for the first few laps. But I can't find any instance of it proving a serious threat





#27 Prototype

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:31

Matich, from memory contested a couple of L & M F5000 races in 1971 with the McLaren M10b Repco, and won both; then in 1973, he was to campaign the whole series but returned home after only a few races - does anyone know facts on these two sorties?

Also, who sponsored the 1973 campaign, I remember the air box of the Matich Repco had some sort of cartoon type bear - representing what?

#28 Leo D

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:08

Matich, from memory contested a couple of L & M F5000 races in 1971 with the McLaren M10b Repco, and won both; then in 1973, he was to campaign the whole series but returned home after only a few races - does anyone know facts on these two sorties?

Also, who sponsored the 1973 campaign, I remember the air box of the Matich Repco had some sort of cartoon type bear - representing what?


http://oldracingcars.com/ (Allen Brown) has a list of F5000 results for the events that you are asking about, if that helps.

John Walker, Max Stewart, Kevin Bartlett and Bob Muir are also listed in the 1973 results......

Edited by Leo D, 18 May 2009 - 08:10.


#29 aaron

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:26

I was told that they blew all their engines at Watkins Glen when 3 Matiches (2 A50s and an A51) were entered. Johnny Walker, Vern Schuppan and Frank. The problem was eventually traced (I hope I remember this correctly) to the long fast corners which allowed the oil to run up the side of the crankcase and starve the scavenge pump of oil. The slower circuits in Australia had never exposed this problem in the Repco Holden engine. I also heard that to save weight he had fitted a smaller oil tank but not too sure about that one.
The team came home in disarray which is a great pity but the other aspect of the car's design was the narrow rear track. Talking to Bob Riley and Frank recently they pointed to the rear upper links and said that in hindsight that was the car's weakness. Having driven 4 different F5000s I would say the Matich feels the best in slow to mid speed corners with terric torque out of those corners. Ideal for Warwick Farm and Oran Park where Frank's times had not been improved by more than a few tenths in the next 5 years or so.
Compared to the Chevron it is behind only in high speed corners by a small amount but also has less power than the Chev. My car has the later davison Lola rear wing which looks to have much more downforce than the original or later Matich wing. That would also be a contributing factor. I would guess that the basic difference in horsepower between the 2 engines would have been a major factor on a high speed circuit and consequently the Lolas would have a significant advantage. Vern never got much track time before they pulled the pin but they could both drive with the best of them at that time. By then the highly developed Lola was the thing to have and the Repco had reached its limit in power.
I have the original press kit for the sponsorship which I will post tomorrow. I have a mental blank on the Dr's name (Eyerling?). He also bought a Matich A50 from the first batch of cars. He ran a Ford engine and George Follmer raced the car a couple of times I think. Aaron

Edited by aaron, 18 May 2009 - 11:27.


#30 Derek Pitt

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:47

A cursory check suggests the two cars never met at Longford in that period

I’m not saying they were the only times the two met, but they’re certainly the most important races.
And they do support my original gut feeling, that Whiteford and the 300S were pretty well untouchable by any other sportscar entry at the time
DP's memory may be clouded by the fact that the Melbourne man tended to take it easy at the start, so the D-Type was often ahead of him for the first few laps. But I can't find any instance of it proving a serious threat


David,

I agree with everything you have said above....I did say the D type "annoyed" the 300S, thus implying it was not a serious threat to Whiteford at any time. I also think it is true to say Bill Pitt never ventured further south than Albert Park - neither to Phillip Island or Longford.

I didn't want to hijack the original thrust of the thread, however, my intent was to point out that Matich's performance in the D type did not match that of Bill Pitt's in the same car.

Likewise, my intent was also to show that Matich in the Tasman Brabham, although capable of some spectacularly fast laps and "part races", was not a winner at that stage of his career, despite what the massive press campaign generated out of Sydney tried to create.

And Ray, Bib Stillwell's name keeps coming up because he was Australia's most successful driver 1962-65, despite the above hero-worshipping Matich blurb and to suggest 4 Gold Stars were won simply by turning up everywhere with the best equipment, not only devalues a very significant achievement and career, but is wrong anyway!!

I must confess I didn't know Matich took a stand against the Touring Car Cult and its fanatics and I would LOVE to find out more about that from those in the know.

Derek



#31 Leo D

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:07

Also, who sponsored the 1973 campaign, I remember the air box of the Matich Repco had some sort of cartoon type bear - representing what?


Travelodge Inns ....... A Bear holding a blanket, I think.........

The 73 campaign is mentioned on this thread
http://forums.autosp...?showtopic=1355

Edited by Leo D, 18 May 2009 - 12:14.


#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 13:16

Originally posted by Derek Pitt
.....Likewise, my intent was also to show that Matich in the Tasman Brabham, although capable of some spectacularly fast laps and "part races", was not a winner at that stage of his career, despite what the massive press campaign generated out of Sydney tried to create.....


'Massive press campaign'? You've got to be kidding!

Sure, Matich had a column in the monthly Sports Car World, but that was about all the press he got nationwide. David McKay gave him his due, of course, but they were never close and David did nothing to engender a close relationship with him.

I certainly hope that you're not trying to imply that Matich never won in the Brabham? He won many races, short ones to be sure, but wins all the same.

Let's look at the brief time he spent in this car. The first race, Warwick Farm's Hordern Trophy in 1963 saw him start slowly and work his way from fifth to second. While challenging Stillwell at almost half distance they collided and both were out.

Then he went to Pukekohe and was running strongly until the engine failed just past half distance. Sandown saw him running ahead of all other local drivers before a crown wheel and pinion let go around half distance. At Warwick Farm he took pole position and followed Brabham away, passing the former World Champion after a couple of laps before outbraking himself and running off the road at Creek Corner. At Lakeside he was, as I have said before, striding away from everyone before the engine let go. Longford saw him finish first of the locals despite a bad misfire and no pit crew to help out with it.

He had a mixed bag of results in shorter races during the middle part of the year, taking a number of outright lap records, then came the Gold Star closing events. Lakeside... pole and the lead before an oil line came adrift; Mallala he didn't turn up (Stillwell basically couldn't be beaten by this stage) and he led the Hordern Trophy till half distance before yet another engine failure.

For the '65 Tasman he didn't venture to NZ, but was right on the pace in practice at Warwick Farm to take pole position. He led till Creek, then ran in company with Brabham as Graham Hill and Jim Clark made the pace in front of them. Both Hill and Matich had trouble in this race with cement dust getting into the steering, Hill spinning on the last lap because of it and failing to finish. Matich was third behind Clark and Brabham, Stillwell was thirty seconds behind him.

At Sandown he was running just behind all the Internationals and ahead of Stillwell when he had an ignition failure. At Longford for the AGP he had to pit when running best of the locals. He returned to be chasing down Stillwell when his front suspension collapsed. At Lakeside he was one of few running against Clark in the non-title 'International 99', but he made it a real race dicing with Clark for virtually the whole distance. They traded places many times, but Matich did have a pit stop and lose some laps before rejoining the battle.

Next came the VRRC event at Sandown that Stillwell won as Frank scored a couple of spins. He did finish second, however, with his engine failing.

And that was all the racing he did in that car. At Lakeside's Gold Star, the next big event, he crashed the 19B and was burned, the Brabham never ran with Frank at the wheel again.

.....And Ray, Bib Stillwell's name keeps coming up because he was Australia's most successful driver 1962-65, despite the above hero-worshipping Matich blurb and to suggest 4 Gold Stars were won simply by turning up everywhere with the best equipment, not only devalues a very significant achievement and career, but is wrong anyway!


He had the best car, there is no doubt about that. He always had the latest information from Brabham and he did go to all the races. Look at what I've covered above... Matich didn't.

So ask yourself, "Who did he beat?" An aging Davison, young 'apprentice' Spencer Martin, John Youl's outdated Cooper?

Edited by Ray Bell, 18 May 2009 - 13:19.


#33 David McKinney

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 14:41

You missed his second race, Ray, at Mount Maunganui, when he retired from first place when a throttle-linkage broke.


#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 22:01

Thanks, David, I never knew about that one at all...

Who was he leading? Palmer? Shelley?

#35 aaron

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 23:04


The sponsorship for the L&M series in 1973 is as follows.

The Travelodge Repco-Matich Racing Team

Entrant Dr. Tom Early, Early Racing Enterprises

Driver. Frank Matich

Repco-Matich A51 (two)

Team Manager Carroll Smith

Merchanics: Robert Riley, Ken Symes, Chris Miles, Derek Kneller, John Anderson, Leon Jarvis.

The press kit is by Autosport Promotions - Alan Bouverat.

The "sleepy bear" symbol was the TraveLodge logo. Aaron.



#36 Leo D

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 23:19

Aaron,

That info all ties in nicely with my reply post #31.

Did you read the linked thread on "Matich's 1973 Campaign" ? ......... :wave:

#37 Prototype

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 23:43

Aaron...amazing, amazing!

#38 johnny yuma

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:28

Thanks Ray Bell I never knew FM competed in "that" race.Although he was a DNF in his Cooper S in 1966 when they finished in the top NINE places,Frank is listed with fastest lap at 3:10 against a superb field of Australian openwheeler,sedan and sport car legends.

Would still love to know what his "stand" against Sedan racing was,though ?

#39 aaron

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:25

Aaron,

That info all ties in nicely with my reply post #31.

Did you read the linked thread on "Matich's 1973 Campaign" ? ......... :wave:


Yes thanks for that. My car is Walker's and Vern also filled in some blanks for me about the Watkins Glen disaster. The 4 cars were Frank's original AGP winner as a spare, Walker's car usually called chassis #004 and Frank's new A51 #005. As well as that there was the Early/Follmer car which later became the McBender. I spoke to Chris Bender about this last year. He used parts from the Matich wreck (which happened in a trailer crash I think) to create a centre seat Can-am car. That too was crashed so that car has ceased to exist. While all 4 cars never, to my knowledge, actually made the starting grid at one time, they were all there at that time. I am a bit surprised that Walker's car was 3rd fastest through the timing trap. Frank always had the latest Repco developed engine and Walker got one at one time, I forget where or when. John McCormack also had a Matich engine for the NZ G.P. he won I think. Les Ramsey raced boats and he got a Matich engine one time and it too was noticeably more powerful than what he previously had access to.

I would be interested to know what magazines ran decent race reports of these races at that time. Aaron.

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#40 Leo D

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:13

I would be interested to know what magazines ran decent race reports of these races at that time. Aaron.


Aaron, I don't remember much if anything being written about the 1973 campaign....... However, the 1971 campaign had a very lengthy piece written up in Racing Car News. Several pages long if my memory serves me correctly.

I'm sure there was a picture with Frank & Joan surrounded by stacks of money, representing the lucrative prize money from the first 2 rounds ........ Unfortunately, I don't remember which month it was, but I'm sure it was certainly the feature article of the edition.....


#41 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:18

Thanks, David, I never knew about that one at all...

Who was he leading? Palmer? Shelley?

I thought it might have slipped under the radar, as it was not a Tasman Championship round

There were only two "foreigners", Matich and Youl

Palmer won from Youl and Shelly

#42 aaron

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:02

Aaron, I don't remember much if anything being written about the 1973 campaign....... However, the 1971 campaign had a very lengthy piece written up in Racing Car News. Several pages long if my memory serves me correctly.

I'm sure there was a picture with Frank & Joan surrounded by stacks of money, representing the lucrative prize money from the first 2 rounds ........ Unfortunately, I don't remember which month it was, but I'm sure it was certainly the feature article of the edition.....


Yes I have seen that but contemporary reports in a US magazine would be interesting. A1

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:33

Originally posted by David McKinney
I thought it might have slipped under the radar, as it was not a Tasman Championship round.....


Not a breath of it in RCN, obviously before Max's time there so features like Kiwi Kapers hadn't yet been initiated...

#44 David Shaw

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:53

Of course Sergent has a bit on it:
http://www.sergent.c...2...y Road Race
It appears that Frank didn't bother with practice, starting off the back of the grid, but set a new track record.

EDIT: Must've been a Formula Libre race with the Stanton Corvette listed as DNS

Edited by David Shaw, 19 May 2009 - 07:56.


#45 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:21

It appears that Frank didn't bother with practice, starting off the back of the grid, but set a new track record

Don't believe everything you see on the internet ;)
Matich, in spite of various problems, was fastest in practice...


#46 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:59

So how did that grid come about, David?

I must apologise, too, for putting the extra 'e' in Shelly earlier...

#47 eldougo

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:08

[quote name='johnny yuma' date='May 19 2009, 11:28' post='3647407']

Would still love to know what his "stand" against Sedan racing was,though ?


Very obvious he did not Like TAXI,s. Only real racing for our Frank.

#48 David McKinney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:17

So how did that grid come about, David?

I must apologise, too, for putting the extra 'e' in Shelly earlier...


The grid was based on practice times, so Matich was on pole for his heat

The grid for the final seems to have been based on lap-times from the heats, so Youl, Shelly and Palmer made up the front row, and Matich was on the second row

I deliberately ignored the 'Shelley'...


#49 Derek Pitt

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 21:03

Ray,

Unfortuntely, your long defence of FM's early Brabham days serves only to reinforce my point and that he never won anything of importance in that period.

As you have pointed out and David has supported, this stage of his careeer was characterised by flashes of very fast performances which were almost always blighted by dissapointment, congential unreliablity and promise unfilled. Indeed, one is left with the distinct impression that he was rather like a test batsmen who instead of playing himself in and understanding a test match goes for 5 days - not 5 minutes, wanted to impress by making a century in the fastest possible time everytime he came to the crease.

Your enthusiasm for your hero is quite endearing but in order gain some perspective to the issue it is necessary to correct some of your claims.

Firstly, the Stillwell Brabham was the original 1962 version, (I am hopeless at BT numbers) and was raced by him in 1963 & 1964 -admittedly in updated form in the latter year, whereas FM's car was always a later version. It was not until 1965 that they both appeared in similar cars and again the year was dominated by BSS. I reiterate the point made in my cricketting analogy above, a successful driver actually WINS races and it is results that are the measure of a driver's overall abilities, not flashy one-off performances.

Likewise, the Cooper Monaco was clearly an inferior car to the Lotus 19 and yet BSS was able lead and defeat the 19 on more than one occasion.

Your claim therefore that BSS always had the best equipment is simply incorrect.

Your statement that BSS only won 4 Gold Stars was because everybody else was basically "rubbish" I must assume is a result of your schoolboy-like hero worship and has not therefore been taken been seriously, although in the interests of your own credibility I suggest you make some form of retraction.

Further, what evidence can be proffered to support your claim that BSS received favoured or special treatment from Brabham?

FM's career did not achieve greatness until the big banger sports car/F5000 era and I think that period was the original intent of this thread and as in the original posting, I am wanting to know why FM was not popular with the "establishment".

Derek


Edited by Derek Pitt, 19 May 2009 - 21:05.


#50 yasmin

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 22:21

Not a breath of it in RCN, obviously before Max's time there so features like Kiwi Kapers hadn't yet been initiated...


RCN, June 1971 has a painting of the M10 at Riverside on the front cover with an interview with FM on his L & M wins. No race report though....