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1964 Malaysian Grand Prix


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#1 lympog

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 22:23

Hi everyone,
I'm chasing some info on the old Malaysian Grand Prix from the early 60's (also known as the Orient Year GP and later the Singapore GP).

Up until now, I'm fairly sorted, but 1964 Grand Prix was cancelled and I can't find out why - does anyone here have idea as to why? I've been Googling, but no success yet.

Thanks in advance,
L
:up:

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#2 scheivlak

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 22:37

Hi everyone,
I'm chasing some info on the old Malaysian Grand Prix from the early 60's (also known as the Orient Year GP and later the Singapore GP).

Up until now, I'm fairly sorted, but 1964 Grand Prix was cancelled and I can't find out why - does anyone here have idea as to why? I've been Googling, but no success yet.

Thanks in advance,
L
:up:


Welcome and hi lympog!

The search function on TNF (the nostaligia forum here) brings this one:

http://forums.autosp...mp;hl=Singapore

some quotes from this thread:

"My surmise was that Poon would have been the winner in 1964 if a 23 won, that's because he was probably the only one running such a car there at that time. If Jimmy's records show the race was rained off, I'm not going to dispute it, I have nothing on it that I know about."

"The first Merlyn was the 1962 works Mk7, fitted with long range side & top fuel tanks & a 1500 cc
Ford Cosworth pushrod engine. I first ran it in the 1964 Singapore GP, which was rained out after 4 laps."



#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 00:14

According to this race report from the Straits Times the race was called off after five laps due to heavy rain. But this 1966 article says:

The year 1964 was disastrous as the main race was washed out by the rain after seven laps and many accidents. But a breakdown in communications was the main reason for stopping the race.

Report on the supporting races here. The Straits Times archive website appears to be a useful source of information on racing in the region, and has a good search facility

#4 lympog

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:33

Tim, Scheivlak
Really appreciated - thank you very much.

(also, apologies for getting it in the wrong forum)

#5 Sharman

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:22



Up until now, I'm fairly sorted, but 1964 Grand Prix was cancelled and I can't find out why - does anyone here have idea as to why? I've been Googling, but no success yet.

Thanks in advance,
L
:up:
[/quote]

I believe it was because Sukarno was making threatening noises about invasion. Source...Tony Goodwin ex RAF MO at the time based in Singapore.

#6 IannDC

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 18:18

Hi,

If I may make a contribution.

I attended the races at the Old Upper Thomson Road circuit from 1964 until the end of the series in 1973, and did quite a bit of research on the Grands Prix there since the first race in 1961. I've also talk and met with some of the old racers in the course of my research and today count Tony Goodwin among one of my good friends. So much for my credentials on what I am about to contribute.

The race in 1964 was washed out after five laps, not seven, by heavy downpour that made racing impossible and dangerous. The weekend before the Easter Monday car Grand Prix was already clouded by tragedy -- a marshal and rider was killed in separate accidents, and some bikers were badly injured including Fumio Ito who sustained head and neck injuries -- and no one was in the mood to see anyone else get killed on the circuit.

Hope that helps.

I would now like to correct some of the information posted here so far and hope nobody minds.

The first Grand Prix in 1961 was called the Singapore Grand Prix, the official programme states that. The reason why it is sometimes thought to be the Orient Year GP is because it was Singapore's contribution to a proposal mooted by Philippine President Carlos Garcia for 1961 to be Visit the Orient Year to attract western tourists to the region.

The 1961 Grand Prix was organised without the intention to make it an annual affair, but the crowds it pulled convinced the government to turn it into one. The race the following year became an opportunity for the Government to show gratitude to the Malayan authorities for agreeing to merge Singapore with what was to be call the Federation of Malayan States -- or Malaysia.

The Singapore Grand Prix was renamed the Malaysia (without the 'n') Grand Prix and became so until relations soured and they kicked us out of the Federation in August 1965. As an independent nation, the Grand Prix at Thomson Road once again became known as the Singapore Grand Prix in 1966. It is also called the 1st Singapore Grand Prix, to mark it as one that was organised by an independent nation. The original in 1961 came about when we were self-governing but still a British colony.

Ian De Cotta

Edited by IannDC, 27 September 2010 - 18:35.


#7 Sharman

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 18:34

It is probably my memory being difficult again, I do remember TG telling me about the tragic crashes, I rather think he was a competitor in that event and as a medic stopped to give assistance. I am sure that he told me that one race was cancelled because, as posted earlier, Sukarno was threatening invasion. As I said memory, have I confused two separate things Ian?

#8 IannDC

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 19:10

Sharman,

Sukarno declared war against the Singapore-Malaysia merger and was indeed a threat to security. His people detonated two bombs in Singapore leading to the race, and had a third one go off during the race weekend. Several participants from Europe withdrew at the last minute, but the Minister overseeing the Grand Prix at the time, S Rajaratnam, was defiant and insisted the Grand Prix would go on as a symbol of peace. Indonesian bikers and car racers had featured in the previous three Grands Prix, but they too skipped 1964.

The race went on but the heavy downpour, not bombs, stopped the race in the end.

The marshal who died was Soh Buck Khoon and the rider was a British Forces soldier, Richard Whaler.

Ian

Edited by IannDC, 27 September 2010 - 19:10.


#9 IannDC

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 19:14

Sharman,

I now remember which race you were referring to that was cancelled that year: It was the Johor Grand Prix after Indonesian saboteurs had landed in the Malaysian state, just north of Singapore, and murdered villagers there. It was cancelled because of the ongoing threat.

Edited by IannDC, 27 September 2010 - 19:15.


#10 Sharman

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 20:45

Ian
Thank the Lord it's not Altzheimers after all
John

#11 IannDC

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:08

:smoking: