Apologies to Ray and Tim. I was completely unaware of this very obscure championship.
It is strange that it is not mentioned at all in any of the many listings of Frank’s accomplishment. Perhaps it was regarded as a bit of a Mickey Mouse contest?
It quickly became ‘Mickey Mouse’ and vanished without trace after a few years. However, in 1972, its first year, it was announced with a grand fanfare and generated a lot of interest throughout the year. As the final big meeting at Brands Hatch in October drew near, Roger Williamson and his backer Tom Wheatcroft thought they had a chance of pipping Frank for the championship. Roger’s points so far had come from F3, but Tom organised a couple of F5000 races for him in the Kitchmac, and at Brands he was aiming to do four races - F3 in his championship-winning GRD, F5000 in the Kitchmac, F Atlantic in another GRD and Saloons in a Cologne Capri. Unfortunately for Roger the Capri drive fell through and he could only finish 6th in both the F5000 and Atlantic races and 2nd in F3. As Gardner took 3rd in F5000 and won the saloon race, in the end he was a comfortable winner of the first Tarmac Championship.
Frank won it again the following year and James Hunt won in 1976 and 1977, but it went downhill rapidly after that and is now not well remembered.