3 September 2021 | General

TASMAN TALES: Clark doubles up

Jim Clark won his second Tasman Series in grand style. The Lotus driver won three rounds and was second in the others. Two were behind Jackie Stewart (BRM) who was second overall and once to Jack Brabham (Repco-Brabham) with a similar points tally.

Pukekohe opened the 1967 series and hosted of the 14th New Zealand GP. The revised layout held the prospect of the first lap average of over 100 mph. What was not expected was the whole race would run at over the ton.

Previous year-by-year Tasman Series reports

1964 – The First Summer Series
1965Clark’s Campaign
1966Stewart’s Tasman Title

Stewart and Clarke duked it out until the latter contacted a backmarker which dislodged the Lotus’ bodywork, including the windscreen. Stewart won by 4.5 seconds over Clark as third went to Attwood a lap down and two ahead of Jim Palmer (Ferrari) and Graeme Lawrence (Brabham-Climax).

Brabham departed with a broken half shaft while Hulme had third when a stub axle broke. Brabham driver Frank Gardner’s demise came via a dropped valve and Kevin Bartlett retired with a broken magneto on his Brabham.

Clark made amends at Levin with a three-second victory over Stewart. The Scotsmen finished a lap ahead of Attwood and Gardner while Lawrence was a further lap behind. Among the retirees were Hulme (ignition), Dennis Marwood (engine) and Palmer after he hit an embankment. Unluckiest was Bartlett with a fire on the dummy grid.

The Lady Wigram Trophy was a cruise for Clark. Stewart challenged him until a course marker, kicked up by Clark, struck Stewart on the helmet and severed an oil line. Attwood was second with an ailing Hulme Brabham a lap down and a lap up on Gardner. Brabham had missed Levin before he returned with the lightweight BT23A which had a long stop to rectify overheating.

Like Levin, Teretonga was not a points round. Stewart was in South Africa tyre testing and Brabham returned to Australia in readiness for the home rounds. Clark scored this third flag-flag victory, ahead of Attwood comfortably. In Stewart’s absence, Piers Courage (BRM) challenged Attwood until the camshaft broke.

Gardner also went after second place until an oil line split. Third was Palmer from the Brabham-Fords of Laurence Brownlie and Roly Levis. On pole, Hulme stripped first gear off the start. Bartlett stopped later with a broken gearbox housing.

Lakeside was the third points round. Stewart led until the persistent Clark made the pass at Hungry and won. Stewart was out six laps from the end with a stripped gear and Brabham grabbed second, a lap down with Gardner another lap away. Hulme was next after a stop to tighten wheel nuts, with Bartlett fifth.

Courage was within three laps of the end when his gearbox failed. There were two other former Clark Lotus-Climax cars racing, in the hands of Greg Cusack and Leo Geoghegan, and suffered gear linkage and hub bearing failures respectively.

Round four at Warwick Farm was also the 32nd AGP. Stewart took a handy win despite a spin at Polo. Clarke was second and Gardner wore down Brabham for third. Geoghegan was fifth ahead of Bartlett who battled a broken gear lever. Hulme retired with a burst radiator hose. The fluid lost caused Spencer Martin (Repco Brabham) to spin and cost him the Langridge Trophy for the first resident home.

Brabham narrowly led Stewart at Sandown until Brabham slowed with a wayward ignition pickup wire. Three laps later Stewart was out due to crown wheel and pinion wheel failure. Hulme led until Clarke passed him and went on to victory.

Hulme retired with gear selection trouble which left Gardner second until he was relegated to third by Geoghegan. Irwin was fourth ahead of Bartlett. Martin had been third early until a half shaft gave out.

Longford would see Brabham take an emphatic win. Stewart held second until the gearbox broke two laps from the end. Clark picked up second as a result with Chris Irwin (BRM) consolidating third from Gardner. Bartlett and John Harvey in a Brabham with 1.8 litre Ford next. Martin had pitted at the end of the first lap with sealing rings gone.