The GNOO BLAS ^T MOTOR RACING CHAMPIONSHIPS and SERIES (ABN 34 161 444 695) is a series of motor races held annually at either Queensland Raceway or Lowood Park and follows the format below:
At weekend rounds:
Saturday qualifying and races form a round with a trophy for the overall winner.
Sunday races form a round with a trophy for the overall winner.
Only the winner of each round wins a trophy.
There are NO classes.
Qualifying and each race score points 10 down to 1, with 10 for the winner and 1 for 10th place. Saturday’s events are aggregated and then re-allocated 10 down to 1 to determine the round and trophy winner. Sunday’s point scoring is on the same basis. These re-allocated points for Sat and Sun count towards the relevant end of year Gnoo Blas^t Trophy. Where aggregated points for the day are equal the winner of the round and trophy for the day will be decided in favour of the finishing order of the last event of the day.
All rounds count equally to the overall championship/series winner.
Types of Races Races may be:
Time release starts
Le Mans starts
Combination of standing/rolling start (peleton) + time release/handicap (fastest 10)
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ROUNDS
Middle Ridge Run
Between 1958 and 1961, road races were held on public roads at Middle Ridge, a suburb of Toowoomba. The almost rectangular course of approximately 4.2 kms attracted many top name interstate drivers for the annual race meeting which coincided with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Despite valiant efforts, the race failed to become an iconic event as happened with other road races in rural regions of Australia, but maintains its importance in Queensland motor racing history.
Bill Pitt Trophy
Queenslander Bill Pitt is one of Australia’s true motor racing legends. He won, along with co-drivers Geordie Anderson and Charlie Swinburne, Australia’s first 24 Hour car race at Mt Druitt in Jan 1954 in a Jaguar XK 120 FHC.
He finished 11th in the 1954 Australian G.P. at Southport driving an Anderson-Jaguar which was an XK 120 modified as an open wheeler.
A punctured tyre miles from the pits (it was a long circuit) cost Bill 15 minutes and dropped him from a certain 3rd place and possible 2nd place finish behind winner Lex Davison in his HWM-Jaguar.
A Jaguar D-type followed in 1956 and Bill often competed in CAMS Gold Star events to have some serious competition.
Unfortunately because the D-type was not an open wheeler, Bill was awarded no championship points no matter how well he did.
Bill came 2nd in the inaugural Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960 driving a Jaguar 3.4 sedan. He won the ATCC at Lowood in 1961 in the same car and was 2nd again in the ATCC at Longford in 1962 again in the 3.4 Jaguar. That’s a 100% finish rate, with a 33% win rate and 67% second place rate.
Bill Buckle built 20 Buckle Coupes at Sydney in 1957-58. These 2 door GT style cars had an advanced fibreglass body which was state of art at the time. Powered by a Ford Zephyr 6 cylinder engine and running gear they competed successfully in circuit racing and hillclimbs. A few had Raymond May 12 port alloy heads and different gearboxes. Today Buckle Coupes are treasured cars for a lucky few devoted enthusiasts. For more Buckle information visit www.bucklecoupe.com.au
St Mary’s Trophy
The St Mary’s Trophy race is held annually at the Goodwood motor racing circuit in England as part of the “Goodwood Festival of Speed”. In the first race for the 2006 St Mary’s Trophy Peter Brock had qualified 5th and finished 4th in his Holden 48-215 (#05). Sadly this race was Peter Brock’s last motor race.
Volkers To The Max
Max Volkers started racing in 1956 in a VW but quickly progressed to Holdens where his speed and success then drew the attention of Ford who provided Max with a Ford Cortina GT. A Lotus Cortina followed and Max fought many memorable battles with Brian Michelmore’s Lotus Cortina. After the Lotus Cortina Max drove a variety of Ford Falcon GT’s, Holden Monaros and a Ford Capri Sports Sedan. He drove a HWM Jaguar in the 1962 Australian GT Championship at Lakeside and competed in three Tasman Series races in an MRC Lotus. Max was a stalwart of Australian motor racing and claims his greatest race was finishing 4th in the first Australian Touring Car Championship at Orange in 1960, being the first Holden home behind the three Jaguars and beating all the other Holdens.
The Lowood motor racing circuit utilised the main runway and taxiways of the WW2 RAAF base at nearby Lowood (70 kms west of Brisbane and not far from the present RAAF base at Amberley). Several race meetings were held in the late 40’s and early 50’s on the 4.5 km track but from 1956 till its closure in 1966 it was one of Queensland’s major motor racing venues staging the Australian Grand Prix in 1960, the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1961 and the Australian T.T. in 1959 and 1963. Three 4-Hour touring car races were held in 1964,’65 & ’66.
Schofields was another motor racing venue established on an ex WW2 RAAF base on the northern Sydney precincts, again using the main runway and taxiways. Events were held in 1958 &’59 on a 3.7 km track and though mainly club events were staged they attracted many of the top drivers and cars of the day.
The Mount Druitt motor racing circuit utilised the WW2 airstrip near Ropes Creek, about 45 km west of Sydney. Approximately 4 km in length in its ultimate form it hosted race meetings from 1948 to 1958 and was a major player in NSW and national events, even staging Australia’s first 24 hour race in January 1954 which attracted international entries but was won by Bill Pitt, Geordie Anderson and Charlie Swinburne in a Jaguar XK 120. From 1951 till its closure in 1958 much of its success was due to the lessee Belfred Jones.
Falcon ER 30
The first Ford Falcon to race in Australia competed on 17 September, 1960 at the Middle Ridge circuit at Toowoomba Qld. Entered and driven by the local Ford dealer Edsel Falconer, dealer principal of Falconer Motors, it placed 4th on its debut. On this day Falcon (race number 30) started the long history of Ford Falcon successes in Australian motor racing.
Carrara Ferry Rode
The 1954 Australian Grand Prix was held on a 9.2 km public road circuit on the southern outskirts of Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The very long northern straight was the road running south from Southport via Meyer’s Ferry over the Nerang River to the district (now suburb) of Carrara. This road was known variously by the locals as Meyers Ferry Road, Carrara Ferry Road or simply Ferry Road.
Today the section of this northern straight is gazetted as Ferry Road from Southport to the Chevron Island bridge at the Southport Golf Club and Bundall Road from the golf club to the Nerang River.
In 1954 where Ferry Road becomes Bundall Road there was a “no passing” section due to a bend (Dunlop Bend) at a creek with a single lane bridge. Hence the origin of Carrara Ferry Rode.
Queensland’s first dedicated motor racing circuit was built near Rosewood on a property called Heit Park in the early 1930’s. Car racing enthusiasts referred to the circuit as “Rosewood” while bike racers preferred “Heit Park”.
It may even have been Australia’s first dedicated motor racing circuit, though this is unconfirmed and disputed. Until the Rosewood circuit was built motor races were held at horse racing tracks, closed public roads or oval speedways. It did not operate during WW2 and had ceased operating completely by 1950. RAAF aerial photos show that the circuit was virtually adjacent to the present Queensland Raceway motor racing circuit.
In April 1967 Ford Australia entered a Ford Fairmont XR V8 in the Surfers Paradise 4-Hour touring car race. Driven by Frank Matich and Harry Firth it finished 2nd. This Fairmont (race number 41) became Australia’s first home-grown V8 touring car, and was the basis for the Ford Falcon GT which won the 1967 Bathurst “500” driven by Harry Firth and Fred Gibson. Fairmont #41 was the genesis of Australian V8 Supercar racing. The Holden Monaro GTS V8 did not arrive until July 1968.