Monday, November 16, 2015

F1 City Guide - Melbourne

Melbourne is synonymous with the Australian Grand Prix.  Since 1996 Albert Park, near the CBD, has hosted the race and is contracted to do so until at least 2023.

This blog will explore Melbourne's Grand Prix racing past and also what it offers F1 fans today.

The Past

The first eight Australian Grand Prix starting in 1928 were held at the Phillip Island circuit.  It's one of five locations near Melbourne to have that honour:

Phillip Island 8 times:  1928 - 1935
Point Cook: 1948
Albert Park twice: 1953, 1956
Sandown 6 times: 1964, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978
Calder 5 times : 1980 - 1984

Some of these races were part of The Tasman Series which ran from 1964 to 1975.

Other races held near Melbourne were part of the Australian Drivers Championship.  e.g. 1958 Victoria Trophy Race at Fisherman's Bend and the Melbourne Grand Prix in 1958 at Albert Park, won by Stirling Moss.

So what did the Albert Park circuit look like back then?  It was faster and much more dangerous of course.  It was also 300 metres shorter than the modern layout and travelled in the opposite direction. 

Also in Melbourne, Sir Jack Brabham's BT19 Repco engine (winning the title in 1966) was built at Richmond and then relocated to another Repco site at Maidstone.

There were 5 Formula 1 drivers from Melbourne or regional Victoria; Larry Perkins, Paul Hawkins, Paul England, Brian McGuire and Ken Kavanagh.


Activities for F1 fans

If you are visiting Melbourne, these are the options for F1 fans:
  • The Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park.
  • Various motorsport events the other circuits mentioned above, except Point Cook and Fisherman's Bend.
  • Victorian Historic Racing Register - Sir Jack Brabham Annex.  Here you can see Jack's world championship winning Brabham Repco BT19 from 1966, plus his extensive trophy collection.
  • Albert Park also hosts commemorative brass busts for Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.
  • Several go-karting locations, "Ace Karts" looks like fun!
  • Sim racing at Docklands.
  • City Sports & F1, Melbourne CBD.
  • Model Mania, Melbourne CBD.
  • Motor Book World, Canterbury.
  • F1 theme cafes on Lygon Street: eg. Café Corretto (complete with Ferrari replica F1 car on the roof!) and Café Cavallino.
Thanks for reading.  Please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast


Australian Grand Prix:
Tasman Series:
Australian F1 drivers:
Victorian Historic Racing Register - Sir Jack Brabham Annex:

No comments: