Bathurst Drivers: Allan Moffat

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Falcon XC Cobra
Bathurst 1960
Torana L34

Allan Moffat

Allan Moffat

Allan George Moffat


4 times Bathurst winner and a name synonymous with Aussie racing car legends. The Canadian born Moffat would move to Australia with his parents in the early 1960’s as a college student, however his passion was for racing, something he had enjoyed Stateside prior to moving to Australia. His first foray on the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) came in 1965, then driving a Ford Lotus Cortina.

He switched to driving a Ford Mustang, and with sponsorship provided by Coca-Cola his brightly coloured red car soon became a favourite of race fans around the country. He would go on to win 101 ATCC races in this car between 1969 and 1972 – but there was a problem - Bathurst eligibility requirements dictated that all cars entered had to be Series Production cars.

Moffat either had to switch cars, or continue to miss the premier racing event in the country. With the arrival of the GTHO the answer was simple, and on his debut at the Mount he would finish 4th with co-driver Alan Hamilton. The following two years would see Moffat come into his own as one of Australia's most dominant race drivers, and the Falcon GTHO as an almost unbeatable car.

By 1970 Ford had made significant improvements to the Falcon GTHO and Moffat, racing without a co-driver, took the car to two crushing victories in the 1970 and 1971 Bathurst races. Moffat looked headed for an historic third straight Bathurst victory in 1972 when Ford unveiled plans for a "Phase IV" Falcon GTHO, even faster and more brutal than the Phase III which Moffat had taken to victory in 1971.

The Phase IV Is Scrapped



But the Australian press intervened, publishing headlines declaring "160 mph Super-cars On Our Roads!". To make the cars eligible for entry at Bathurst, Ford needed to manufacture at least 200 to meet homologation rules.  Facing pressure from the media and government not to produce the car, Ford scrapped production of the Phase IV and forced Moffat and other Ford drivers had to instead continue to use year-old Phase III cars. Brake problems and wet weather would conspire to prevent the heavier GT Falcon’s from taking another win, leaving the gate open for one Peter Brock to snatch victory in the more nimble and less weather affected Torana GTR.

In 1973 the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) changed the rules for the Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst cars to allow racing modifications, such modifications having previously been outlawed (prior to 1973, cars had to be stock, with only a few concessions made in relation to safety equipment). First the controversy over the Phase IV, and now combined with the change in the rules, it was little wonder that Ford would withdraw from competition at the end of 1973, leaving drivers such as Moffat to form their own privateer teams.

The “Great Race” would convert from 500 miles to 1000 kilometers, the added length putting even more pressure on car and driver for endurance and reliability. Moffat struggled through the 1974 and 1975 seasons, failing to finish Bathurst in those years, and was only moderately competitive in ATCC races, although in 1975 he drove a BMW 3.0CSL with Brian Redman to win the Sebring 12-hour.

Although he failed to finish Bathurst again in 1976, Moffat returned to drive his Falcon GT full-time in the ATCC that year and won his second title, despite the setback of a transporter fire which destroyed his race car, with several rounds left to run. Moffat re-established his dominance in 1977, winning his second consecutive ATCC title that year (the third of his career) and of course there was the crushing 1-2 victory of both Moffat and team-mate Colin Bond at Bathurst.


Ford's Finest Hour



By the mid-point of the race, Moffat and Bond led by over six laps from the rest of the field, however the drama would unfold as Moffat's car encountered brake problems and had to slow, allowing Bond to catch up and be in position to snatch victory.

Obviously on orders from the team, Bond held position along side Moffat for much of the last lap, the pairs formation down Conrod Straight one of the most enduring Bathurst images of all time.

The pair finished the race side-by-side, Bond allowing Moffat to stay barely in front. This moment is remembered as one of the most famous in Australian motor sport history, and still regarded by many as Ford's finest hour.

Moffat was unable to repeat his 1977 successes over the following three years. He retired from the 1978, 1979 and 1980 Bathurst races (his last in an Aussie built Ford) and did not win the ATCC title in those years as Holden began to gain a manufacturer's edge with the Torana A9X, a car both lighter and more nimble than the heavy Falcons.

During the early 1980’s Moffat competed in various international events, including Le Mans and Indycar, where he partnered with race legend Bobby Rahal. He even made a “guest drive” for the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team, taking 3rd place in the Sandown 400km race.

The event was marked by the fact that it was Moffat's second only time in a Holden and that he was driving in the same team as his nemesis Peter Brock. In 1981 he would ditch Ford to instead drive a Mazda RX-7 in both the ATCC and Bathurst, managing to finish in the top six four consecutive times. His fourth and final ATCC win would come in 1983, however he would sit out the 1985 season.

His return to Bathurst in 1986 would be somewhat controversial, not only driving a Commodore, but partnering with Peter Brock. Then, like most were forced to due to their dominance, he switched to driving the Ford Sierra’s. The halcyon days of the 1970’s may have been over, but Moffat had etched his name indelibly onto the side of the Mount, and into any race fans heart.
Year
Team
Car
Co Driver
Finished
Ford
Falcon XW GTHO
Alan Hamilton
4th
Ford Falcon XW GTHO none 1st
Ford Falcon XY GTHO none 1st
Ford Falcon XY GTHO none 9th
Ford Falcon XA GT Ian Geoghegan 1st
Moffat (privateer) Falcon XA GT Dieter Glemser clutch, lap 92
Brut 33 Falcon XB GT Ian Geoghegan suspension, lap 109
Moffat Ford Dealers Falcon XB GT Vern Schuppan head gasket, lap 87
Moffat Ford Dealers Falcon XC Jacky Ickx 1st
Moffat Ford Dealers Falcon XC Jacky Ickx engine, lap 81
Camel Filters Falcon XC John Fitzpatrick engine, lap 136
Federation Insurance Falcon XD John Fitzpatrick piston rings, lap 3
Peter Stuyvesant Mazda RX7 Derek Bell 3rd
Peter Stuyvesant Mazda RX7 Yoshima Katayama 6th
Peter Stuyvesant Mazda RX7 Yoshima Katayama 2nd
Peter Stuyvesant Mazda RX7 Gregg Hansford 3rd
Mobil HDT Commodore VK Peter Brock 5th
ANZ Ford Sierra RS500 Andy Rouse & Thierry Tassin differential, lap 31
ANZ Ford Sierra RS500 Klaus Niedzwiedz & Gregg Hansford engine, lap 129
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