Vale Bill Pitt

Australian Muscle Car - - News -

Bill

Pitt was one of Aus­tralia’s first tour­ing car stars. Driv­ing a fac­tory-pre­pared 3.4-litre Jaguar Mk1 – the dom­i­nant tour­ing car in the late 1950s and 1960s – Pitt fin­ished sec­ond in the in­au­gu­ral Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship at the Gnoo Blas cir­cuit in 1960. He was beaten that day by David McKay (in a near-iden­ti­cal ex-works Jag), but only af­ter a clutch drama on Pitt’s car al­lowed McKay through to the lead.

Pitt turned the tables the fol­low­ing year, de­feat­ing fel­low Jaguar driv­ers Bob Jane and Ian Geoghe­gan to claim the ti­tle for him­self at the Lowood cir­cuit in Queens­land. Pitt’s bid to make it back-to-back ti­tles was thwarted in 1962 at Long­ford by a trans­mis­sion prob­lem that pre­vented him from chal­leng­ing Jane.

That was Pitt’s last ATCC ap­pear­ance as he re­tired from racing in 1963. He left the sport with the unique record of never hav­ing fin­ished lower than sec­ond in the ATCC.

But Pitt was more than a mere tour­ing car ace. His in­tro­duc­tion to the sport came as an of­fi­cial at the 1948 Aus­tralian Grand Prix, af­ter which he soon be­came in­volved as a com­peti­tor.

In 1954 Pitt shared a Jaguar XK120 with Doris ‘Ge­ordie’ An­der­son and Charles Swin­burne to win the 1954 Mount Druitt 24 Hour race in Syd­ney – de­spite hav­ing to stop to re­place a cracked car­bu­ret­tor with one from a spec­ta­tor’s car!

Later An­der­son pur­chased a D-Type Jaguar which Pitt drove to fourth place be­hind two fac­tory-en­tered Maser­atis and a Fer­rari in the Aus­tralian Tourist Tro­phy at Al­bert Park in Novem­ber of 1956.

Such was the dom­i­nance of the D-Type in sports car racing that Pitt of­ten raced against grand prix style open-wheel­ers in the search for com­pe­ti­tion. The D-Type was sold in 1959 as the Pitt/An­der­son camp switched to tour­ing cars with the Mk1.

The Queens­lan­der was pro­filed and in­ter­viewed for AMC #63.

Pitt passed away on Fe­bru­ary 23, aged 90.

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