Australia II vs Brabham BT19
Ask most Australians to name our country’s greatest sporting success on the world stage that also involves a triumph for Australian technology and most will say the 1983 America’s Cup win.
And most of them will know that the winning Aussie yacht, Australia II, was bankrolled by business tycoon Alan Bond, had a special ‘winged keel’ designed by Ben Lexcen, and was skippered by John Bertrand. Bondy’s legacy might be a bit tarnished these days, but Lexcen and Bertrand are bone fide Aussie sports legends – Lexcen is so famous Toyota even named a car after him!
As an Australian sporting success, however, that yachting victory is dwarfed by the Brabham team’s
of dominance of F1 in 1966-67. An Australian team, led by its Australian driver and car designer, with an engine designed by an Australian and built in Melbourne. A small collective of Aussies a long way from home conspiring to beat the world’s best automotive houses and specialist racing marques, which they did over a 24-month period. The Ben Lexcen of the Brabham operation ought to be much more widely known and honoured in this country than he is. At the very least, though, Ron Tauranac also has had some cars named after him. Some very, very good cars.