By the 1960s things began to settle. The success of Sydney’s Jack Brabham on the world stage had flooded his country with customer Coopers, and later Brabhams, and led to the creation and popularisation of the Tasman Series.
Purpose-built facilities sprung up, and Warwick Farm in New South Wales and Victoria’s Sandown hosted the race on multiple occasions during the 1960s and ’70s.
The latter, 16 miles south-east of Melbourne, even made a tentative bid for Formula 1 world championship status, but got no further than two finales of the World Sportscar Championship, the first of which, in 1984, was won by Derek Bell and Stefan Bellof in a works Porsche 956.
Melbourne’s Calder Park, 13 miles north-west of the city, also had big dreams and its entrepreneurial owner Bob Jane, a four-time national touring car champion, went to the trouble and cost of coaxing Melbourne’s newly crowned world champion Alan Jones and his Williams FW07 over to contest the 1980 race.
Despite a determined effort by Alfa Romeo’s Bruno Giacomelli to spoil the party – the Italian led briefly after the pair touched wheels in the early stages – Jones won comfortably. This success, however, did not clinch the F1 deal for Jane. Instead, he had to make do with a round of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship, which was won by the Ford Sierra RS500 of Steve Soper and Pierre Dieudonné.