Photos Richard CraillRichard Craill August 28, 2021 (Comments off) (249)

Mallala through the years in photos

WE’VE been looking back at the long and fascinating history of Mallala Motorsport Park this week as the circuit celebrates it’s 60th anniversary.

Fortunately, South Australia is lucky to have had a large and passionate contingent of photographers capturing the history of the circuit over the years, including John Lemm.

John, who motorsport fans will know from his long-standing contributions to Auto Action Magazine, has been shooting at Mallala since the late 1960s and has been good enough to provide the circuit with a selection of his images from over the years.

It’s a stunning look back at the circuit across three decades of racing.

Greg McEwin’s Mini Cooper S sits on the start line in 1966.
Another Mini sits on the start line. Lots to note here: firstly, the three-wide start, which would have been perilous at a circuit as narrow as Mallala. Secondly, the Grandstands in the background may look familiar – they, along with much of the circuit’s key infrastructure, would be uplifted and moved to Adelaide International Raceway after Keith Williams purchased the facility in the 1970s. The control tower sits at that location these days. The bar, though, remains.
It’s Norm Beechey, pictured here in 1968. Don’t need to say much more!
Another legend – Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan – hustling the stunning Mustang in 1969.
Malcolm Ramsay in his Repco-powered Elfin 600 heads through ‘Clubhouse’ corner, the final of nine turns on the circuit, in 1970. We imagine this would have sounded rather impressive. Ramsay, as well as being a strong racing driver in his own right, remains famous for his stewardship of the Birrana Racing Cars brand – both as a constructor and a Gold-Star winning racing team. He’s still active to this day.
Brian Foley’s Alfa GTAM leads Jim McEown’s Porsche 911 S in the 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship round at Mallala. Won by Bob Jane in the famous Camaro, the Porsche would finish fourth and the Alfa fifth at a circuit that played to both cars strengths.
Dick Johnson, in a Holden, at Mallala in 1971. It happened.
Fast forward to 1989 and Colin Bond is hard at work in the fire breathing Ford Sierra RS500.
A unique moment as Australia’s home-grown category, Formula Holden, races for the first time at Mallala in May, 1989. That’s Neil Crompton leading this group in Peter Boylan’s Ralt RT20. He’d finish third in the first race and fifth in the second.
It’s 1990 and Peter Brock leads Colin Bond in a pair of Sierras in a battle of the fuel brands. Bond would win, Brock would be 4th and Johnson, in a Shell Sierra, would be in the middle of them. Jim Richards in the Skyline was third to spoil the Sierra sweep.

Our thanks to John for the images – they’re incredible.

All photos (C) John Lemm.

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