Warwick Farm and the Golden Age of Australian Motor Sport
Walla Walla Press Sydney 2017
I cannot recommend this book too highly; Andrew Moore, as well as being a keen enthusiast, is also an adjunct professor at Western Sydney University where he taught Australian History for 30 years.
This is not a book about lap times, race results and let’s face it, topics of which many of us are well aware, but a serious history of Warwick Farm’s place in both this country’s motor racing and social history. It is also an acknowledgement and a celebration of the impact Geoff Sykes and his brilliant team at the AARC had in those years.
The author teases out the politics of the times with the Melbourne based CAMS under the rule of Donald Thompson not always being in step with what was at the time probably Australia’s most successful circuit located in Western Sydney. I was quite involved with the AARC from 1970, playing with their racing cars, flying their aeroplanes and working at most of the meetings in the Press Office. I was a regular visitor to the building at the corner of Sussex and King Street so was aware of much of what was going on at the time, leading up to the circuit’s closure in mid 1973. I was also well aware that a World Championship race had been on the cards for our bicentennial year in 1970 but that fell through for reasons well explained in the book.
My personal view is that this is as good a book on Motor Racing, albeit on a specific subject, as has been written in Australia. Graham Howard’s excellent biography of Lex Davison, and the Scuderia Veloce book by David McKay spring to mind, but Aintree Down Under is up there with them.
Andrew Moore is a Director of the Australian Motor Heritage Foundation