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Tim Schenken

Full Name:
Timothy Theodore Schenken
26th September 1943 (Age 77)
Gordon, Sydney, New South Wales
Most recent race (in database):

Grand Prix driver, sports car race winner, team owner, racing car constructor and administrator – Tim Schenken has spanned most facets of motor racing during his long career.

Early racing career

It was with an Austin A30 that he first raced and he showed enough promise in local hillclimbs to invest in a Lotus 18. He was soon winning and so moved to England in 1965. It was a couple of seasons before that decision was vindicated but 1968 was his year – Schenken winning both the Guards Formula Ford 1600 and Lombank Formula 3 titles for the Sports Motors team that season.

Formula 1 with Williams and Brabham

He continued with Sports Motors for the next two seasons in F3 (1969) and Formula 2 (1970). He also made his GP debut in the 1970 Austrian GP – starting four races that year in Frank Williams’ De Tomaso 505-Ford without finishing. Much of his success in the lesser categories had been driving a Brabham and Schenken joined its Formula 1 team as Graham Hill’s team-mate for 1971. With Hill’s star on the wane due to injury and age, Schenken out-performed the double world champion and finished third in Austria with the Ford DFV-powered BT33.

Fourteenth in the 1971 World Championship, he was also fourth in F2 with a Rondel Racing Brabham BT36-Ford. All seemed well for the likable Aussie, although he opted not to stay with Brabham for 1972. The team had a new owner but Schenken was unsure of the impact that would be made by Jochen Rindt’s former manager Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula 1 frustration and sports car race winner

Instead, Schenken joined Surtees for the 1972 F1 season while also racing in F2 (with Rondel) and sports cars (Ferrari). The GP campaign began with his Brooke Bond Oxo Surtees TS9B-Ford fifth in Argentina although that was the only highlight of a frustrating campaign. He did win the final F2 race of the year at Hockenheim and starred as Ronnie Peterson’s co-driver in sports cars. They won twice and were second on four occasions as Ferrari clinched the 1972 World Championship for Makes.

He signed to lead Rondel’s new F1 team in 1973 but Ron Dennis’ first attempt to graduate to GP racing did not come to fruition. Schenken raced a Williams IR01-Ford in the Canadian GP and won the Norisring F2 race in Rondel’s Motul M1-Ford. His F1 career petered out in 1974 with the uncompetitive Trojan T103-Ford and a one-off for Lotus at Watkins Glen – the last of his 34 GP starts.

Subsequent career

He won the 1977 Nürburgring 1000Kms with Georg Loos’ Porsche 935 and raced for Jaguar’s European Touring Car Championship team as John Fitzpatrick’s co-driver. However, Schenken did not see his future only as a racing driver and he formed Tiga Race Cars with Howden Ganley in 1975.

That was a successful venture with its cars winning in both Formula Ford and Sports 2000. They considered launching an F1 team in 1978 and 1980’s F2 Tiga F280-BMW was promising before Hans-Georg Bürger’s untimely death at Zandvoort.

Schenken left the company in 1984 and returned to Australia where he worked for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports as a much-respected administrator and clerk-of-the-course at the Australian GP.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1977 World Championship of Makes
Georg Loos
3 0 1 1 20
1976 World Championship of Sportscars 1 0 0 0 0
1976 World Championship of Makes
Georg Loos
2 0 1 0 21
1975 European F2 Championship
Project 3 Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
1975 World Championship of Makes
GELO Racing Team Mirage
Georg Loos
4 1 1 0 17
1975 European Touring Car Championship
GELO Racing Team
1 0 1 1 0
1974 F1 World Championship
Trojan-Tauranac Racing
John Player Team Lotus
7 (2) 0 0 0
0% win rate
1974 European F2 Championship
Team Ecuador
5 0 0 0
0% win rate
1974 World Championship of Makes
GELO Racing
Georg Loos
3 0 0 0 13
1973 World Championship of Makes
Scuderia Ferrari
4 0 2 0 30
1973 European F2 Championship
Motul-Rondel Racing
11 0 5 1
10% win rate
1973 F1 World Championship
Frank Williams Racing Cars
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
1972 F1 World Championship
Team Surtees
12 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 2
1972 European F2 Trophy
Motul-Rondel Racing
3 (1) 0 1 1
34% win rate
1972 World Championship of Makes
Scuderia Ferrari
9 4 8 2 124
1972 John Player British F2 Championship
Motul-Rondel Racing
2 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
11th 4
1971 F1 World Championship
Motor Racing Developments
10 0 1 0
0% win rate
14th 5
1971 European F2 Trophy
Rondel Racing
10 0 3 0
0% win rate
4th 29
1971 Rothmans F5000 Championship
Barry Newman
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
1970 F1 World Championship
Frank Williams Racing Cars
4 0 0 0
0% win rate
1970 European F2 Trophy
Team Brabham
6 0 0 0
0% win rate
12th 4
1968 Lombank British F3 Championship 1st -