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Warwick Brown

24th December 1949 (Age 70)
Sydney, New South Wales
Most recent race (in database):

Warwick Brown started one Grand Prix but it was Formula 5000 – both at home and in America – that was at the heart of his career.

Formula 1 driver for a weekend

That Formula 1 opportunity came in the 1976 United States GP when Chris Amon was sidelined after an accident at the previous week’s race in Canada. The rugged and uncompromising Brown was hastily drafted in to drive Amon’s Williams FW05-Ford. He qualified on the penultimate row but suffered gearbox and brake problems throughout the race which he finished 14th and last.

Formula 5000 at home and abroad

He was a regular in Australia’s senior single-seater championships from the early 1970s, normally driving for Pat Burke. After promise shown in a McLaren M10B-Chevrolet, Burke bought a Lola T330-Chevy for 1973. However, Brown broke both legs in a huge accident at Surfers Paradise Raceway and he spent the next three months in hospital.

Barely fit again at the start of 1974, he returned with a new Lola T332 and won the Tasman Cup finale at Adelaide International Raceway. Team and driver started to compete in the North American F5000 series later that year. Brown then won twice during the 1975 Tasman Cup (including the New Zealand GP at Pukekohe) to become its final champion.

It was in the famous red, blue and white colours of Count Rudi van der Straaten’s Racing Team VDS that the Australian saw out his racing career. Winner of the Tasman-replacement Rothmans Australian F5000 series in 1977, that year’s Can-Am campaign was interrupted by a broken ankle sustained at Laguna Seca. Brown returned to successfully defend his Aussie F5000 title and finish runner-up to compatriot Alan Jones in the 1978 Can-Am championship.

He retired from racing in 1979 and later established a flying business in his native New South Wales.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1978 SCCA Citicorp Can-Am Challenge
Racing Team VDS
1 0 1 1 0
1976 F1 World Championship
Walter Wolf Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
1976 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Racing Team VDS
Bay Racing
6 0 1 0
0% win rate
7th 41
1975 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Pat Burke Racing
8 0 1 0
0% win rate
7th 42
1975 Peter Stuyvesant $100,000 Tasman Cup
Pat Burke Racing
8 2 4 2
25% win rate
1st 31
1974 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Pat Burke Racing
3 0 1 0
0% win rate
7th 20
1974 Peter Stuyvesant $100,000 Tasman Cup
Pat Burke Racing
8 0 2 1
13% win rate
6th 19
1973 Tasman Cup
Team Target
4 (1) 0 2 0
0% win rate
7th 10
1972 Tasman Cup
Pat Burke Racing
4 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 2