Drivers LEO

Leo Geoghegan
NationalityAustralian
Born16 May 1936
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died2 March 2015 (aged 78)
Sydney, New South Wales
Retired1974
Related toTom Geoghegan (father)
Ian Geoghegan (brother)
Australian Drivers' Championship
Years active1963–1973
TeamsGeoghegan's Sporty Cars
Total Team
Best finish1st in 1970
Previous series
1960
1962–1963
1965–1971
1965
1973–1974
Australian GT Championship
Australian Formula Junior Ch.
Tasman Series
Australian 1½ Litre Champ.
Australian Formula 2 Champ.
Championship titles
1960
1963
1970
1973
1974
Australian GT Championship
Australian Formula Junior Ch.
Australian Drivers' Champ.
Australian Formula 2 Champ.
Australian Formula 2 Champ.

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Leo Geoghegan (16 May 1936 [1] - 2 March 2015) was a former Australian racing driver. He was the elder of two sons of former New South Wales car dealer Tom Geoghegan, both of whom become dominant names in Australian motor racing in the 1960s. While his younger brother Ian 'Pete' Geoghegan had much of his success in touring car racing, winning five Australian Touring Car Championships, Leo spent most of his racing career in open wheel racing cars.

Career[edit]

Leo also drove Group E Series Production Cars and Group C touring cars at the annual Bathurst 500/1000 endurance race for the Ford Works Team, Chrysler Australia and the Holden Dealer Team. This gave him the distinction of being the only driver to race for all three Australian factory backed teams.

Leo and Ian Geoghegan drove their Ford Cortina Mk.I GT500 in the 1965 Armstrong 500 at Bathurst while wearing business suits as part of a sponsorship deal with a Sydney clothing store. After crossing the line in second place, the brothers were later disqualified for restarting their Cortina during a pit stop. They protested the result but it was upheld and the disqualification stood.[2]

His best finish at Bathurst for the endurance race was second in 1967 driving a Ford XR Falcon GT with his brother Ian. The pair were flagged in first, but a protest by teammate Harry Firth saw the brothers relegated to second after a re-count of the lap charts. Unfortunately for Leo and Ian, just two hours after the start their Falcon ran out of petrol after it had passed the pits. Leo, who in the car at the time, was able to drive through the back gate into the pits to be refueled, which led the lap scorers to mistakenly credit the #53 Ford with a lap it did not complete. The race was then awarded to Firth and his co-driver Fred Gibson. Until his death in 2015, Leo Geoghegan believed that the lap scorers had it correct the first time and that he and his brother should be in the record books as Bathurst winners in 1967.

Drivers Elogs

Drivers

Leo & Ian won the 1962 Bathurst Six Hour Classic at Mount Panorama driving a Daimler SP250 sports car, (that year the 500 mile race for touring cars were held at Phillip Island)

Leo also finished 3rd outright in the 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 (the year the race was extended from 500 miles to 1000 kilometres) co-driving with Colin Bond in a Holden Dealer TeamLJ Torana GTR XU-1. Ironically, the HDT was then run by Harry Firth while Leo's older brother Ian won the race co-driving with Allan Moffat in a Ford Works Team XA Falcon GT Hardtop. Leo later stated that the Torana was one of his least favourite cars he drove at Bathurst.

Other career highlights included victories in the following:

  • 1969 JAF Grand Prix (Formula Libre)

Leo Geoghegan was the principal driver for Chrysler Australia during the period (1970–1972) when the company supported Valiant Pacer and Valiant Charger Series Production touring car teams. During this time, Leo and big brother Ian were involved in testing a ute fitted with a 5.6 litre, 340ci V8 engine and with the R/T Charger's wheelbase at the Mallala circuit in South Australia. The Geoghegan's reported that the extra weight of the V8 gave the car severe understeer and required earlier brake points. As a result, lap times were around 2–3 seconds slower than when the car was fitted with the Hemi six, though it was expected that the long straights and more open nature of the Mount Panorama Circuit would better suit the V8 engined car. The V8 Charger, which Chrysler Australia denied was to be used in Series Production racing, was eventually killed off in the Supercar scare in mid-1972 along with the V8 Holden Torana GTR XU-1 and the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase IV.

In addition to being a multi-Australian championship winning driver, Geoghegan has the rare distinction for an Australian of having won an international grand prix, specifically the inaugural JAF Grand Prix in 1969 held over 40 laps of the 6 km (3.728 mi) Fuji Speedway. Driving his ex-Jim ClarkLotus 39-RepcoV8 in the race held for Formula Libre cars (which included Formula 2 and 1.6 litre cars) by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), Geoghegan was part of a large Australian contingent including Alec Mildren Racing with their drivers Kevin Bartlett and Max Stewart (Bartlett driving a 2.5L Mildren-Alfa Romeo V8, and Stewart driving a 1.6L Mildren-Waggott), Garrie Cooper in his own Elfin 600-Repco, and Glynn Scott driving a Bowin P3-Ford Cosworth. The Australian's all qualified at the front end of the grid, with Geoghegan third. He purposefully made a slow start so as not to strip the new gears in his Lotus and drove a steady race. As others fell out, he passed Stewart to take a lead he was not to lose. Geoghegan also set a new F2 lap record during the race with a 1:52.67 for an average of 119.7 mph.[3][4]

  • Geoghegan finished 2nd in Class D in the 1971 Hardie-Ferodo 500 in this Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E38

  • Geoghegan won the 1974 Australian Formula 2 Championship in this Birrana 274

Death[edit]

Leo Geoghegan died on 2 March 2015 at the age of 78 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was survived by his widow, Del; sister Marie-Louise; two sons, Steven and Shaun; and two daughters Roslyn Naomi; and cousin Warren Geoghegan.

Career results[edit]

YearTitle/ EventPositionCarEntrant
1960Australian GT Championship1stLotus EliteGeoghegan Motors
1962Australian Formula Junior Championship3rdGeoghegan Motors Liverpool
1963Australian Drivers' Championship13thTotal Team
Australian Formula Junior Championship1stTotal Team
1964Australian Drivers' Championship4thTotal Team
1965Tasman Series14thTotal Team
Australian Drivers' Championship3rdTotal Team
Australian 1½ Litre Championship2ndTotal Team
1966Tasman Series11thTotal Team
Australian Drivers' Championship7thGeoghegan Racing
1967Tasman Series7thGeoghegan Racing
Australian Drivers' Championship5thGeoghegan Racing Division
1968Tasman Series11thGeoghegan Racing
Australian Drivers' Championship4thGeoghegan Racing Division
1969Tasman Series7thGeoghegan Racing
Australian Drivers' Championship2ndGeoghegan Racing Division
1970Australian Drivers' Championship1stLotus 59B WaggottGeoghegan's Sporty Cars
1971Tasman Series15thLotus 59B WaggottGeoghegan's Sporty Cars
1972South Pacific Touring Series8thChrysler VH Valiant ChargerAustral Motors
1973Australian Formula 2 Championship1stGrace Bros – 5AD City State Racing Team
Australian Drivers' Championship4thGrace Bros – 5AD City State Racing Team
Toby Lee Series3rdPorsche 911SGrace Bros / Reg Mort
1974Australian Formula 2 Championship1stGrace Bros. Levis Racing Team

Drivers Lenovo Ideapad S340

Complete Tasman Series results[edit]

YearTeamCar12345678RankPoints
1964Total TeamLEVPUKWIGTERSAN
Ret
WAR
9
LAKLONNC0
1965Total TeamPUK
6
LEVWIGTERWAR
8
SANLON14th1
1966Total TeamPUK
5
LEVWIGTERWAR
7
LAK
Ret
SAN
Ret
LON11th2
1967Geoghegan Racing DivisionPUKLEVWIG
5
TERLAK
Ret
WAR
5
SAN
2
LON
DNS
7th8
1968Geoghegan Racing DivisionPUKLEVWIGTERSUR
4
WAR
Ret
SAN
7
LON
DNS
11th3
1969Geoghegan Racing DivisionPUK
5
LEV
4
WIG
Ret
TERLAK
3
WAR
5
SAN
DNS
7th11
1971Geoghegans Sporty CarsLEVPUKWIG
8
TER
6
WAR
Ret
SANSUR15th1

Complete Phillip Island/Bathurst 500/1000 results[edit]

YearTeamCo-DriverCarClassLapsOverall
Position
Class
Position
1960Bill PittRenault DauphineB151NA11th
1963Ford AustraliaIan GeogheganFord Cortina Mk.I GTC105NADNF
1964Ford Motor CoIan GeogheganFord Cortina Mk.I GTC1275th5th
1965Ford Motor CoIan GeogheganFord Cortina Mk.I GT500D130DSQDSQ
1967Ford AustraliaIan GeogheganFord XR Falcon GTD1302nd2nd
1968Ford Motor Company of AustraliaIan GeogheganFord XT Falcon GTD12312th7th
1969Ford AustraliaIan GeogheganFord XW Falcon GTHOD1285th5th
1970 Geoghegan's Sporty CarsNick LedinghamChrysler VG Valiant Pacer 2 BarrellC1285th3rd
1971 Geoghegan's Sporty CarsPeter BrownChrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E38D1297th2nd
1972 Geoghegan's Sporty CarsChrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E49D1274th3rd
1973Holden Dealer TeamColin BondHolden LJ Torana GTR XU-1D1633rd3rd

References[edit]

Drivers Leo Gordon

  1. ^Luke West, The Classicist, Australian Muscle Car, Issue 24, page 96
  2. ^The Armstrong 500 (1965)
  3. ^Results of the 1969 Grand Prix of Japan Retrieved from www.formula2.net on 2 September 2009
  4. ^1969 JAF Grand Prix
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kevin Bartlett
Winner of the Australian Drivers' Championship
1970
Succeeded by
Max Stewart
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