ALLAN MOFFAT’S EXTRA BATHURST PIT STOP

Allan Moffat after claiming victory at Bathurst in 1970. The late Al Turner is to the left of shot. Photo: an1images.com / Terry Russell

ALLAN Moffat will forever sit as a legend in the history books of Australian motor racing.

The four-time Australian Touring Car Champion is best known for his four Bathurst endurance classic wins aboard Ford Falcon V8s in the 1970s, the first of which came in 1970 at the wheel of the factory-run GT-HO Phase II.

On his way to victory in the 130-lap, 500-mile race, Moffat found himself in the pits for service with a desperate need to, er, relieve himself.

And, even worse, the Channel 7 TV reporter was circling to try and interview him while the Ford Motor Company crew serviced his car!

He took up the story, as first published in Australian Motorsport News’ Issue #400 in October 2010.

“Sometimes, you need to be careful how you describe things that happen in motor racing, and that is what I need to be in describing this,” he said.

“It was Bathurst in 1970. My Ford Falcon GTHO was, in my opinion, the best car in the field and, by half-way through the 500 miles, it was starting to appear as though the race was within my grasp. There were no problems that I recall with the car, but there was one with the driver.

“I was driving solo. The race started at 10 o’clock, at which time I was hydrated sufficiently to stay alert during what would be a six-hour-plus drive. Problem was, by mid-afternoon, I was understandably starting to feel what might be expected at that stage, for someone who had been driving a car, very physically, for hours on end.

“My final pitstop was going to be something in the order of two and a half minutes, because the fuel churns flowed through a narrow hose into the 36 gallon tank. So, with a few laps to go, I started to loosen first my racesuit, and then my belt, so that everything would be okay for the stop.

“While the car was at a rest, I could see (crew member) Peter Jeffries on the front-right wheel, so I knew everything was going okay. When he finished, we were only waiting for the fuel to go in, so I know that now was the time. While fluid was going in at one end of the car, it was coming out at the other!

Allan Moffat won the 1970 Hardie-Ferodo 500 at Bathurst in just his second ‘Great Race’ start. Photo: an1images.com / Terry Russell

“Peter knew what was going on, and had his back to me but suddenly, a Channel 7 crew appeared at the driver’s window and asked if they could interview me. Before anyone could say anything, they were live on TV, so I had to talk to them – while I kept, um, going with what I was doing! If you look at the video of the race now, you will see that I got the signal to take off while I was still talking, and I was still … going.

“It took me a few laps to get everything back where it needed to be (the best place to do all that was on Conrod Straight) and at the end of the race, it was a great victory. I was the first driver to win the race by driving the 500 miles solo and the car was perfect.”

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.