romanoracing
Bap-Romano

Results 1969

Year: 1969

Date Race No. Car Drivers Entrant Result
13.4.1969 Lakeside [Club] 48 MG A Bap Romano Avon Racing Co. DNA
13.4.1969 Lakeside [Division 1] 48 MG A Bap Romano Avon Racing Co. DNA
13.4.1969 Lakeside [Invitation] 48 MG A Bap Romano Avon Racing Co. DNA
13.4.1969 Lakeside [STP Feature] 48 MG A Bap Romano Avon Racing Co. DNA
13.4.1969 Lakeside [S+R Div.2] 48 MG A Bap Romano Avon Racing Co. DNA

Results 1983

Year: 1983

Date Race No. Car Drivers Entrant Result
1.5.1983 Australian SCC Adelaide Kaditcha K583 Bap Romano Kaditcha Factory Racing Team ?th
14.8.1983 Australian SCC Winton Kaditcha K583 Bap Romano Kaditcha Factory Racing Team 1st

Results 1984

Year: 1984

Date Race No. Car Drivers Entrant Result
29.4.1984 Australian SCC Calder 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano Bap Romano Racing DNF
13.5.1984 Australian SCC Surfers Paradise 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano Bap Romano Racing 1st
22.7.1984 Australian SCC Lakeside 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano Bap Romano Racing 1st
19.8.1984 Australian SCC Oran Park 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano Bap Romano Racing 1st
14.10.1984 Australian SCC Winton 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano Bap Romano Racing 1st
2.12.1984 1000 km Sandown Park 61 Romano WE84 Costanzo / Romano Bap Romano Racing NC

Results 1985

Year: 1985

Date Race No. Car Drivers Entrant Result
5.5.1985 Australian SCC Oran Park 1 Romano WE84 Bap Romano   raced

Results 1986

Year: 1986

Date Race No. Car Drivers Entrant Result
1986 Oran Park 8 Romano WE84 Bap Romano   raced

Bap Romano Kaditcha launch

Paul-Romano-New-Article
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The Romano name has  had a proud Racing Tradition in Australia since 1969 When Bap Romano first raced his MG A under the Banner Of Avon Racing Co.

The Romano WE84 was an Australian designed and built closed top racing car built to CAMS Group A Sports Car specifications. The car began its life as the Kaditcha K583 when it first appeared in the 1983 Australian Sports Car Championship and was built by the Queensland based Kaditcha owner and former McLaren engineer Barry Lock after he was approached by Brisbane accountant, property developer, timber Merchant and former speedway racer Bap Romano in 1981 with the idea of building a Le Mans type coupe. When the car first appeared in 1983, it was the first closed top Sports Car seen in Australia and looked like an FIA International Group C Sports Car.

Bap Romano’s ultimate ambition was to take the car to the famous 24 Hour French classic in an All-Australian challenge. Although this did not happen, going on its qualifying performance of the car at the 1984 Sandown 1000 race as part of the 1984 World Endurance Championship held at Melbourne‘s Sandown Raceway against the FIA Group C Sports Cars, the Romano, with some minor modifications to bring it up to FIA specs, would not have been out of place in Group C2 at Le Mans.

Even in 2014, 31 years after its competition debut and 28 years since it was retired from competition, the Romano remains one of Australia’s most iconic, fastest, and popular race cars, and is generally regarded as the second fastest Australian built sports car, behind only to the Group C and IMSA spec Veskanda-Chevrolet built in 1985 by K&A Engineering in Adelaide.

Build

Bap Romano travelled to England at the end of 1981 and purchased a 3.0L Cosworth DFV V8 engine (engine no. DFV 088) from John Nicholson of Nicholson McLaren Engines. The engine itself had actually been used in Formula One during the 1981 season by the McLaren team. While in England Romano was introduced Ken Tyrrell and became close friends as they had a similar background in the Timber Indistry. Ken Then intriduced Bap to the Works Manager at Tyrrell Racing, Neil Davis. Davis & Tyrrell took an interest in Romano’s plans for the car and they formed a friendship that saw the K583’s suspension designed around components of the 1981 Tyrrell 010 Formula One car.

Romano had chosen the Cosworth for its proven reliability in racing against the best alternative at the time, the 5.0L Chevrolet V8 Formula 5000 engine, which also carried more weight than the DFV (CAMS Group A Sports Car engines were limited to 5000cc capacity until the end of 1985). When purchased the engine was reportedly producing 406 bhp (303 kW; 412 PS) @ 9,450 rpm and was rebuilt to be able to run for 2,000 racing miles. This compared to the DFV’s used in Grand Prix racing that were rated at approximately 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS) and required a rebuild after just 350 miles, or the equivalent of one Grand Prix weekend.

By mid-1982 the car was built with full ground effects aerodynamics and was ready for testing. The car proved quick in testing and the engine was as strong as expected, but the suspension was proving suspect, breaking numerous times under the heavy load generated by the ground effects.
Racing Life
1983

By the time the Kaditcha K583 Cosworth made its debut in Round 1 of the 1983 Australian Sports Car Championship at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, Romano had enlisted the services of former Williams and Tyrrell F1 mechanic Wayne Eckersley to help sort out the car after his faith in Lock had gradually eroded with repeated suspension failures in testing. Romano, driving in Class B (1600 – 3000cc) suffered a crash in its first lap of practice, forcing the Kaditcha to be a non-starter for both heats on race day. Suspension failure was the cause.

The car suffered yet another suspension failure during practice and a DNF due to a burnt out coil in Heat 1 of Round 2 of the championship at the Adelaide International Raceway. The burnt out coil was the result of its position on top of the Cosworth engine. The cars had been held on the grid for long time while the back markers took up their positions, and the heat build up was enough to cook the coil only 4 laps into the race when Romano held a 3 second lead over the Kaditcha Chevrolet of Peter Hopwood. The coil was replaced in time for Heat 2 where Romano and the car scored their first win, coming home 5.5 seconds in front of eventual series champion Hopwood.

In the 5 rounds and 10 races of the 1983 championship, Romano and the K583 scored 3 race wins and one round win at the tight Winton circuit. He also recorded 6 fastest laps (including 3 class lap records) and 2 pole positions. Romano actually won both heats of Round 4 at his home circuit of Lakeside in Brisbane, but both he and Hopwood were excluded from the results for dangerous driving following two clashes in heat 1.

Despite only finishing 6th in the championship, Bap Romano proved that he had the fastest Sports Car seen in Australia to that time.

In November, Romano entered the K583 in the Sports Car/GT Invitation race as a support to the 1983 Australian Grand Prix at the 1.609 km (1.000 mi) Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne. Calder Park was a [power circuit with two long straights and only three corners,  Romano qualified the car second on the grid beside Australia’s 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones who was driving a Porsche 935 GT car imported for the race by John Fitzpatrick Racing. Jones’s Porsche had 880 Hp where as romano’s Car had 416Hp, Jones won the 15 lap race from Romano and touring car star Peter Brock driving Bob Jane’s Chevrolet Monza.

1984

Eckersley rebuilt the inner workings of the car, redesigning both the sidepods resulting in improved ground effect aerodynamics, and suspension before the start of the 1984 Australian Sports Car Championship, while the DFV’s original builder Ross Calgher of Nicholson Mclaren rebuilt the engine in late 1983 at the team’s base in Slacks Creek south of Brisbane. Eccersley also redesigned the front of the car, though the Romano retained its distinctive front air scoops which were enlarged to allow more air for to the ground effect venturies and also to the brakes. With the new front end and sidepod design, the car was found to produce as much downforce as before without the use of skirts. Under Eckersley’s direction the car was transformed and Romano went on to dominate the championship. The car was renamed the Romano WE84, Bap Romano won 4 of the 5 rounds, sat on pole for every round and set fastest race lap in every race he contested. The only round he did not win was a crash passing a slower lapped car in Round 1 at Calder during Heat 1 which destroyed the front of the car causing Romano to be a non-starter in Heat 2.

Despite running in Class B which paid more points for a position than his main opposition Chris Clearihan (driving Hopwood’s 1983 car) did for a position in Class C, Romano would have still won the 1984 series had they been competing for the same points.

1984 Challenge to Peter Brock

In mid-1984 Bap Romano, feeling that he had the fastest sports car in Australia (and having proved so in the 1984 ASCC), challenged then seven time Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock, with Brock to drive the Porsche 956 that he was to share with Larry Perkins at the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans, to a series of races on circuits in Australia fair to both cars claiming the WE84 could beat Brock’s 956. At the time Brock’s Melbourne based Holden Dealer Team had taken delivery of the Porsche for repainting in the colours of team patron Bob Jane for publicity purposes and so the team could become familiar with the car after 10 years of running production based Holden V8 touring cars. Romano claimed in a Brisbane newspaper that it was ‘ridiculous’ for Brock to pretend that his 1984 Le Mans challenge was an ‘All-Australian’ effort since the Porsche was made in West Germany. However it was noted that Romano had sourced many of its components, including the Cosworth V8 engine, from England, though the Romano WE84 was built in Australia by an Australian Designer Barry Lock. Romano’s open challenge to Brock went unanswered.

1984 Sandown 1000

Following the successful 1984 championship, Eckersley and Romano prepared the car for the Sandown 1000 which was a round of the 1984 World Endurance Championship where it would compete in the special AC Class for Australian based GT and Sports cars. The preparation included adding 70 kg of ballast to the 775 kg WE84 to bring it in line with the FIA weight scale for cars with a 3.9 litre, four valves per cylinder engine (the lead weight was placed on the passenger floor). Despite Romano purchasing a 3.9 litre Cosworth DFL with the intent on putting it in before the meeting, it was only put in after the first day of practice when it became apparent the 3.0 litre DFV was past its best. Enlisted to co-drive with Romano for the race was four times Australian Drivers’ Champion, Melbourne’s own Alfredo Costanzo.

After changing to the larger, 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) engine during practice, Romano and Costanzo were able to improve their times by around 4 seconds per lap. Following numerous gearbox problems throughout practice, as well as battling a severe under-steer problem on Sandown’s new, slower, infield section, Costanzo eventually qualified the car in 13th position (1st in AC) with a time of 1:38.400, some 1.9 seconds in front of Allan Grice driving his 1984 Australian GT Championship winning 6.0L Chevrolet Monza, but 6.8 seconds slower than the pole time set by eventual race winner and 1984 World Endurance Champion Stefan Bellof driving his Group C Rothmans Porsche 956B. The Turbo in the Porsche was turned up for qualifying which improved the car by over 4 seconds per lap. The qualifying time was only 0.4 seconds off the Group C2 pole time set by Englishman Gordon Spice (driving with English based Aussie Neil Crang) in a Tiga GC84, powered by the 3.3 litre version of the same Cosworth DFL that powered the WE84. Despite the cars problems, Costanzo’s time showed that the Australian designed and built car was capable of mixing it with the best Sports Cars in the world. With a little more development  the car in this category certainly had the potential to be the best.

More gearbox problems during the race, along with a collision with the Rothmans Porsche 956B of Johnny Dumfries which broke the nose cone from the car (later retrieved by the team and put back on with race tape) saw Romano and Costanzo only complete 106 laps, 100 behind winners Bellof and Derek Bell (Dumfries shared his drive with Australia’s triple Formula One World Champion Jack Brabham, marking Jack’s first international race since his retirement from F1 at the end of 1970). Despite still running at the end, the Romano WE84 was not classified as a finisher due to completing an insufficient number of laps.

Bap Romano’s previous challenge had gone unanswered by Peter Brock. However, the 956 that Brock and co-driver Larry Perkins were to drive at the Sandown 1000 was upgraded to the new 962 model and was driven by the versatile Colin Bond and open wheel racer Andrew Miedecke after Brock and Perkins became unavailable. In a car neither had driven before, and with approximately 200-300 more horsepower than either was used to, Bond qualified the 650 bhp (485 kW; 659 PS) Porsche 962 in 11th place with a time of 1:36.000, 2.4 seconds faster than the Romano qualifying time, Romano was seriously concerned about looking after & preserving the Race Car due to the length of the Race. Bond and Miedecke ran a steady race and finished 6th, 8 laps behind the winning Rothmans Porsche.

1985 – 1986

Romano only contested 3 rounds of the 1985 Australian Championship. That plus the appearance of other specially built cars such as a Lola T610-Chevrolet for Terry Hook (2nd), and the Mazda 13B powered JWS C2 of Jeff Harris (3rd in 1984 & 1985),  The series was won by 1982 champion Chris Clearihan driving the Steve Webb owned Kaditcha Chev he had driven to the runner up spot in 1984.

Romano only contested two rounds of the 1986 Australian Sports Car Championship, while also contesting the 1986 Australian Drivers’ Championship in a Ralt RT4 to achieve his Super Licence so he could drive for Tyrrell Racing at the Australian Grand Prix at the end of the year as well as a full time drive the following year.

The 1985 Sports Car title had seen the debut of the John Bowe driven Veskanda Chevrolet built by former ASCC competitor Brenie Van Elsen (the Veskanda, unlike the Romano, had been built to conform not only to CAMS Group A Sports Car rules, but was also FIA’s Group C and IMSA compliant). Bowe and the Veskanda, now complete with a 5.8 litre 350 Chevrolet due to a lifting of the engine capacity limit from 5000 to 6000cc, dominated the 1986 series, claiming pole at every round (like the Romano in 1984), winning every race and setting fastest laps in all (including many outright circuit lap records).

The WE84 suffered a bad crash at Amaroo Park in Sydney when the throttle stuck open as the car drove over Bitupave Hill at the end of the main straight, the fastest part of the tight 1.9 km circuit where the faster cars reached over 220 km/h (137 mph). Going into the left hander before the right hand Dunlop Loop at the end of the main straight, Romano couldn’t slow the car and it drove straight through the infield, hit a dip and bounced across the track at speed, hitting an earth bank front on which not only destroyed the front of the WE84 but also resulted in two broken legs and multiple body fractures for Romano. Emergency crew’s took over an hour to remove Romano from his car where, despite his injuries, a conscious Romano instructed rescuers where to cut the front of the car so the front wouldn’t collapse on top of him. After three and a bit seasons of sports car racing in Australia, Romano retired the car following the crash, and once recovered he concentrated on racing open wheelers in the Australian Drivers’ Championship.

Rebuild

Bap Romano retained the car and commissioned the cars original builder Barry Lock to build a replacement chassis to replace the one written off in the 1986 Amaroo crash. This was done by 2001 and by 2010 the WE84 had been completely rebuilt and track tested at Queensland Raceway by Romano himself.[5] Currently Bap Romano drives the car in historic events including returning to Lakeside Park in Brisbane 26 years after it last competed there, at the Festival of Sports Cars on 22–24 July.[6] The car now runs a 585 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS), 3.5L Cosworth DFL V8 engine developed for Formula One that Romano had intended to put the car after 1986, but didn’t due to the rebuild needed after Romano’s Amaroo Park crash, and his move into open wheelers in pursuit of the Australian Drivers’ Championship.

References

  • 1983 AGP Sport Sedan/GT Challenge
    Crowe, Chris (2007). “Le Mans – Intro by Bob Jane”. Icons of Australian Sport – Peter Brock: 201.
    1984 Sandown 1000 Grid Positions
    Romano WE84 after 1986 Amaroo Park crash
    Bap Romano testing the Romano WE84 Cosworth @ Queensland Raceway 2010
    2011 Festival of Sports Cars

Romano was asked what his biggest disappointment of his motor racing career was. He replied by saying, there were two actually. One was not being nominated by Cams, to drive the Tyrrell Formula 1 Cosworth car in the 1985 inaugural Grand Prix, after Ken Tyrrell Endorsed the drive and notifying Cams.

The other was his shared drive with Alfredo Costanzo in the 1984 world endurance Championship ( WEC ).

Before the World endurance race (WEC) Eckersley and Romano contacted Costanzo a number of times to test drive the car at Surfers Paradise Raceway.

Costanzo mysteriously refused, this made team manager Eckersley very nervous, as he firmly believed that Costanzo was way to hard on the machinery. Eckersley contacted Costanzo personally and insisted that he come up and test-drive the car and have a proper driver fitting. Again Costanzo refused, Costanzo told Eckersley that it was not necessary as he was getting many practice laps on the new Sandown circuit which was specifically modified for where the (WEC) race was to be held. Costanzo had told Eckersley that he was more familiar with the Sandown Circuit anyway. Compared with the Surfers Paradise circuit and he “jokingly “ told Eckersley that he had his reputation to consider and that Romano would probably be quicker than himself at Surfers Paradise Raceway.

After that conversation Eckersley Immediately, called a meeting between himself, Romano and Bruce Ayers, who was the 2 IC of the team. They both tried to convince Romano to change his mind. Eckersley pleaded with Romano to use

Either John Bowe or Peter Hopwood as the co driver in the WEC race as he knew they were both fast and easy on the equipment and were both good team players.

Eckersley continued his concern to Romano regarding Costanzo as his co-driver. Romano told Eckersley that he thought he was over reacting and that Costanzo should be ok as he had won the drivers championship a few times.

Every time Costanzo drove the car in practice and the race in WEC in Sandown. He broke second gear. This happened on four separate occasions. In all the practice sessions Romano said he only had a hand full of laps on a circuit he had never driven before.

It wasn’t till after the race that Frank Gardner spoke to Bap telling him how Costanzo was shifting from Fifth Gear straight back to Second. Instead or shifting down through the gears, and simultaneously breaking, therefore balancing the car, He simply released the clutch locking the rear wheels and certainly over revving the engine and destroying the gearbox.

Frank Gardner made a comment that it was an endurance race, and that every time Costanzo Drove he “ Butchered “ The car. He further commented that his drivers were not egomaniacs and respected the machinery.

Romano, Ken Tyrrell and Neil Davis ”Works” manager for Tyrrell Racing Organization were very close. In fact Ken Tyrrell, his wife Nora (Mrs T), Davis and Romano travelled together to Monaco for the grand Prix.

Ironically, prior to the World Endurance Championship Race, Romano was trying to promote Costanzo to Ken Tyrrell for a test drive. Tyrrell came back to Romano the very next day and told Romano that Costanzo would not be suitable to drive his cars. As they were very sophisticated and expensive and further started that Costanzo was to hard on the equipment.

(How true that statement was, as Romano was later to find out ” the hard way ” in the 1984 WEC Race with Great Expense. Both Ken Tyrrell and Eckersley had been correct. Costanzo turned out to be complete disaster.

 

During Practice and prior to the start of the race, Romano Pleaded with Costanzo to take it easy and look after the car. It was a long race and by looking after the vehicle it would give them a great chance at winning the class. Costanzo had previously broken the gearbox twice in practice causing Romano and the team grave concerns.

Romano started the race and was in a good position with the car performing well. As their fuel economy was much better than most of the field. The car was handed to Costanzo with no Defects and in great running order.

Costanzo brought the car into the pits prior to his stint being completed and much earlier than expected, not completing the laps that were asked of him. And after Romano strapped himself into the car, Costanzo leant into the cockpit and said to Romano that second gear was gone! and continued to say “DON’T Worry about it, Just use third gear”.

Romano was horrified and was only able to make one lap before returning the car to the pits. Obviously, the second gear had been stripped again due to Costanzo’s poor driving. If Romano had of continued the gear box would have been completely destroyed in a matter of laps.

Once in the pits the team proceeded to remove the gearbox. The gearbox had once again being badly damaged in the hands of Costanzo for the Third Time! As usual, second gear and all the sync rows needed replacing.

To remove, rebuild and replace the gearbox was a lengthy process, but the team soldiered on. The car was many laps down when Romano once again join the race, Again the car was performing Well under the hands of Romano and the car was returned in good condition. Costanzo, Needing to fulfil a minimum lap requirement, once again returned to the car much to the “grave” concern of the team.

Costanzo was told by Neil Davis to drive the car as it should be driven and treat it with finesse and respect. Again, after a number of laps and in another rage of red mist and lack of oxygen to the brain. Costanzo passed approximately seven cars under yellow flags! Then proceeded to crash into Jack Braham’s Rothmans Porsche. The collision was so server it tore the entire nose cone from the car. The team immediately called him in, but Costanzo continued to drive the car with no Nose Cone, doing Lap after lap and ignoring all signals from the team manager and race officials. The team was showing him the “ In Sign “ But it was continually ignored.

Costanzo was eventually Black flagged by the marshals. The Marshalls were justifiably upset and told the team manager to call Costanzo in, The officials were told that they had been trying but there pleas were continually ignored.

The car was once again in need of repair, after the team had retrieved the nose cone and it was remounted with the assistance of race tape. After fixing the car, and many  more laps lost, Romano attempted to drive the car onto pit lane and re-enter the race. But discovered the Gearbox had once again been damaged by Costanzo for the forth time !

The team had not been told by Costanzo when he entered the pits. He had turned off the engine and coasted into the pits, after being black flagged, for irresponsible behaviour. The team had to once again rebuild the gear box, Which was a lengthy process.  The gear box was destroyed, second gear was non-existent, and especially the cluster gear as well as all the other gears had been severely damaged. Neil Davis was absolutely furious and discussed, walking up to Costanzo with the shattered cluster gear in hand and shoved it in front of his face saying ” In a loud and forceful voice ” if he had done this to one of his Tyrrell F1 Race cars. He would have made him eat the cluster gear.,

Davis went on to say that the F1 Race cars ran exactly the same gear box as the sports car and that their drivers run their cars for two hours flat out and they do not break gear boxes. Davis, after completely stripping Costanzo Down, told Costanzo to get out !  Costanzo left humiliated & embarrassment !

Davis later stated that he had never met a driver with so much disrespect and lack of discipline to create so much carnage. As Neil Davis, frank Gardner and other team owners and drivers stated. “ no car could have survived the punishment Costanzo had inflicted on the car, and he obviously wasn’t paying the bills. Davis said. “It almost seemed intentional ” due to Costanzo’s Lack of care and arrogance.

Team managers confirmed that in all the years Romano had been driving open wheel and sports cars not once had he destroyed or damaged a gearbox.

The second disappointment was in 1985.

 

Ken Tyrrell offered Romano a drive in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in the 1985 Adelaide Grand Prix.

Ken Tyrrell and Bap Romano in 1985 had been in negotiations, in pursuit of driving for Tyrrell F1 the following year ( 1986 ).

The first Grand Prix with full F1 teams were to race in Adelaide in 1985 which was the last race of the season. “Adelaide alive in 85“ was the slogan.

The opportunity to race in 1985 in the Tyrrell “ Coswosth “ powered car was offered to Romano sanctioned by Ken Tyrrell.

Which would have meant there would have been three Tyrrell cars. Two turbo powered cars and one coswoth powered car. And Neil Davis was to manage the cosworth powered car as part of the team. Ken Tyrrell confirmed the payment figure to run the Cosworth car and the brewery divisions of the Bond Corporation offered sponsorship in excess of three and a half times the payment figure required by the Tyrrell organization. The only other requirement was that CAMS had to endorse Romano’s nomination to drive the car.

Romano visited John Keefe from CAMS a number of times and Keefe was aware of the proposal and was to go to FISA to promote the drive, Ken Tyrrell also notified CAMS of his approval of Romano to drive his Cosworth powered car.

Romano remembers ringing John Keefe who was with John Roxborough on the night of the FISA meeting. Regarding the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. John Keith said he would endorse the drive to FISA that night.

Ken Tyrrell was unable to attend the meeting due to sponsorship arrangements, so he asked Bernie Ecclestone to handle the proposal for him.

Later Romano found out from Keefe that his proposal had been rejected. Ken Tyrrell, Neil Davis and Romano could not understand why. Romano was bitterly disappointed.

During the 1985 Grand Prix Romano was a VIP guest in the pit garages and Pavilion for Tyrrell. On the first day of practiceTyrrell asked Romano to join him immediately in his office. In the room was Tyrrell, Ecclestone, Davis and a representative of CAMS who was at the FIA meeting.

Ken Tyrell asked Bernie Ecclestone to repeat what he had told Tyrrell. Bernie Ecclestone stated that the Australian representative did not nominate the proposal regarding the Tyrrell team and Romanos drive to the meeting. Berine Ecclestone asked the Australian representitives  on a number of occasions if they had a proposal to put forward to the board. And they responded by saying No. Mr Eccleston even mentioned Mr Romanos name on the last request. Ken Tyrell asked the cams representative if this was true. The CAMS rep stated yes “ The reason Bap Romano’s application was not presented at the FISA meeting is that CAMS is that they did not want to have an Accident on their first Grand Prix.

With those comments from CAMS representative, Ken was furious, and asked who were they to make that decision. Ken said that has job was to be confident that the driver was capable of doing the job, and CAMS job was surely to promote their own drivers, Especially an Australian Driver in an Australian Grand Prix.

He also went on to say that Romano was more than capable of driving the Cosworth powered car, through there own experience with Romano. And Ken Tyrrell confirmed this originally with CAMS. Tyrrell went on to say that there had been an enormous amount of time , effort, money and organization that had been carried out to make this happen. And could not believe that the CAMS representative would not promote another Australian driver to compete in the Australian Gran Prix.

After his forceful comments, Ken Tyrrell “ Who was a big man” walked over to the CAMS representative, Pulled him by the ear and marched him out of the office and Team garage, still holding him firmly by the ear ( Head angled towards the ground ). He was then booted in the backside and told to get out.

That was Typical of Ken Tyrrell – No nonsense!!

The following year Romano raced mondior cars, ( Australian F1 ) as to achieve his super license, so he could drive in the 1986 Grand Prix in Adelaide. And hopefully drive for Tyrrell in 1987 and beyond. Unfortunately the serious injuries suffered driving the sports car in a charity event put an end to Romano’s racing Career.

The ironic part of driving a mondior car to achieve his super license was a much easier car to drive than the sports car and in fact, Romano had been leading the Australian F1 Championship Comfortably prior to his accident.