The 1968 Grand Prix season kicked off on January 1 and while South Africa rang in the new year for F1, the running order among competitors was anything but unfamiliar. Jim Clark blasted off the grid from pole and with the exception of the very first lap, the Lotus driver dominated proceedings to comfortably take the chequered flag from team mate Graham Hill and Brabham's Jochen Rindt.
Back in the years when the South African GP first appeared on the International calendar there was a big three-month break until the world championship resumed in Europe after the Northern winter, a period during which many F1 teams and drivers kept themselves busy by competing in the lucrative Tasman Series in New Zealand and Australia.
The series was contested between early January and early March over a number of rounds split between the two countries and located at such popular venues as Pukekohe, Surfers Paradise, Warwick Farm or Sandown. The blue skies and warm summer Down Under offered a perfect backdrop for a laid back atmosphere which encouraged some playful banter and jovial camaraderie amongst the drivers.