Australian Touring Car Championship

Last updated

Australian Touring Car Championship
Category Touring car racing
Country Australia
Inaugural season 1960
Drivers24
Teams13
Tyre suppliersDunlop
Drivers' champion Flag of New Zealand.svg Scott McLaughlin
Official website supercars.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) is a touring car racing award held in Australia since 1960. The series itself is no longer contested, but the title lives on, with the winner of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship awarded the trophy and title of Australian Touring Car Champion.

Contents

History

The first Australian Touring Car Championship was held in 1960 as a single race for Appendix J Touring Cars. This was an acknowledgement[ by whom? ] of the rising popularity of races held for passenger sedans; as opposed to those for purpose built open wheel racing cars, or sports cars. The race was held at the Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit in Orange in rural New South Wales, west of Sydney. It was won by journalist racer, David McKay driving a Jaguar 3.4 Litre prepared by his own racing team, which to this point had been better known for preparing of open-wheel and sports racing cars.

The early years of the ATCC saw the annual event held mostly at rural circuits, before finally visiting a major city circuit, Lakeside Raceway on the outskirts of Brisbane in 1964. This race was also the first not won by a Jaguar with Ian Geoghegan driving a Ford Cortina GT to win the first of his five titles. From 1965 the title would largely be won by an American V8 powered muscle car, most notably the Ford Mustang which would be used to win five consecutive titles in 1965 to 1969 with (Norm Beechey) and Geoghegan. The first championship victory by the driver of an Australian car was that of Beechey in 1970 driving a Holden HT Monaro GTS350. As of 4 December 2011 Beechey and Jamie Whincup are the only two people to have won the championship in both a Ford and a Holden. The 1971 and 1972 championships were won by 1962 and 1963 champion Bob Jane who drove a 7.0 litre Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 in 1971 before CAMS rule changes forced Jane to use the smaller 5.7 litres 350 Chevrolet in the Camaro in 1972.

1979 Champion Bob Morris (Holden Torana) Toranamorris.jpg
1979 Champion Bob Morris (Holden Torana)

A major shift occurred in 1973. The championship had grown from a single race into a multi-event series in 1969, but the competition had not changed markedly. The 'Supercar scare' that had rocked the buildup to 1972 Bathurst 500 forced sweeping changes through touring car regulations. The Improved Touring Car regulations which governed the ATCC, known at the time as Group C were amalgamated with the more basic Group E Series Production Touring Cars regulations which governed the Bathurst touring car endurance race in a compromise between the two, creating a single class for touring car racing that would hold sway of Australian Touring Car racing until the introduction of Group A in 1985.

This period saw a rise in the tribal style conflicts between Holden and Ford and in particular the two marques leading drivers, respectively Peter Brock and Allan Moffat who between them would claim seven of the eras 12 championships (and nine of the associated Bathurst victories). By the mid-1980s Group C had become wracked with infighting and almost random parity adjustments between competing marques.

Attention focussed purely on Holden and Ford had blurred as European and Japanese manufacturers joined the Australian agents of the two big American companies, the trend starting in 1981 with BMW, Mazda and Nissan. The international Group A regulations that already utilised by European and Japanese touring car series came into full effect in Australia from 1985 and allowed the international manufacturers to compete on equal terms. Holden was forced briefly into catchup phase and all but backed out of the sport in 1992 after Group A had been dominated by more track-focused production cars such as the turbocharged Ford Sierra RS500 and various Nissan Skylines, as well as the BMW M3.

By the mid-1980s, a number of the leading teams including the Holden Dealer Team, Dick Johnson Racing, JPS Team BMW and the Peter Jackson Nissan team had begun to make a lot of noise about the very little amount of prize money on offer for their efforts in crisscrossing the country in pursuit of the title. In 1984, the final year of the Group C rules, it was estimated that the Brisbane based Johnson team had covered some 20,000 km in travelling to and from championship meetings, often for as little as AU$1,500 for a win. When CAMS increased the title to 10 rounds in 1986, with little change to the prize money, the teams were threatening that the ATCC would see smaller and smaller grids unless CAMS found a series sponsor. The sponsor that was found was oil giant Shell who put up some $275,000 worth of prize money from the 1987 ATCC, ensuring the long-term future of the series.

1992 saw the unhappy demise of Group A and with the international touring car scene fragmenting in several directions (moving towards DTM, Super Touring and Super GT) Australia forged its own path evolving the Group A specification Holden Commodores and re-introducing the Ford Falcon into the new Group 3A regulations that would later be renamed as V8 Supercar.

The ATCC continued to be used until the end of the 1998 season, after which V8 Supercar organisers altered the name of the series, eventually adopting its present identity, the Supercars Championship.

ATCC champions and records

Accurate to the 2015 Coates Hire Sydney 500. Current full-time drivers are highlighted in bold text.

Event starts by driver

The Ford Mustang with which Ian Geoghegan won the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Australian Touring Car Championships, pictured in 2013. 1967 Ford Mustang Hardtop Geoghegan tribute (9693636955).jpg
The Ford Mustang with which Ian Geoghegan won the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Australian Touring Car Championships, pictured in 2013.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 in which Bob Jane won the 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship. 1969 Bob Jane Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 Race Car.jpg
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 in which Bob Jane won the 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship.
DriverSeasonsStarts
1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Russell Ingall 1996–2015250
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig Lowndes 1996, 1998–2015
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Garth Tander 1998–2015237
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jason Bright 1997–2015229
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg John Bowe 1986, 1988–2007225
6 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Skaife 1987–2011220
7 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Todd Kelly 1999–2015215
8 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Brock 1972–1997, 2002, 2004212
9 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Glenn Seton 1984, 1986–2008, 2010209
10 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Dick Johnson 1970–2000202

Race wins by driver

DriverWins
1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jamie Whincup 117
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig Lowndes 109
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Skaife 90
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Garth Tander 55
5 Flag of New Zealand.svg Scott McLaughlin(Racingdriver) 55
6 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Brock 48
7 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Glenn Seton 40
8 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Winterbottom 38
9 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Allan Moffat 36
10 Flag of New Zealand.svg Shane van Gisbergen 35

Pole positions by driver

DriverPoles
1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jamie Whincup 89
2 Flag of New Zealand.svg Scott McLaughlin 74
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Brock 57
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig Lowndes 42
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Skaife 41
6 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Allan Moffat 39
7 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Winterbottom 36
8 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Garth Tander 30
9 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Dick Johnson 28
10 Flag of Australia (converted).svg John Bowe 25

Championship wins by driver

DriverChampionshipsYears
1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jamie Whincup 72008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ian Geoghegan 51964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Dick Johnson 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Skaife 1992, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Bob Jane 41962, 1963, 1971, 1972
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Allan Moffat 1973, 1976, 1977, 1983
Flag of New Zealand.svg Jim Richards 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991
8 Flag of New Zealand.svg Scott McLaughlin 32018, 2019, 2020
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Brock 1974, 1978, 1980
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig Lowndes 1996, 1998, 1999
11 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Norm Beechey 21965, 1970
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Glenn Seton 1993, 1997
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Marcos Ambrose 2003, 2004
14 Flag of Australia (converted).svg David McKay 11960
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Bill Pitt 1961
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Colin Bond 1975
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Bob Morris 1979
Flag of New Zealand.svg Robbie Francevic 1986
Flag of Australia (converted).svg John Bowe 1995
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Russell Ingall 2005
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Rick Kelly 2006
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Garth Tander 2007
Flag of Australia (converted).svg James Courtney 2010
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Winterbottom 2015
Flag of New Zealand.svg Shane van Gisbergen 2016

Championship wins by manufacturer

ManufacturerChampionshipsYears
1 Ford 271964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020
2 Holden 211970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
3 Jaguar 41960, 1961, 1962, 1963
4 Nissan 31990, 1991, 1992
5 Chevrolet 21971, 1972
BMW 1985, 1987
7 Mazda 11983
Volvo 1986

See also

Related Research Articles

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The Holden Dealer Team (HDT) was Holden's semi-official racing team from 1969 until 1986, primarily contesting Australian Touring Car events but also rallying, rallycross and sports sedans during the 1970s. From 1980 the Holden Dealer Team, by then under the ownership of Peter Brock, diversified into producing modified road-going Commodores and other Holden cars for selected dealers via HDT Special Vehicles.

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In relation to Australian motorsport, Group C refers to either of two sets of regulations devised by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) for use in Australian Touring Car Racing from 1965 to 1984. These are not to be confused with the FIA’s Group C sports car regulations, used from 1982 to 1992 for the World Endurance Championship / World Sports-Prototype Championship / World Sportscar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship was a motor racing competition which was open to Touring Cars complying with regulations as defined by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and based on FIA Group A rules. The championship, which was the 28th Australian Touring Car Championship, began on 1 March 1987 at Calder Park Raceway and ended on 5 July at Oran Park Raceway after nine rounds. The Calder round saw the world debut of the racing versions of the BMW M3, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and the Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo.

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The 1989 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title open to Group 3A Touring Cars. The championship, which was the 30th Australian Touring Car Championship, began on 5 March at Amaroo Park and ended on 9 July at Oran Park Raceway after eight rounds. The 1989 Australian Manufacturers' Championship was contested over the same eight round series.

The 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Group 3A Touring Cars. It was the 29th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. The championship began on 6 March at Calder Park Raceway and ended on 17 July at Oran Park Raceway after nine rounds.

The 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship was the 27th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. It began on 2 March 1986 at Amaroo Park and ended on 13 July at Oran Park Raceway after ten rounds. This was the second ATCC to be run to the FIA's international Group A Touring Car Regulations.

The 1984 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title for Group C Touring Cars. It was the 25th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship, and the last to be contested by Group C cars as new regulations, based on international Group A, were introduced for 1985. The championship, which began on 18 February 1984 at Sandown Raceway and ended on 1 July at Adelaide International Raceway after seven rounds, was won by Dick Johnson driving a Ford XE Falcon.

The 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Touring Cars. It was the 26th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship and the first to be contested using regulations based on the FIA's International Group A regulations after having been run under CAMS home grown Group C rules between 1973 and 1984. The championship began on 10 February 1985 at Winton Motor Raceway and ended on 14 July at Oran Park Raceway after ten rounds.

1983 Australian Touring Car Championship

The 1983 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Group C Touring Cars. The title, which was the 24th Australian Touring Car Championship, was contested over a series which began on 6 February 1983 at Calder Park Raceway and ended on 19 June at Lakeside International Raceway after eight rounds.

The 1965 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title open to Group C Improved Production Touring Cars. It was contested over a single 40-lap race staged at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 11 April 1965. It was the sixth Australian Touring Car Championship title to be awarded and the first to be contested by cars complying with Group C regulations.

The 1966 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title open to Group C Improved Production Touring Cars. It was contested over a single 20-lap race staged at the Mount Panorama Circuit near Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia on Easter Monday, 11 April 1966, and was the seventh running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. The race was sponsored by the Neptune Oil Company, Sydney.

The 1972 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned national motor racing title open to Improved Production Touring Cars and Group E Series Production Touring Cars. The championship, which was the 13th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship, began at Symmons Plains and ended at Oran Park after eight rounds.

The 1986 Australian Touring Car season was the 27th season of touring car racing in Australia commencing from 1960 when the first Australian Touring Car Championship and the first Armstrong 500 were contested. It was the second season in which Australian Touring Car regulations were based on those for the FIA Group A Touring Car category.