The first lap of an Aussie Racing Cars race at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2015.

Aussie Racing Cars (ARC) is an Australian motor racing category. ARC is a motorcycle powered silhouette racing car class created by former touring car racer Phil Ward and influenced by the American Legends category. ARC was developed as a Major National Category supporting the V8 Supercars under an exclusive Category Management Agreement (CMA) with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS).

Initially the cars were based on caricatures of 1940 Ford Coupe and FJ Holden body styles until in 2007 a new era of Aussie Race Car emerged with the design and launch of the Toyota Aurion bodied Aussie Race Car. The new car extended the wheel base and track on the first generation cars thus improving aesthetic appeal and performance significantly. Respected design engineer Russell Mapplebeck lead the engineering project alongside James Ward and Blake Hammond. The process to design and build the first "New Age" Aussie Race Car paved the way for future models, also designed by Mapplebeck including Mercedes- Benz, Holden Cruze, and later the Camaro and Mustang. Aussie Race Cars is now regarded as one of the most successful motorsport categories of all time in Australia, operating under the same branding and philosophy for over 20 years and this success is largely attributed to the substantial improvements in visual appeal and performance delivered from Mapplebeck's New Age design.

Ward sold the category in April 2012 to Tony Quinn with the Ward brothers of James and Brad continuing to work in the business under Quinn's ownership.

The category contests an annual Aussie Racing Car Series which is approved by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport as a National Series.[1] Over its 20-year history the category has supported the biggest motorsports events in Australia including the Adelaide 500, Indy 500 Gold Coast, F1 Australian Grand Prix and Bathurst 1000.

The most successful drivers in the category are Paul Kemal who has won the series title three times, James Duckworth and Mike Russell twice, while Phil Ward's two sons James and Brad have also won titles.

The Hampton Downs round of the 2016 season hosted the inaugural Trans-Tasman Woman's Challenge. Charlotte Poynting was chosen to represent Team Australian up against Alyssa Clapperton representing Team New Zealand. In Race 3 Poynting who started 9th on the grid, raced through the field to win by 2.5 seconds, becoming the first ever woman to win a race in the Aussie Racing Cars category.

Two time Series winner James Duckworth is the only driver since Mike Russell to win consecutive Drivers championships.

The cars

A Holden VY Commodore-bodied Aussie Racing Car.
A Toyota Aurion-bodied Aussie Racing Car.
A "Euro GT"-bodied Aussie Racing Car.
A Holden Cruze-bodied Aussie Racing Car.
A Chevrolet Camaro-bodied Aussie Racing Car.

The Aussie Racing Car combines current racing technology and performance in a one-design class where all cars are mechanically identical with strict rules in place to maintain that position. Various body styles are permitted. Originally only 1940 Ford Coupé and Holden FJ body styles were available, with Ford AU Falcon and Holden VY Commodore styles which replicate V8 Supercars later made available. A Toyota Aurion body shape was launched in 2008,[2] followed by a Holden Cruze in 2012 [3] and a Mercedes-Benz inspired "Euro GT" in 2013.[4] Nissan Altima,[5] Ford Mustang,[6] and Chevrolet Camaro were added in 2014.[6] Hyundai Elantra debuted during the 2015 series.[7]

Cars are constructed on a purpose built steel tubular space frame chassis with integral roll cage construction designed and approved to stringent engineering specifications. The lightweight composite body is a faithfully designed caricature of its full size counterpart featuring opening doors, boot and lift off front section. Powered by a 1.3 litre 125 bhp (93 kW) twin cam 16 valve engine sourced second-hand from used Yamaha FJR1300 motorcycles that revs to 11500 rpm. The 515 kg all up weight provides a high power-to-weight ratio that allows the car to reach speeds in excess of 200 km/h. Lap times achieved at Oran Park Raceway are within six seconds of a V8 Supercar. They feature fully adjustable suspension geometry, huge brakes and controlled competition tyres that produce high grip levels. All cars are hand built in the Aussie Racing Car facility and supplied ready to race.[citation needed]

The cockpit layout is purpose built and fitted with a five point racing harness. The steering requires only one turn lock to lock and minimal steering movement during racing. The sequential gear lever is close to the steering wheel and the carbon fibre dash displays the necessary instrumentation. The chassis design incorporates simplicity in suspension adjustment to cater for all drivers likings including castor/camber, sway bar, roll centre and ride height etc. Brakes have simple front to rear bias adjustment.[citation needed]

The class has proven attractive to karting racers without the budget to progress to Formula Ford. Aussie Racing Cars is by far the most cost effective 1st tier category in Australia and New Zealand with options to lease a chassis for $15k or buy a new car outright for $59k.

Series winners

Year Champion Body style
2001 Paul Kemal 1940 Ford Coupé
2002 Mike Russell Holden FJ
2003 Mike Russell Holden FJ
2004 James Ward Ford AU Falcon
2005 Tim Monte Ford AU Falcon
2006 Paul Kemal Ford AU Falcon
2007 Brad Ward Holden VY Commodore
2008 Paul Kemal Ford AU Falcon
2009 Adam Gowans Toyota Aurion
2010 Kyle Clews Holden VY Commodore
2011 Adrian Cottrell Toyota Aurion
2012 Kyle Clews Holden VY Commodore
2013 Maurice Masini [8] Ford AU Falcon
2014 Darren Chamberlin Toyota Aurion
2015 Brendon Pingel Holden Cruze
2016 James Duckworth Nissan Altima
2017 James Duckworth Chevrolet Camaro
2018 Joel Heinrich Nissan Altima
Holden Cruze
Chevrolet Camaro
2019 Justin Ruggier Ford Mustang

Technical specifications

The Yamaha engine which powers all Aussie Racing Cars.


  • Yamaha 1.3 (1300cc) litre twin-cam water/air cooled four cylinder
  • Four valves per cylinder
  • 125 bhp, 11500 rpm (Governed)


  • PWR radiator and oil cooler



  • Electronic dash programmed to ARC spec. Shift light, tachometer, water-temp and lap-timer


  • Tubular space-frame and cockpit with integral driver roll-cage
  • Momo race seat with five point harness
  • Momo quick-release steering wheel


  • Front – Coil over shocks fully adjustable rose jointed wishbones
  • Ultra fast rack and pinion
  • Rear – Live axle, optional long and short track ratios
  • Coil over shocks, parallel trailing arms, panhard rod


  • Four wheel disc with - Full bias adjustment with balance bar, braided lines

Wheels and tyres

  • 13 x 5.5 various styles available
  • Yokohama A048R treaded race spec tyres

Body styles


  • Length: 3.0 m
  • Width: 1.35 m
  • Height: 1.05 m
  • Weight: 515 kg


  • Top Speed: 230km/h
  • 0-100: 4.9 seconds
  • 0-400m: 11.9 seconds


External links