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 championship was won by Norm Beechey, driving a Ford Mustang. It was the first ATCC victory for a V8-engined car and the first of five ATCC titles won by drivers of Ford Mustangs. It was Beechey's first of two Australian Touring Car Championship wins.
The change in regulations from Appendix J to Group C had disadvantaged most heavily those driving Holdens, like Norm Beechey and Brian Muir, and Bob Jane's Jaguar, as the practice of overboring engines was effectively outlawed, making 4.1 litre Jaguars and 3.4-litre Holdens ineligible.
Jane qualified his new Ford Mustang on pole position, recording a time of 1:20.9. Beechey, also in a Mustang, had lapped in 1:20.8 in Friday practice, however transmission problems prevented him from setting a time in official qualifying and he started from the back of the grid. John Raeburn, driving a Ford Galaxie, and Jim McKeown, driving a Ford Cortina Lotus, completed the front tow. The reigning champion Ian Geoghegan lined up in eighth place on the grid.
Jane made the best of the start while Muir passed Raeburn for second place going into the second corner, but Raeburn was able to retake the position going up the back straight. Jane led by six seconds at the end of lap 1, while Beechey had made his way up to fifth place. He took second place halfway through lap 2 and began closing the gap to Jane, setting a new lap record of 1:20.8 in the process. He caught Jane on lap 7 and passed him at the first corner on lap 8. Brian Foley pitted on lap 11 with a broken brake line while Stan Starcevich retired on lap 14 with a broken differential. Jane retired on lap 23 when his engine overheated, which left Beechey leading by more than a lap over McKeown and Geoghegan. The two Cortina drivers swapped positions twice before the crankshaft on McKeown's car broke with six laps remaining, elevating Muir into third place. Muir then lost the position to Allan Moffat as he thought that Moffat was a lap down, but was able to retake the place before the end of the race.
Beechey took a comfortable victory, winning by a margin of one lap over Geoghegan and Muir. Moffat finished fourth ahead of Raeburn and Manton.
The starting grid was decided by times set in official practice. Class leaders are indicated by bold text.
|1||Over 3000cc||5||Bob Jane||Ford Mustang||1:20.9|
|2||Over 3000cc||21||John Raeburn||Ford Galaxie||1:24.9||+4.0|
|3||1501–2000cc||3||Jim McKeown||Neptune Racing Team||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||1:25.2||+4.3|
|4||2001–3000cc||10||Brian Muir||Heldon Motors||Holden EH Special S4||1:26.3||+5.4|
|5||1101–1500cc||2||Peter Manton||Neptune Racing Team||Morris Cooper S||1:26.7||+5.8|
|6||1501–2000cc||18||Allan Moffat||Allan Moffat Racing||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||1:27.0||+6.1|
|7||1101–1500cc||Brian Foley||Morris Cooper S||1:27.3||+6.4|
|8||1501–2000cc||1||Ian Geoghegan||Total Team||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||1:27.4||+6.5|
|9||Over 3000cc||Clem Smith||Chrysler Valiant R Series||1:28.6||+7.7|
|10||1101–1500cc||6||John Harvey||Austin Cooper S||1:30.0||+9.1|
|11||1101–1500cc||Jim Russell||Morris Cooper S||1:31.6||+10.7|
|12||2001–3000cc||Stan Starcevich||Holden EH Special S4||1:32.8||+11.9|
|13||Over 3000cc||4||Norm Beechey||Neptune Racing Team||Ford Mustang||1:34.3||+13.4|
|14||1501–2000cc||Robin Pare||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||1:36.1||+15.2|
|15||2001–3000cc||Ken Hastings||Holden 48-215[N 1]||1:36.7||+15.8|
|16||2001–3000cc||Ron McLean||Holden 48-215[N 1]||1:41.2||+20.3|
|17||Over 3000cc||Dick Roberts||Chrysler Valiant R Series||1:41.4||+20.5|
|18||1101–1500cc||Ewen Frazer||Morris Cooper S||1:41.6||+20.7|
Class winners are indicated by bold text.
|1||Over 3000cc||4||Norm Beechey||Neptune Racing Team||Ford Mustang||40||56:37.7||13|
|2||1501–2000cc||1||Ian Geoghegan||Total Team||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||39||+1 lap||8|
|3||2001–3000cc||10||Brian Muir||Heldon Motors||Holden EH Special S4||39||+1 lap||4|
|4||1501–2000cc||18||Allan Moffat||Allan Moffat Racing||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||39||+1 lap||6|
|5||Over 3000cc||21||John Raeburn||Ford Galaxie||39||+1 lap||2|
|6||1101–1500cc||2||Peter Manton||Neptune Racing Team||Morris Cooper S||39||+1 lap||5|
|7||1101–1500cc||6||John Harvey||Austin Cooper S||38||+2 laps||10|
|8||1101–1500cc||Jim Russell||Morris Cooper S||37||+3 laps||11|
|9||Over 3000cc||Clem Smith||Chrysler Valiant R Series||37||+3 laps||9|
|10||1501–2000cc||Robin Pare||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||35||+5 laps||14|
|11||2001–3000cc||Ken Hastings||Holden 48-215[N 1]||33||+7 laps||15|
|12||2001–3000cc||Ron McLean||Holden 48-215[N 1]||33||+7 laps||16|
|13||1101–1500cc||Ewen Frazer||Morris Cooper S||32||+8 laps||18|
|14||Over 3000cc||Dick Roberts||Chrysler Valiant R Series||32||+8 laps||17|
|15||1101–1500cc||Brian Foley||Morris Cooper S||32||+8 laps||7|
|Ret||1501–2000cc||3||Jim McKeown||Neptune Racing Team||Ford Cortina Mark I Lotus||34||Crankshaft||3|
|Ret||Over 3000cc||5||Bob Jane||Ford Mustang||23||Overheating||1|
|Ret||2001–3000cc||Stan Starcevich||Holden EH Special S4||14||Differential||12|
- Fastest race lap: Norm Beechey, 1:20.8
- Race distance: 40 laps, 124.12 km
- Average speed: 131.43 km/h
- The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years lists all four Holdens as being EH S4s, but also includes images of two Holden 48-215 models competing in the race. An image on page 59 confirms that Muir drove an EH and the race report in Sports Car World says that Starcevich drove a "179 Holden", so it could not have been a 48-215. The two 48-215s must therefore have been driven by Hastings and McLean. Additionally, David McKay's race report in Modern Motor describes Hasting's car as an "elderly 2.2-litre Holden", supporting the assertion that it was not an EH S4.
- Conditions for Australian Titles, 1965 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, pages 66-71
- Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. pp. 58–63. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
- "Sandown: Beechey and Mustang - First ATCC". Sports Car World. June 1965. pp. 54–57.
- McKay, David (June 1965). "Double-duty Sandown". Modern Motor. p. 40.
- Ryan, Adrian (May 1965). "Norm Beechey: Australian Champion". Racing Car News. Chippendale, New South Wales: Publishers Photo Digest Pty Ltd. pp. 14–15.
- (1965 Australian Touring Car Championship), Motor Racing Australia, April–May 2003, pages 48 to 52