The 1984 Castrol 500 was an endurance motor race staged at the Sandown Park circuit in Victoria, Australia on 9 September 1984. The event was open to Group C Touring Cars, competing in two engine capacity classes, Up to 3000cc and Over 3000cc. It also included a class for Group A cars which were to replace Group C cars in Australian Touring Car racing in 1985. The race, which was held over a distance of 503 km, was Round 3 of the 1984 Australian Endurance Championship.
This was the first Sandown endurance race where the distance was 500 km and the first of five races on the new 3.878 km (1.928 mi) long 'International Circuit'. Prior to 1984 the Sandown Enduro had been held over distances including: 6 Hours (1964–65), 3 Hours (1968–69), 250 miles (1970–75) and 400 km (1976-83), all held on the old 3.100 km (1.926 mi) circuit. The meeting also saw the opening of the new International standard Sandown Park with changes including the relocating of the pits from between turns 1 and 2 to a new $600,000 pit complex at the start of the main straight, and the lengthening and re-profiling of the circuit to the minimum length required for an International circuit of 3.9 km, primarily by the inclusion of an 800-metre infield section, which for the first time saw the circuit cross to the inside of the venue's horse racing track.
Nissan driver George Fury sat on pole in his Bluebird Turbo with a time of 1:46.2 for the new track. Alongside Fury in a brand new Roadways Racing Holden VK Commodore was Allan Grice who was only 0.1 behind. Filling out the second row of the grid was newly crowned Australian Touring Car Champion Dick Johnson in his "Greens-Tuf" Ford XE Falcon, and the Holden Dealer Team VK Commodore of Peter Brock. The third row of the grid consisted of the top two finishers from 1983. Winner Allan Moffat in his Mazda RX-7 and Jim Richards in the JPS Team BMW 635 CSI.
Fury's pole time remains the fastest ever recorded time by a touring car of the 3.878 km International Circuit.
1982 Australian Sports Car Champion Chris Clearihan, who was to have co-driven with David Grose in a Mazda RX-7, was excluded from the meeting after qualifying following an altercation in the pits with Allan Moffat in which punches were allegedly thrown. Moffat and Clearihan had tangled out on the circuit with a confrontation following in the pits. After Clearihan's exclusion, the 1983 Sports Car Champion Peter Hopwood who was driving in the final round of the 1984 Australian Drivers' Championship at the meeting, was given permission to take his place in the RX-7.
Due to the new length of 500 km, teams were required to have at least two drivers per car as no one driver was permitted to complete the entire distance without a break. This saw most teams use their upcoming Bathurst pairings.
Driving with regular co-driver and HDT team manager Larry Perkins, Peter Brock won his 9th and last Sandown enduro. The pair finishing a lap ahead of the Moffat/Gregg Hansford RX-7 with the second HDT Commodore of John Harvey and new team recruit David Parsons finishing 3rd. Early race leader Dick Johnson suffered gearbox failure on lap 37, attributed to the increased strain from the tight new infield section, while pole sitter Fury was out on lap 32 with head gasket failure. The only other car to lead the race, the Roadways Racing VK Commodore of Grice/Steve Harrington, stopped with a broken gearbox while running 2nd on lap 103. Grice had the consolation on the day of not only winning the final round of the 1984 Australian GT Championship (and subsequently his third Sports Sedan/GT national title) in his Chevrolet Monza, but also setting the fastest lap of the Sandown 500 in his new Commodore before it expired. As this was the only Group C touring car race held on the new 3.9 km long international circuit, Grice's lap of 1:48.3 remains the category lap record for the circuit.
Dean Lindstrom and Larry Kogge won the Up to 3000cc class and finished 9th outright in their RX-7, 18 laps down on Brock/Perkins, while the winner of the new Group A category was Peter Williamson and Charlie O'Brien who finished 6th outright driving an ex-BTCC Toyota Celica Supra formerly driven by Win Percy.
Top 10 Qualifiers
|Pole||George Fury||15||Nissan Motor Co.||Nissan Bluebird Turbo||1:46.2|
|2||Allan Grice||6||Roadways Racing||Holden VK Commodore||1:46.3|
|3||Dick Johnson||17||Palmer Tube Mills||Ford XE Falcon||1:46.9|
|4||Peter Brock||05||Marlboro Holden Dealer Team||Holden VK Commodore||1:47.0|
|5||Allan Moffat||2||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing||Mazda RX-7||1:47.5|
|6||Jim Richards||31||JPS Team BMW||BMW 635 CSi||1:47.8|
|7||Warren Cullen||8||K. Mart Auto Racing||Holden VK Commodore||1:48.7|
|8||Ron Harrop||9||K. Mart Auto Racing||Holden VH Commodore SS||1:49.0|
|9||John Harvey||25||Marlboro Holden Dealer Team||Holden VK Commodore||1:49.1|
|10||Murray Carter||18||Valentine Greetings||Mazda RX-7||1:49.9|
|Position ||Drivers||No.||Car||Entrant ||Class||Laps|
|05||Holden VK Commodore||Marlboro Holden Dealer Team||Over 3000cc||129|
|43||Mazda RX-7||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing||Over 3000cc||128|
|25||Holden VK Commodore||Marlboro Holden Dealer Team||Over 3000cc||127|
|18||Mazda RX-7||Valentine Greetings||Over 3000cc||125|
|20||Holden VH Commodore SS||Jim Keogh||Over 3000cc||122|
|77||Toyota Celica Supra||Peter Williamson Toyota||Group A||119|
|27||Ford XD Falcon||Bryan Byrt Ford||Over 3000cc||118|
|51||Mazda RX-7||Tokico||Over 3000cc||113|
|74||Mazda RX-7||Dean Lindstrom||Up to 3000cc||111|
|56||Ford Capri Mk III||Hulcraft Autos||Group A||109|
|28||Ford Escort Mk II||Brian Bolwell||Up to 3000cc||107|
|8||Holden VK Commodore||K. Mart Auto Racing||Over 3000cc||102|
|80||Ford Escort Mk II||Ken Harrison||Up to 3000cc||96|
|49||Triumph Dolomite Sprint||Martin Power||Up to 3000cc||95|
|10||Holden VH Commodore SS||John Sands Racing||Over 3000cc||91|
|6||Holden VK Commodore||Roadways Racing||Over 3000cc||103|
|70||Alfa Romeo GTV6||Network Alfa||Group A||93|
|21||Holden VH Commodore SS||Lusty Engineering Pty Ltd||Over 3000cc||84|
|64||Ford Capri Mk III||Capri Components||Up to 3000cc||76|
|31||BMW 635 CSi||JPS Team BMW||Over 3000cc||72|
|61||Isuzu Gemini||John White||Up to 3000cc||70|
|39||Mazda RX-7||J. Bundy||Over 3000cc||64|
|50||Mazda RX-7||Petrolon Slick 50||Over 3000cc||57|
|3||Holden VH Commodore SS||Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd||Over 3000cc||46|
|19||Holden VH Commodore SS||Jim Keogh||Over 3000cc||44|
|9||Holden VH Commodore SS||K. Mart Auto Racing||Over 3000cc||43|
|30||Ford XD Falcon||Everlast Battery Service||Over 3000cc||41|
|17||Ford XE Falcon||Palmer Tube Mills||Over 3000cc||37|
|15||Nissan Bluebird Turbo||Nissan Motor Co.||Over 3000cc||32|
|2||Ford XE Falcon||Masterton Homes Pty Ltd||Over 3000cc||14|
|38||Holden VH Commodore SS||Bayswater Auto Wreckers||Over 3000cc||9|
|DNS||Chris Clearihan||32||Mazda RX-7||Berklee Exhausts ||Over 3000cc|
- Pole Position – #15 George Fury - Nissan Bluebird Turbo – 1:46.2
- Fastest Lap – #6 Allan Grice - Holden VK Commodore – 1:48.3 (new lap record)
- Australian Motor Racing Year, 1984/85, pages 298–301
- Official Programme, Castrol 500, Sandown, September 9 (1984)
- Car No. 6 was not listed in the Official Programme
- Barry Naismith, Bathurst 1984/85, pages 42–53
- Leach, Brad; Webster, Wayne (1984–85). Berghouse, Ray (ed.). "Australian Endurance Championship". Australian Motor Racing Year. Killara, NSW Australia: Berghouse Publishing Group (14): 298. ISSN 0158-4138.
- Car No. 32 was not listed in the Official Programme
- Stewart Wilson & Max Stahl, Ford – The Racing History, 1989, page 312
- Stewart Wilson, Holden – The official Racing history, 1988, page 359
- Bill Tuckey, James Hardie 1000, 1984/85, pages 114–121
- The Brock / Perkins Holden VK Commodore at the 1984 Castrol 500 Retrieved from www.brock05.com on 24 March 2009