1985 Australian Touring Car Championship
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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 (the track's first ever ATCC race) and ended on 14 July at Oran Park Raceway after ten rounds.

Season Summary

Triple Bathurst winner Jim Richards won his and BMW's first Australian Touring Car Championship driving a 3.5-litre 6 cyl BMW 635 CSi entered by JPS Team BMW. Defending series champion Dick Johnson finished 2nd in his Ford Mustang (the first time a Mustang had been seen in the ATCC since 1972), with Peter Brock finishing third in his Holden VK Commodore.

The first round of the series at Winton also created history when for the first time since the ATCC was first held in 1960, no Holden of any sort was on the grid. The race also saw the first ever ATCC race win by a BMW with Richards winning by a lap from his new JPS teammate, fellow New Zealander Neville Crichton. Richards' win in the BMW also saw the first ATCC round win by a European car since Jim McKeown won the 7th and final round of the 1970 ATCC at Symmons Plains in a Porsche 911S.

Swedish marque Volvo also joined the winners list when Kiwi Robbie Francevic won Round 3 at Symmons Plains in Tasmania in his Volvo 240T. Still a resident of Auckland, Francevic's win also saw him become the first non-Australian resident to win an ATCC race. The big Kiwi's win in Tasmania in the turbo Volvo was also the first of what would be an eventual 55 ATCC round wins (out of a possible 72) for cars powered by turbocharged engines up until the end of Group A racing in 1992, though it wasn't the first turbo to win an ATCC race as George Fury had won the Lakeside round in 1984 in a Nissan Bluebird Turbo.

Richards (Winton, Wanneroo, Adelaide, Calder, Surfers, Lakeside and Amaroo, which staged its first ATCC race since 1978), Brock (Sandown) and Francevic (Symmons Plains and Oran Park) were the only drivers to win a race in the series. That actually gave New Zealand born drivers 9 wins out of the 10 rounds, a record for non-Australian wins that still stands as of 2016.

Jim Richards and John Smith in his Toyota Team Australia Corolla were the only drivers to finish each round of the series. Smith won the Up to 2000cc class at the first nine rounds of the series before finishing a close second behind teammate Drew Price in the final round at Oran Park.

Other drivers/cars who made an impression in Australia's first foray into Group A included Sydney privateer in his privately entered Jaguar XJS (built from a second hand road car) with its 5.3 litre V12 engine which proved fast but underdone thanks to Willmington's small budget. The Jaguar was often the fastest car in a straight line when it appeared, but Willmington's lack of budget to develop the car saw it lack the handling needed to be competitive on the smaller Australian tracks. Perth based expat Kiwi in an ex-Andy Rouse BTCC Rover Vitesse powered by a 3.5 litre V8, another Kiwi in Jim Richards' JPS teammate Neville Crichton in his BMW, and yet another Kiwi who joined the series in Adelaide driving his ex-Schnitzer Motorsport BMW 635. Also impressing with giant killing performances was 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones in Colin Bond's second Network Alfa team Alfa Romeo GTV6. Jones, in an Luigi Racing (ETCC) built GTV6 generally out-performed Bond who drove his Alfa which had been converted from Group E to Group A specification in 1984. Jones, contesting his first ever ATCC finished 8th in the championship despite not contesting the final three rounds (Jones would return full-time to F1 in late 1985). and both drove a privately entered Ford Mustang each, and even though they would at occasions both perform decent results in qualifying, lack of reliability and funding drew them well off the pace of Johnson's front running Greens-Tuf Zakespeed Ford Mustang GT.

Teams and drivers

Lawrie Nelson's Ford Mustang

The following drivers and teams competed in the 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship.

Team Car Class No Driver
Masterton Homes Holden VK Commodore 3001 to 6000cc 2 Australia
H. Kent Baigent BMW 635 CSi 2001 to 3000cc 3 New Zealand
Mobil Holden Dealer Team Holden VK Commodore 3001 to 6000cc 05 Australia Peter Brock
Australia John Harvey*
7 Australia Peter Brock*
Australia John Harvey
Australia Larry Perkins
Australia David Parsons
Toyota Team Australia Toyota Corolla Up to 2000cc 10 Australia
11 Australia
Garry Willmington Performance Jaguar XJ-S 3001 to 6000cc 12 Australia
Bob Holden Motors Toyota Sprinter Up to 2000cc 13 Australia Bob Holden
Australia
Palmer Tube Mills Ford Mustang GT 3001 to 6000cc 17 Australia Dick Johnson
Ken Mathews Prestige Cars Holden VK Commodore 3001 to 6000cc 19 Australia
Jim Keogh Automotive Holden VK Commodore 3001 to 6000cc 20 Australia
Mark Petch Motorsport Volvo 240T 2001 to 3000cc 21 New Zealand Robbie Francevic
Glenn Molloy BMW 635 CSi 3001 to 6000cc 22 New Zealand
JPS Team BMW BMW 323i 2001 to 3000cc 23 Australia Tony Longhurst
BMW 635 CSi 3001 to 6000cc 31 New Zealand Neville Crichton
62 New Zealand Jim Richards
Ron Dickson Rover Vitesse 24
Network Alfa Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 2001 to 3000cc 26 Australia Colin Bond
27 Australia Alan Jones
The Toy Shop Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 2001 to 3000cc 27 Australia Gregg Hansford
Motorsport Performance Ford Mustang GT 3001 to 6000cc 33 Australia
Ken Harrison Ford Escort Mk.II Up to 2000cc 34 Australia
Mike Minear Racing Volvo 360GLT Up to 2000cc 36 Australia
Ross Burbidge Mazda RX-7 2001 to 3000cc 46 Australia
Jagparts Triumph Dolomite Sprint Up to 2000cc 49 Australia
Chris Heyer Audi 5+5 2001 to 3000cc 53 Australia
JL Hazelton Ford Capri Mk.III 2001 to 3000cc 57 Australia
Capri Components Ford Mustang GT 3001 to 6000cc 64 Australia Lawrie Nelson
John Craft Ford Capri Mk.III 2001 to 3000cc 65 Australia
Ralliart Australia Mitsubishi Starion 2001 to 3000cc 66 Australia Kevin Bartlett
Greville Arnel Mitsubishi Starion 2001 to 3000cc 68 Australia
Raymond Spencer Mazda RX-7 2001 to 3000cc 70 Australia Raymond Spencer
Ian Thompson BMW 323i 2001 to 3000cc 77 Australia
Peter Williamson Toyota Toyota Celica Supra 2001 to 3000cc 77 Australia
Melbourne Brake & Clutch Mitsubishi Starion 2001 to 3000cc 78 Australia Brian Sampson
Phil Parsons Ford Capri Mk.III 2001 to 3000cc 79 Australia
Alf Barbagallo Rover Vitesse 3001 to 6000cc 96 New Zealand
Russell Worthington Mazda RX-7 2001 to 3000cc 100 Australia

* Peter Brock and John Harvey both drove #05 and #7 during the season.

Race Calendar

The 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship was contested over a ten-round series with one race per round.

Rd. Race Title Circuit Location / State Date Winner [1] Team Report
1 Victoria (Australia) Winton Winton Motor Raceway Benalla, Victoria 9–10 Feb Jim Richards JPS Team BMW
2 Victoria (Australia) Pye Audio Round 2 Sandown International Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 23–24 Feb Peter Brock Mobil Holden Dealer Team
3 Tasmania Symmons Plains Symmons Plains Raceway Launceston, Tasmania 10–11 Mar Robbie Francevic Mark Petch Motorsport
4 Western Australia Wanneroo Wanneroo Park Perth, Western Australia 30–31 Mar Jim Richards JPS Team BMW [2]
5 South Australia Motorcraft 100 Adelaide International Raceway Adelaide, South Australia 20–21 Apr Jim Richards JPS Team BMW [3]
6 Victoria (Australia) Eurovox Trophy Calder Park Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 27–28 Apr Jim Richards JPS Team BMW
7 Queensland Gold Coast Bulletin Centenary Trophy[4] Surfers Paradise International Raceway Surfers Paradise, Queensland 18–19 May Jim Richards JPS Team BMW [5]
8 Queensland Lakeside Lakeside International Raceway Brisbane, Queensland 22–23 Jun Jim Richards JPS Team BMW [6]
9 New South Wales Better Brakes 100 Amaroo Park Sydney, New South Wales 6–7 Jul Jim Richards JPS Team BMW [7]
10 New South Wales Castrol Grand Final Oran Park Raceway Sydney, New South Wales 12–13 Jul Robbie Francevic Mark Petch Motorsport [8]

Classes

Cars competed in three classes determined by engine capacity.

  • Up to 2000cc
  • 2001 to 3000cc
  • 3001 to 6000cc [9]

Points system

Championship points were allocated on a three tier system, to Australian license holders only, for outright places gained in each round:

  • Scale A was applied to drivers of cars in the Up to 2000cc class
  • Scale B was applied to drivers of cars in the 2001 to 3000cc class
  • Scale C was applied to drivers of cars in the 3001 to 6000cc class [9]
Outright Position [10] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Scale A 30 27 24 21 19 17 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Scale B 28 26 23 20 17 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Scale C 25 23 20 17 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Points from the best nine round results were retained by each driver, any other points not being included in the nett total.

Results

Pos Driver Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Rd 9 Rd 10 Pts
1 Jim Richards 1st 2nd 5th 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd 218 (233)
2 Dick Johnson Ret 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 2nd 4th 2nd 2nd 2nd 192
3 Peter Brock 1st 4th 2nd 2nd Ret 3rd 3rd 5th 8th 153
4 Neville Crichton 2nd 5th 3rd 4th 4th 3rd 5th 6th 9th Ret 149
5 Robbie Francevic 6th 1st 9th Ret 7th 2nd 4th Ret 1st 142
6 Colin Bond Ret 12th 8th 8th 6th 6th 16th 5th 4th 4th 127
7 7th 9th 10th 11th 12th 11th 10th 8th 10th 15th 110 (117)
8 Alan Jones 4th 4th 7th 6th 16th 4th 7th DNS 108
9 Kevin Bartlett 3rd 8th DNS 7th 8th 9th DNS DNS 75
10 Bob Holden 8th 15th 11th 12th 14th 14th 15th 15th Ret 72
11 7th 6th 10th 17th Ret 11th 9th 12th 56
12 5th 8th 8th Ret 7th 13th 51
13 13th 12th 10th 11th 14th 50
14 Brian Sampson 5th 11th Ret 10th 20th 11th 49
15 5th 9th 8th 6th 47
16 Tony Longhurst 7th 3rd 12th 46
17 Lawrie Nelson 6th 16th 9th 10th Ret 32
17 10th Ret 12th 18th 16th 32
19 John Harvey 5th 5th 30
19 9th Ret 11th 13th 30
21 Ret 9th Ret Ret 7th 20
22 13th 11th 18
23 7th Ret 18th Ret 17
24 14th 12th 16
25 Larry Perkins 6th Ret 13
25 David Parsons 6th 13
27 Ret 18th 15th Ret 9th 12
27 17th Ret 15th 12
29 Ret 10th Ret 11
29 Gregg Hansford 10th 11
29 13th 12th 11
29 14th 19th 11
33 Raymond Spencer 13th 8
34 14th 7
34 16th 5
36 17th 4
37 Ret 20th 1
38 Ret Ret 21st Ret 0
38 Ret 0
38 19th 0
Pos Driver Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Rd 9 Rd 10 Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Withdrew (WD)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not participate (DNP)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Excluded (EX)

See also

References

  1. ^ Australian Motor Racing Year 1985/86, pages 313–314
  2. ^ 1985 ATCC Round 4 Barbagello
  3. ^ 1985 ATCC Round 5 Adelaide International Raceway
  4. ^ "1985 ATCC". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  5. ^ 1985 ATCC Round 7 Surfers Paradise
  6. ^ 1985 ATCC R8 Lakeside
  7. ^ 1985 ATCC Round 9 Amaroo
  8. ^ 1985 ATCC Round 10 Oran Park
  9. ^ a b CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1985, page 90
  10. ^ CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1985, page 86

External links