Peter Brock's championship winning Holden VB Commodore on display at Sandown in 2009

The 1980 Australian Touring Car Championship was an Australian motor racing competition for Group C Touring Cars.[1] Authorised by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport as a National Title, it was the 21st Australian Touring Car Championship.[1]

The championship was won by Peter Brock driving a Holden Commodore VB.

Season Summary

Peter Brock won his third and final ATCC title, driving a Holden VB Commodore for the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team which he had purchased from team owner/manager John Sheppard in late 1979 after Holden had pulled out of the sport following the domination by the Toranas in 1978 and 1979. After buying the team, Brock, backed by Adelaide based Holden dealer Vin Keane, actually went around Australia to the Holden dealers in a successful attempt to help finance the team which also saw the launch of the HDT Special Vehicles which built "hotter" versions of the road-going Holden Commodore. This effectively meant that for the first time since being founded by Harry Firth in 1969, the HDT was actually a Dealers Team rather than a backdoor factory operation. Brock and Sheppard had been secretly testing a VB Commodore in late 1979 in readiness for the rule changes enforced by CAMS. These rule changes aimed at reducing engine emissions, mostly sparked by the 1970s Oil Crisis, effectively made the Toranas and Falcon Hardtops of the previous years ineligible. By the start of the ATCC, Brock and the HDT were the only team anywhere near ready to race, and it showed in the results. Brock won four of the eight rounds, including the opening three rounds. He also put his Commodore on pole position at each round of the championship.

Former twice CAMS Gold Star winner and 1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 winner Kevin Bartlett recovered from his 1979 Formula 5000 crash and finished second in the championship in his Channel 9 sponsored Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (financed by Nine's owner, media magnate and one of the richest people in Australia, Kerry Packer). Bartlett broke Brock's winning run, using the superior power of the 5.7-litre Chevrolet to win at Sandown, and would later win the penultimate round in Adelaide. Bartlett's win at Sandown was the first non-Ford or Holden outright ATCC win since Bob Jane took his championship winning Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 to victory in Round 6 of the 1972 ATCC at Surfers Paradise.

Sydney based Toyota dealer Peter Williamson finished third in the championship in his Class B Toyota Celica, benefiting from class wins and generally poor or small fields (especially in the outright Class A) resulting from teams rushing to get the new generation cars race ready.

Reigning champion Bob Morris had lost his major sponsor when Ron Hodgson had pulled out at the end of 1979, so Morris entered into an uneasy relationship with Allan Grice's Craven Mild Racing which was run by Morris' former Bathurst co-driver Frank Gardner. Grice drove one of the 1979 Toranas to victory at Wanneroo in Perth. The Torana, with drum brakes at the rear as well as the required "low emission" heads, had seen a drop in horsepower from 1979s 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS) to just on 300 bhp (224 kW; 304 PS). Grice only competed in four rounds and finished eighth in the title. Morris endured an unhappy championship trying to develop the teams Commodore and could only finish fifth on points, though he did win the final round at Oran Park.

After Ford Australia pulled out of racing at the end of 1978, and being forced to go it alone as a privateer in 1979, the 1980 ATCC was the first time since 1968 that triple champion Allan Moffat did not contest the championship, with the Canadian born driver instead winning the Australian Sports Car Championship in a Porsche 930 Turbo.

After winning four ATCC titles during the 1970s, this would prove to be the only ATCC won by a Holden driver during the 1980s. The next win would not be until 1994.

Teams and drivers

The following drivers and teams competed in the 1980 Australian Touring Car Championship.

Team Car No Driver
Ron Dickson Chevrolet Camaro Z28 2 Australia Ron Dickson
Cadbury-Schweppes Racing Holden LX Torana A9X SS Hatchback 3 New Zealand Peter Janson
Wayne Negus Holden VB Commodore 4 Australia Wayne Negus
Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Holden VB Commodore 05 Australia Peter Brock
Craven Mild Racing Holden LX Torana A9X SS Hatchback 6 Australia Allan Grice
Holden VB Commodore 7 Australia Bob Morris
Garry Willmington Ford XD Falcon 8 Australia Garry Willmington
Nine Network Racing Team Chevrolet Camaro Z28 9 Australia Kevin Bartlett
Gary Cooke Holden VB Commodore 11 Australia Gary Cooke
John French Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV[2] 12 Australia John French
Fred Geissler Holden VB Commodore 16 Australia Fred Geissler
Murray Carter Ford XD Falcon 18 Australia Murray Carter
Roadways Racing Holden VB Commodore 21 Australia Charlie O'Brien
Australia Garth Wigston
Re-Car Racing Holden VB Commodore 26 Australia Alan Browne
Australia Brian Sampson
Bill O'Brien Ford XC Falcon 30 Australia Bill O'Brien
Masterton Homes Ford Capri Mk.II 31 Australia Steve Masterton
Australia Colin Bond
Don Smith Ford Capri Mk.III 35 Australia Don Smith
Barry Jones Mazda RX-3 39 Australia Barry Jones
Peter McLeod Mazda RX-7 40 Australia Peter McLeod
Larry Kogge Mazda RX-3 41 Australia Larry Kogge
John Faulkner Ford Escort Mk.II 43 New Zealand John Faulkner
Toyota Dealer Team Toyota Corolla 44 Australia Mike Quinn
Graham Mein Ford Escort Mk.II 45 Australia Graham Mein
Ross Burbidge Mazda RX-3 46 Australia Ross Burbidge
Wally Scott Toyota Celica 47 Australia Wally Scott
Evan Thomas Mazda RX-3 48 Australia Evan Thomas
Martin Power Triumph Dolomite Sprint 49 Australia Martin Power
Chickadee Chicken Toyota Celica 51 Australia Graeme Bailey
Maurice Spalding Toyota Celica 55 Australia Maurice Spalding
Lawrie Nelson Ford Capri Mk.III 58 Australia Lawrie Nelson
Frank Porter Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 59 Australia Frank Porter
Jim Faneco Holden Gemini 60 Jim Faneco
Ray Gulson Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 67 Ray Gulson
John Bundy Mazda RX-3 69 Australia John Bundy
Toyota Dealer Team Toyota Celica 77 Australia Peter Williamson

Race calendar

The championship was contested over eight rounds, each comprising either one race or two heats.

Rd. Race title Circuit City / state Date Winner Team Report
1 Launceston Symmons Plains Raceway Launceston, Tasmania 2 March Peter Brock Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
2 Calder Calder Park Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 15 March Peter Brock Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
3 Lakeside Lakeside International Raceway Brisbane, Queensland 30 March Peter Brock Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
4 Sandown Sandown Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 13 April Kevin Bartlett Nine Network Racing Team
5 Perth Wanneroo Park Perth, Western Australia 27 April Allan Grice Craven Mild Racing
6 Surfers Paradise Surfers Paradise Raceway Surfers Paradise, Queensland 18 May Peter Brock Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
7 Adelaide Adelaide International Raceway Adelaide, South Australia 1 June Kevin Bartlett Nine Network Racing Team
8 Oran Park Oran Park Raceway Sydney, New South Wales 16 June Bob Morris Craven Mild Racing

Classes

Cars competed in two displacement classes:[1]

  • Up to and including 3000cc [1]
  • 3001 to 6000cc [1]

The up to and including 3000cc class was contested by Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Ford Capri, Ford Escort, Isuzu Gemini, Mazda RX-3, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Celica and Toyota Corolla.[3]

The 3001 to 6000cc class was contested by Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Holden Torana.

Points system

Points were awarded for the first four outright places at each round on a 4-3-2-1 basis.[1] In addition, points were awarded for the first six places in each class at each round on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis.[1] Drivers had to drop their worst score from the eight rounds.[4][5]

Championship standings

Pos Driver Car Sym. Cal. Lak. San. Wan. Sur. Ade. Ora. Pts
1 Peter Brock Holden VB Commodore 13 13 13 9 9 13 9 Ret 79
2 Kevin Bartlett Chevrolet Camaro Z28 9 9 4 13 4 Ret 13 DSQ 52
3 Peter Williamson Toyota Celica 4 7 6 10 9 11 47
4 Murray Carter Ford XD Falcon 6 9 6 2 6 1 2 32
5 Bob Morris Holden VB Commodore 2 Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 4 13 25
6 Don Smith Ford Capri Mk.III 11 6 6 23
7 Lawrie Nelson Ford Capri Mk.III 9 9 Ret 2 Ret 20
8 Allan Grice Holden LX Torana SS 6 Ret 13 Ret 19
9 Steve Masterton Ford Capri Mk.II 6 6 4 16
10 Charlie O'Brien Holden VB Commodore 9 6 15
11 Mike Quinn Toyota Corolla 4 4 4 12
11 Garry Willmington Ford XD Falcon 4 4 0 1 3 12
13 Wally Scott Toyota Celica 9 2 11
14 Barry Jones Mazda RX-3 Ret 9 9
14 Gary Cooke Holden VB Commodore 9 9
14 Larry Kogge Mazda RX-3 2 3 4 9
14 Bill O'Brien Ford XC Falcon 1 2 4 2 9
14 John Bundy Mazda RX-3 1 3 3 2 9
19 Maurice Spalding Toyota Celica 6 6
19 Colin Bond Ford Capri Mk.II 6 6
19 Ross Burbidge Mazda RX-3 2 4 6
22 Brian Sampson Holden VB Commodore 5 5
23 John Faulkner Ford Escort Mk.II 3 1 4
24 John French Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 3 3
24 Evan Thomas Mazda RX-3 3 3
24 Fred Geissler Holden VB Commodore 3 3
24 Graeme Bailey Toyota Celica 3 3
24 Alan Browne Holden VB Commodore 1 2 3
24 Peter McLeod Mazda RX-7 Ret 2 1 3
30 Martin Power Triumph Dolomite Sprint 2 0 2
30 Peter Janson Holden LX Torana SS 2 2
30 Frank Porter Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 1 1 2
33 Ron Dickson Chevrolet Camaro Z28 1 1
33 Wayne Negus Holden VB Commodore 1 1
33 Graham Mein Ford Escort Mk.II 1 1
Pos Driver Car Sym. Cal. Lak. San. Wan. Sur. Ade. Ora. Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver Second place
Bronze Third 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 practice (DNP)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Excluded (EX)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g CAMS Manual of Motor Sport 1980
  2. ^ Graham Howard, Stewart Wilso, David Greenhalgh, The official history - Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years, page 209
  3. ^ Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (1986). "1980: Commodore's Debut Win". Australian Touring Car Championship: 25 Fabulous Years. Gordon: R&T Publishing. pp. 208–218. ISBN 0-9590378-2-9.
  4. ^ "Points systems". V8Central website. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  5. ^ "1980 Australian Touring Car Championship". V8Central website. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.