The 1986 Australian Touring Car season was the 27th season of touring car racing in Australia commencing from 1960 when the first Australian Touring Car Championship and the first Armstrong 500 (the forerunner of the present day Bathurst 1000) were contested. It was the second season in which Australian Touring Car regulations were based on those for the FIA Group A Touring Car category.
Touring Cars competed at 21 race meetings in Australia during the 1986 season, contesting the following events:
- The ten rounds of the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC)
- The five rounds of the 1986 Australian 2.0 Litre Touring Car Championship, with four of these rounds held at ATCC meetings
- The six rounds of the 1986 Australian Endurance Championship, all of which were also rounds of the 1986 Australian Manufacturers' Championship. Round 5 of the AEC at Calder Park doubled as the opening round of the South Pacific Touring Car Championship
- The five rounds of the 1986 Better Brakes/AMSCAR series, held exclusively at Amaroo Park, with the opening round also an Australian Touring Car Championship round and the final round also an Australian Endurance Championship / Australian Manufacturers' Championship round
- The second round of the 1986 South Pacific Touring Car Championship, which was held as a support race at the 1986 Australian Grand Prix meeting at the Adelaide Street Circuit
The second year of Group A in Australia saw the domination of the JPS Team BMW team fade with several other teams pushing forwards. Most spectacularly was the return of Nissan Motorsport Australia (now under the leadership of former Bathurst winner Fred Gibson) with the newly homologated Nissan Skyline DR30 RS turbo. Led by long time Nissan lead driver George Fury they were the main rival for another new team, the John Sheppard run Volvo Dealer Team, a factory supported team which succeeded the Mark Petch Motorsport Volvo team of 1985. The Touring Car Championship became a two horse race between Volvo's Robbie Francevic and Fury. Fury was never able to haul in Francevic's early points lead and Francevic was crowned champion. Francevic was fired from the Volvo Dealer Team by Sheppard the day after the Castrol 500 at Sandown after refusing to drive what he believed would be an un-competitive car which had only been completed at the meeting started. He then returned to the Mark Petch team as they began development of a Ford Sierra turbo. Although Francevic won the ATCC in the car, 1986 was the last time the Volvo 240T was seen in Australian touring car racing.
Defending ATCC, Endurance and AMSCAR champion, JPS Team BMW's Jim Richards picked up race wins during the season, claiming the Australian Endurance Championship. Peter Brock likewise returned to the winner list for Holden Dealer Team, dominating the Adelaide round of the ATCC before engine failure, and later claiming an ATCC win at Surfers Paradise which would prove to be the last time a Holden won a race in the championship until 1992. Brock's win at Surfers in his Holden VK Commodore SS Group A would also prove to be the 34th and last ATCC race win for the HDT who had won their first ATCC race when coincidentally Brock won at Surfers in 1973 in a Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 (Brock contributed 28 of those 34 wins with Colin Bond winning the other 6).
While Richards won the Endurance Championship through consistent placings, the big prizes went elsewhere. Nissan claimed the Sandown 500 with Fury and his new young team mate Glenn Seton (the son of 1965 Bathurst winner Barry Seton who also built the engines for the Nissan team), while Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey returned from their attempt at the FIA Touring Car Championship in Europe to claim victory in the Bathurst 1000, with Grice also winning the Group A support race at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
John Smith claimed the debut title for small touring cars, the distinction for the class was set at two litres leaving a field of Toyota Corollas, Isuzu Geminis and a Nissan Gazelle. The Amaroo Park based Better Brakes/AMSCAR series was claimed by JPS Team BMW's number 2 driver, Tony Longhurst driving the team's secondary car, a BMW 325i, the forerunner to 1987's BMW M3.
Australia hosted the opening two rounds of the inaugural South Pacific Touring Car Championship with the final three rounds held in New Zealand. The opening round also doubled as Round 5 of the Australian Endurance Championship at Calder Park while Round 2 was the Group A support race at the Australian Grand Prix. Allan Grice who won in Adelaide went on to claim the South Pacific title after a further win at Baypark in NZ.
Australian Touring Car Championship
Australian 2.0 Litre Touring Car Championship
Australian Endurance Championship
Australian Manufacturers' Championship
James Hardie 1000
Better Brakes/AMSCAR Series
South Pacific Touring Car Championship
1986 Australian Grand Prix Support Race
South Pacific Touring Car Championship – Round 2
This race was a support event at the 1986 Australian Grand Prix meeting. The race was held over 32 laps of the 3.780 km (2.362 mi) Adelaide Street Circuit.
|1||Allan Grice||3||Roadways Racing||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||6|
|2||George Fury||30||Peter Jackson Nissan Racing||Nissan Skyline DR30 RS||5|
|3||Graeme Crosby||6||Bob Jane T-Marts||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||2|
|4||Larry Perkins||11||Enzed Team Perkins||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||7|
|5||John Harvey||7||Holden Dealer Team||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||9|
|6||Glenn Seton||15||Peter Jackson Nissan Racing||Nissan Skyline DR30 RS||3|
|7||Graeme Bailey||2||Roadways Racing||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||17|
|8||Tony Longhurst||25||JPS Team BMW||BMW 325i||10|
|9||Graham Moore||22||Strathfield Car Radios||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||12|
|10||Trevor Crowe||73||BMW 635 CSi||13|
|DNF||Peter Brock||05||Mobil Holden Dealer Team||Holden VK Commodore SS Group A||4|
|DNF||Dick Johnson||17||Palmer Tube Mills||Ford Mustang GT||8|
|DNF||Jim Richards||1||JPS Team BMW||BMW 635 CSi||1|
- Stewart Wilson, Better Brakes/AMSCAR Series, Australian Motor Racing Year 1986/87, pages 230 to 234
- 1986 AGP Adelaide Group A Support Race
Linked articles contain additional references.