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    The 1996 Australian Drivers' Championship was a motor racing competition open to drivers of racing cars complying with CAMS Formula Holden regulations.[1] The championship winner was awarded the 1996 CAMS Gold Star as the Australian Drivers' Champion.[1] It was the 40th running of the Australian Drivers' Championship and the eighth to feature the Formula Holden category. The championship began on 8 March 1996 at the Albert Park Street Circuit and ended on 2 June at Mallala Motor Sport Park after eight races held over four rounds.

    Paul Stokell won his third Australian Drivers' Championship in a season dominated by him and his Birrana Racing teammate Jason Bright. The two dark blue Reynard 91Ds won every race of the season except one. Bright's early season unreliability became the difference between the two at season's end. The only race they did not claim was race two at the 1996 Australian Grand Prix meeting which saw Europe-bound Mark Webber in a guest drive in the Graham Watson owned Reynard, take the win when both Stokell and Bright retired. Darren Edwards was consistently best of the rest of the field, claiming four top three finishes over the season. Stephen Cramp took three seconds at the start of the season but faded, dropping to fifth in the championship behind Adam Kaplan.

    Teams and drivers

    The following drivers competed in the 1996 Australian Drivers' Championship.

    Driver No Car Entrant[2][3]
    Australia Paul Stokell 1 Reynard 91D Holden Birrana Racing
    Australia Allan Galloway 2 Reynard 91D Holden Allan Galloway
    Australia Geoff Fickling 3 Reynard 90D Holden Graham Watson
    Australia Steven Johnson 3 Reynard 90D Holden Graham Watson
    Australia Graham Watson 3 Reynard 90D Holden Graham Watson
    New Zealand Bryan Hartley 4 Dome F102 Holden Bryan Hartley
    Australia Stan Keen 5 Shrike NB89H Holden Stan Keen
    Australia Graham Sims 6 Reynard 90D Holden Graham Sims
    Australia Adam Kaplan 7 Reynard 91D Holden Adam Kaplan
    Australia Dean Irwin 8 Ralt RT21 Holden Dean Irwin
    Australia Jason Bright 9 Reynard 91D Holden Birrana Racing
    Australia Darren Edwards 10 Reynard 90D Holden Clem Smith
    United Kingdom James Taylor 11 Reynard 91D Holden Ken Smith
    New Zealand Ken Smith 11 Reynard 92D Holden Ken Smith
    Australia Chas Talbot 14 March 87B Holden Chas Talbot
    Australia Roger Seward 16 Ralt RT23 Holden Roger Seward
    Australia Arthur Abrahams 19 Reynard 92D Holden Arthur Abrahams
    Australia Stephen Cramp 21 Ralt RT23 Holden Stephen Cramp
    Australia Bob Minogue 29 Reynard 92D Holden RA Minogue
    Australia Mark Webber 30 Reynard 91D Holden Graham Watson
    Australia Owen Osborne 34 SPA 002 Holden Owen Osborne
    Australia Sam Astuti 47 Reynard 92D Holden SH Racing
    Australia Kevin Weeks 70 Reynard 91D Holden Kevin Weeks
    New Zealand Maurice O'Reilly 71 Reynard 91D Holden Kevin Weeks
    Australia Chris Hocking 74 Reynard 91D Holden GL Knight & Assoc
    Australia Brian Sampson 78 Cheetah Mk. 9 Holden Brian Sampson
    Australia Chas Jacobsen 87 Reynard 92D Holden Chas Jacobsen
    Australia Darren Pate 99 Reynard 90D Holden Auz Racing Team Pty Ltd

    Race calendar

    The 1996 Australian Drivers' Championship was contested over eight races at four rounds held in two states.[4]

    Rd/Race. Circuit Location / state Date Winner
    R1/1 Albert Park Street Circuit Melbourne, Victoria 8 March Paul Stokell
    R1/2 9 March Mark Webber
    R2/1 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Phillip Island, Victoria 14 April Paul Stokell
    R2/2 Paul Stokell
    R3/1 Calder Park Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 28 April Jason Bright
    R3/2 Jason Bright
    R4/1 Mallala Motor Sport Park Mallala, South Australia 2 June Paul Stokell
    R4/2 Jason Bright

    Results

    Points were awarded 20–15–12–10–8–6–4–3–2–1 based on the top ten race positions in each race.[1] Only half points were awarded for Race 1 of Round 2 at Phillip Island.[4]

    Pos. Driver[5] Rd1/1 Rd2/2 Rd2/1 Rd2/2 Rd3/1 Rd3/2 Rd4/1 Rd4/2 Pts[5]
    1 Paul Stokell 1st Ret 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 1st Ret 97
    2 Jason Bright Ret Ret Ret 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 90
    3 Darren Edwards 3rd 4th 6th 3rd 4th 2nd 3rd 6th 80
    4 Adam Kaplan 4th 3rd 5th 6th 5th Ret 5th 3rd 60
    5 Stephen Cramp 2nd 2nd 2nd 11th 8th 7th Ret 4th 54.5
    6 Arthur Abrahams DNS 5th Ret 5th 6th 6th 6th 5th 42[6]
    7 Kevin Weeks 5th DNS 4th 7th 7th 5th Ret DNS 29
    8 Darren Pate 4th 2nd 25
    Sam Astuti 7th 10th 3rd 4th 25
    10 Mark Webber Ret 1st 20
    11 Ken Smith 3rd 4th 16
    12 Bryan Hartley 8th 7th DNS 8th 11th 8th 13
    13 James Taylor 6th 6th 12
    14 Bob Minogue 7th 8th DNS Ret DNS Ret 7th DNS 11
    15 Chas Jacobsen Ret 8th 9th 9th 14th 9th 9
    16 Stan Keen Ret 9th 9th 7th 8
    17 Chris Hocking 9th Ret 10th 10th 8th Ret 6
    18 Dean Irwin 8th 9th Ret 11th 3.5
    19 Alan Galloway 9th DNS Ret DNS 2
    Maurice O'Reilly 10th 10th 2
    21 Owen Osborne 10th DNS 10th DNS 1.5
    22 Roger Seward 15th 10th 1
    Pos Driver Rd1/1 Rd2/2 Rd2/1 Rd2/2 Rd3/1 Rd3/2 Rd4/1 Rd4/2 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)

    Notes and references

    1. ^ a b c 1996 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 7-10
    2. ^ Official Programme, Transurban Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, 7 to 10 March 1996, page 106
    3. ^ Event 15, Official Programme, Mallala, 2 June 1996
    4. ^ a b Five Way Fight, Official Programme, Mallala, 2 June 1996
    5. ^ a b 1996 Championship Results, Motor Racing Australia No 25, Jan/Feb 1997, page 84
    6. ^ Motor Racing Australia No 25, Jan/Feb 1997, page 84 incorrectly shows 39 points for Abrahams

    External links