The 1997 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 1997 CAMS Gold Star as the Australian Drivers' Champion.[1] It was the 41st running of the Australian Drivers' Championship,[2] and the ninth to feature the Formula Holden category which had been developed during 1988. The championship began on 15 March 1997 at the Calder Park Raceway and ended on 3 August at Oran Park Raceway after seven rounds of a series which was promoted as the "Holden Australian Drivers Championship".[3]

Jason Bright, in his second season in Formula Holden and as new team leader of Birrana Racing, raced to the title, winning eight of the 14 races over the course of the season, wrapping up the championship at the sixth round and choosing to miss the final round. SH Racing's Jason Bargwanna finished second just 13 points behind Bright, although 40 of his points came from two wins at Oran Park in Bright's absence. Mark Noske, driving a Lola, was the only driver to take race wins away from the two Jasons. He was in contention for the championship early in the season, but his charge faded mid-year as he experienced problems at Winton and Eastern Creek and lost third place in the points to New Zealand teenager Scott Dixon in the Ralt Australia prepared Reynard.


The following drivers competed in the 1997 Australian Drivers' Championship.

Driver[4][5] No[4][5] Car[4][5] Entrant[4][5]
Australia Jason Bright 2 Reynard 91D Garry & Warren Smith
Australia Darren Edwards 3 Reynard 92D Clem Smith
Australia Bruce Williams 4 Reynard 92D Simoco Pacific P/L
Australia Stan Keen 5 Shrike NB89H Stan Keen
United Kingdom James Taylor 6 Reynard 91D
Australia Adam Kaplan 7 Reynard 91D Hunter Holden
Australia Dean Irwin 8 Ralt RT21 Dean Irwin
Australia Brenton Ramsay 9 Reynard 91D Birrana Racing Pty Ltd
Australia Mark Noske 10 Lola T93/50 Mark Noske
New Zealand Scott Dixon 11 Reynard 91D Graham Watson
Australia Tony Blanche 12 Reynard 90D Graham Watson
Australia Ryan McLeod 12 Reynard 90D
Australia Graham Watson 12 Reynard 90D
Australia Chas Talbot 14 March 87B
Australia Stephen White 15 Reynard 91D
Australia Darren Pate 19 Reynard 92D
Reynard 95D
Arthur Abrahams
Australia Stephen Cramp 21 Reynard 94D Stephen Cramp
Australia Bob Minogue 29 Reynard 92D Bob Minogue
Australia Owen Osborne 34 Reynard 92D NHP Electrical
Australia Jason Bargwanna 47 Reynard 92D SH Racing
Australia Bob Power 48 Ralt RT23
Australia Kevin Weeks 70 Reynard 91D
Australia Chris Hocking 74 Reynard 92D GL Knight and Associates
Australia Brian Sampson 78 Cheetah Mk. 9
Australia Chas Jacobsen 87 Reynard 92D Chas Jacobsen
Australia Al Callegher 99 Reynard 90D Albert Callegher

Note: Formula Holden technical regulations mandated that cars be powered by 3.8 litre Holden V6 engines.

Race calendar

The 1997 Australian Drivers' Championship was contested over seven rounds held in three different states. Each round consisted of two races.

Rd. Circuit Location, State Date Winner
1 Calder Park Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 15 March Jason Bright
2 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Phillip Island, Victoria 13 April Jason Bright
3 Sandown Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 27 April Jason Bright
4 Winton Motor Raceway Benalla, Victoria 18 May Jason Bargwanna
5 Eastern Creek Raceway[4] Sydney, New South Wales 25 May Jason Bright
6 Mallala Motor Sport Park[5] Mallala, South Australia 13 July Mark Noske
7 Oran Park Raceway Sydney, New South Wales 3 August Jason Bargwanna

Points system

Championship points were awarded on a 20–15–12–10–8–6–4–3–2–1 basis for the first ten places in each race.[1]

Championship results

Pos Driver[6] Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Pts[6]
1 Jason Bright 1st (5th) 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd 2nd 1st 1st Ret 1st 187
2 Jason Bargwanna 3rd (DNS) 2nd 2nd 2nd DNS 1st 1st 2nd 2nd Ret 2nd 1st 1st 182
3 Scott Dixon 5th (4th) 4th 6th 5th 5th 4th 4th 4th 4th Ret 4th 4th 2nd 115
4 Darren Pate 2nd (DNS) 8th 3rd DSQ DNS 2nd 3rd 3rd Ret 2nd 5th 5th 4th 110
5 Darren Edwards 10th (DNS) 5th 5th 3rd 2nd 5th 5th DNS DNS 3rd Ret 2nd 3rd 99
6 Mark Noske Ret (1st) 3rd 4th 4th 3rd Ret DNS DNS DNS 1st 3rd 3rd 5th 96
7 Bob Minogue 12th (8th) 7th 8th 7th 6th 7th 7th 6th 6th 9th 8th 11th 9th 44
8 Brenton Ramsay 11th (10th) 6th 7th Ret 7th Ret Ret 8th 7th 5th 9th 8th 6th 40
9 Stephen Cramp 7th (6th) 13th DNS 7th 5th 4th 6th 7th 8th 39
10 Bruce Williams Ret (3rd) 9th 12th 6th 4th DNS Ret 5th Ret 8th 7th 9th 12th 35
11 Adam Kaplan Ret 3rd 6th 7th 22
12 Owen Osborne 8th (7th) 10th 10th 8th DNS 6th 6th Ret Ret Ret DNS 20
= Chas Jacobsen 6th (11th) Ret 9th 11th 8th 10th 8th 7th 10th Ret 11th 20
14 Kevin Weeks 4th (2nd) 10
= Chris Hocking 15th (14th) Ret Ret 10th 9th Ret 8th 9th 9th Ret 11th 13th 14th 10
16 Stan Keen 13th (Ret) 6th 13th 12th 13th 6
= Dean Irwin 9th (9th) Ret 11th 9th 11th DNS DNS Ret 12th 10th 10th 6
18 Chas Talbot 8th 9th 5
19 Brian Sampson 17th (DNS) 11th 13th 14th 10th 1
Pos Driver Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 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)

Note: Race 2 at the opening round at Calder was declared a No Race and no championship points were awarded.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Specific Conditions, 1997 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 7-10
  2. ^ Records, Titles and Awards, 2002 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 14-4
  3. ^ Official Programme, Mallala, 13 July 1997
  4. ^ a b c d e "Australian Racing Drivers Club 25/05/1997 1997 Shell Australian Touring Car Championship Round 6". National Software. 25 May 1997. Archived from the original on 24 August 1999. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Mallala Motorsport Park 13/07/1997 The 1997 Shell Australian Touring Car Championships - Round 9". National Software. 13 July 1997. Archived from the original on 30 January 1998. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  6. ^ a b 1997 HADC Overall Point Score, Formula Holden Association Inc, 14 August 1997
  7. ^ 1997 Holden Australian Drivers Championship Points Allocation Retrieved in December 2001. Site no longer available. Archived 2012-02-23.

External links