Australian Touring Car Championship

The Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) is a touring car racing award held in Australia since 1960. The series itself is no longer contested, but the title lives on, with the winner of the V8 Supercar Championship Series awarded the trophy and title of Australian Touring Car Champion.

History

The first Australian Touring Car Championship was held as an award for a single race in 1960 as an acknowledgement of the rising popularity of races held for passenger sedans as opposed to the more purpose built open wheel racing cars, or sports cars. The original race was held at the Gnoo Blas circuit in Orange in rural New South Wales, north-west of Sydney. The original race was won by journalist racer, David McKay racing a Jaguar saloon prepared by his own racing team, Scuderia Veloce which to this point had been better known for its preparation of open wheel or sports racing Ferraris.

The early years of the ATCC saw the once a year event visit mostly rural circuits, before finally visiting a major city circuit, Lakeside Raceway on the outskirts of Brisbane in 1964. This race was also the first not won by a Jaguar saloon with Ian Geoghegan winning the first of his five titles in a Ford Cortina. From 1965 the title would largely be contested by American V8 powered muscle cars, most notably the Ford Mustang which would win five consecutive titles. The first victory by an Australian car was the Holden Monaro driven by Norm Beechey.

A major shift occurred in 1973. The championship had blossomed from a single race into a multi-event series in 1969, but the competition had not changed markedly. The 'Supercar scare' that had rocked the build up to 1972 Bathurst 500 forced sweeping changes through touring car regulations. The Improved Touring Car regulations which governed the ATCC, known at the time as Group C were amalgamated with the more basic Series Production regulations which governed the Bathurst touring car endurance race in a compromise between the two, creating a single class for touring car racing that would hold sway of Australian Touring Car racing until the introduction of Group A in 1985.

This period saw a rise in the tribal style conflicts between Holden and Ford and in particular the two marques leading drivers, respectively Peter Brock and Allan Moffat who between them would claim seven of the eras 12 championships (and nine of the associated Bathurst victories). By the mid 1980s Group C had become wracked with infighting and almost random parity adjustments between competing marques.

Attention focussed purely on Holden and Ford had blurred as European and Japanese manufacturers joined the Australian agents of the two big American companies, the trend starting in 1981 with BMW, Mazda and Nissan. The international Group A regulations, already utilised by European and Japanese touring car series, allowed them to compete on equal terms. Holden was forced briefly into catchup phase, which they quickly did.

1992 saw the unhappy demise of Group A and with the international touring car scene fragmentating in several directions (moving towards DTM, Super Touring and Super GT) Australia forged its own path evolving the Group A specification Holden Commdores into the new Group 3A regulations that would later be renamed as V8 Supercar.

The ATCC continued to be used until the end of the 1998 season, after which V8 Supercar organisers altered the name of the series, eventually adopting its present identity, the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Round Wins by Driver

Accurate to Round 9, 2008

Most starts

Current drivers indicated in bold.

Accurate to Round 9, 2008

Years in the Australian Touring Car Championship

* 1960 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1961 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1964 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1969 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1970 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1981 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1982 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1984 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1988 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1989 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1993 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1994 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1995 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1996 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1997 Australian Touring Car Championship
* 1998 Australian Touring Car Championship

Australian Touring Car Championship Wins by Marque

* 20 - Ford - 1964-1969, 1973, 1976-1977, 1981-1982, 1984, 1988-1989, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003-2005
* 15 - Holden - 1970, 1974-1975, 1978-1980, 1994, 1996, 1998-2002, 2006-2007
* 4 - Jaguar - 1960-1963
* 3 - Nissan - 1990-1992
* 2 - Chevrolet - 1971-1972
* 2 - BMW - 1985, 1987
* 1 - Mazda - 1983
* 1 - Volvo - 1986

ee also

*List of Australian Touring Car and V8 Supercar Champions


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