Sign Up

Our Privacy Policy identifies how we handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read it prior to submitting your information.

By clicking “Register” you agree to our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.

How we got to Gen 3

Australian touring cars since 1960 have come under many regulation sets and on the eve of another era, Repco The Garage has provided a run down of each previous iteration of the rule book.

Appendix J

The first form of touring car regulations in Australia was Appendix J. Introduced prior to the maiden Australian Touring Car Championship at Gnoo Blas, New South Wales, this ruleset lasted four years before Group C – Improved Production took over in 1965. Minor modifications were allowed to the carburettors, valves, pistons, camshafts, inlet, exhaust, springs and shock absorbers, with at least 100 examples built of each model to be eligible. Jaguar grew to dominate during this early era.

Group C – Improved Production Touring Cars

Becoming the second ruleset for the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1965, Group C was split into two eras with the first being for Improved Production Touring Cars. Featuring again limited modifications as the American muscle cars ruled the roost including Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Novas in addition to the nimble Porsche 911S.

Group C – Touring Cars

Arriving in 1973 due to the ‘Supercar Scare’ the previous year, the second era of Group C amalgamated the two leading regulations at the time. Series Production and Improved Production were combined with elements of each carrying across to the new era set to last until the 1979 season as the Bathurst 1000 now held the same regulations as the Australian Touring Car Championship. Holden’s various Torana models took on the Ford Falcon for much of the decade. A major change came in 1980 as a combination of tighter emission control and a desire to feature current models led to a swift change for 1980 as Holden and Ford were joined during this four year period in the outright fight by Nissan, Chevrolet, Mazda, BMW and even Jaguar.

Group A

A global touring car formula founded by FISA in 1982, Group A came to Australia in late-1984 and fully adopted the next year as the main touring car formula. Modified mainly in the engine and suspension departments, Group A opened the opportunity for the world to compete at Bathurst, while Australian’s competed successfully overseas. Group C contenders Holden, Ford, Nissan, BMW and Jaguar featured prominently as Mitsubishi, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Toyota and more joined the field. Turbo power emerged as a superior package through the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth and the dominant Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R.

Group 3A

When it was decided by late 1992 to adopt Australia’s own set of touring car regulations for the next season, Group 3A Touring Cars as it was termed revitalised the rivalry between Ford and Holden in V8 competition from the 1980s. Based on the Holden Commodore from the prior Group A regulations, it heralded the Falcon’s return to the track for the first time in eight years as the category became exclusive to the two locally built models by 1995. Under the V8 Supercar moniker from 1997, the class boomed witnessing more than 40 entries a round until the early-2000s.

Project Blueprint

V8 Supercars was steadily weeding out the privateer entries during the early-2000s and was aiming to improve the product due to the dominance of Holden during the late-1990s to the early-2000s. Project Blueprint was designed to standardise the parts between the two models to cut costs and provide better parity. A wider, longer and taller Holden VE Commodore was launched in 2007, requiring custom bodywork to be produced due to the Project Blueprint regulations resulting in shorter rear doors as well as a lower roof.

Car of The Future

Original planning for the next regulation change for V8 Supercars began in 2008 led by Mark Skaife, with the major goal of enticing manufacturers into the category. Still racing four-door sedans featuring more control parts including the cooling, fuel and electronics systems, while the chassis also became a standardised part. Car of The Future did successfully attract new manufacturers in Nissan and Volvo as Mercedes entered the title also through Erebus Motorsport, with each experiencing varying degrees of success. However, these marques only remained for a small length of time.

Gen 2

In 2017, Gen 2 was introduced allowing for more freedoms surrounding engine type as it allowed turbocharged engines and two-door style coupes to take part forging a path for the Mustang’s return in 2018. Still required to be based on a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive, four-seat production car, the Mustang went up against the Holden ZB Commodore and the Nissan Altima. Although the engine regulations opened up, the opportunity was not taken up to race a turbocharged engine although Holden built a V6 turbo concept.

Gen 3

The next generation of Australian touring car racing arrives at Newcastle on March 12-14 as it returns to the Chevrolet Camaro vs Ford Mustang of the early-1970s. A more road going appearance is the most eye catching aspect of Gen 3, but on the inside safety has been improved and many components from Gen 2 will not carry over.