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Periods of domination in Australian touring car racing

It appears timely as the arguments continue regarding parity in Supercars at the moment, The Repco Garage reflects on other eras where domination has taken place.

Through the more than 60 year history of the Australian Touring Car Championship there has been many seasons of dominance for both red and blue or even both. Check out these eras below.

1966-1969 – Ian Geoghegan, Ford Mustang

Upgrading to a Ford Mustang ahead of the 1966 Australian Touring Car Championship set Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan up to a run of four successive titles to set a then-record amount. Winning at Mount Panorama in 1966 was followed by a victory at Lakeside in a new model Mustang in which carried him to the win at Warwick Farm and the first ATCC to be decided by a series in 1969. Geoghegan won two rounds as he won by a point after drivers were forced to drop their last round.

1977 – Allan Moffat, Colin Bond, Moffat Ford Dealers

Allan Moffat’s 1977 Bathurst 1000 victory remains in the memory of Ford fans, but his Australian Touring Car Championship campaign is rarely mentioned. It was a dominant display from the Canadian as he took the opening five rounds of the championship, being defeated by teammate Colin Bond at Adelaide International Raceway at the sixth event. A retirement followed at Lakeside as Holden through Peter Brock in his privateer Torana SL/R 5000 L34. Moffat took wins at AIR again and Surfers Paradise International Raceway to seal the title before the final round at Phillip Island, a venue he wasn’t fond of after an incident there in 1973.

1978-1979 – Holden LX Torana A9X

Now this is a general model domination as after being humiliated in 1977, Holden came back with a vengeance as it eventually forced the Lion out of touring car racing. After being soundly beaten in 1977, of which the A9X was introduced at Sandown in September of that season, Holden went onto annihilate Ford by winning six events before Moffat’s team won the final two rounds to save some face. Ford’s support completely evaporated in 1979 leaving it to Holden and the A9X to win everything, including Bathurst by six laps!

1988 – Dick Johnson Racing’s Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworths

It took nearly 10 years for another manufacturer to replicate a championship clean-sweep and it was the legendary Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth. Dick Johnson and John Bowe absolutely blitzed the field in 1988 starting at Calder Park in March until Oran Park in July, only to be interrupted by Tony Longhurst in another Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth. The duo even went oversea and proved DJR had the fastest Sierras on Earth by taking pole at Silverstone in the RAC Tourist Trophy. Championship success followed in 1989 for Johnson.

1991 – Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, Gibson Motorsport

Finally getting its Nissan Skyline GT-Rs sorted for 1991, Gibson Motorsport scored all but two round victories in a season won by Jim Richards ahead of teammate Mark Skaife. The Australian GT-Rs were deemed to be the fastest in the world, with an invite to go to Fuji being accepted before NISMO advised Gibson not to go. For the following season, CAMS placed weight and turbo boost restrictions on the GT-R.

1996-2002 – Holden Racing Team’s era of dominance

Winning six out of seven championships during this era of increased professionalism, the Holden Racing Team’s run of dominance started in 1996 when wonder kid Craig Lowndes won the title on debut before heading to Europe. Lowndes returned to add a further two championships in 1998 and 1999 as Holden’s VT Commodore dominated. Mark Skaife took over to complete a hattrick of championships from 2000-2002 as the ‘Red Barons’ took all before them including two Bathurst victories during this time.

2008-current – Triple Eight Race Engineering

Since Jamie Whincup secured the first V8 Supercars Championship for Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2008, the team has achieved a further nine titles and continues to win at the highest level. Whincup won a record seven championships in just 10 seasons for both Ford and Holden, with the mantle since taken over by Shane van Gisbergen with three added so far. Young talent Broc Feeney is leading the way for the team in its battle against Erebus this year.

Honourable mentions:

Ford in 1993. Glenn Seton, Alan Jones, Dick Johnson and John Bowe dominated the opening seven rounds of the title.

Stone Brothers Racing in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Bob Jane in his Chevrolet Camaro 1971-1972

Jaguar early 1960s