1983 Australian Touring Car Championship
|1983 Australian Touring Car Championship|
The 1983 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Group C Touring Cars. The title, which was the 24th Australian Touring Car Championship, was contested over a series which began on 6 February 1983 at Calder Park Raceway and ended on 19 June at Lakeside International Raceway after eight rounds.
The championship was won by Allan Moffat, his fourth Australian Touring Car Championship and a first for Mazda, who were helping to fund Moffat's team and it was also the first ATCC win for a Japanese manufacturer. Moffat himself dominated the racing, taking four out of the eight race wins, but a beneficial points structure for smaller capacity cars allowed George Fury (driving a turbocharged version of the Nissan Bluebird) to push Moffat all the way to the title, despite not actually winning a race. Peter Brock (Holden Commodore) finished third in the championship.
Moffat, Brock and Allan Grice (who won 2 rounds) were the only race winners in the 1983 ATCC. Defending champion Dick Johnson battled season long with an ill-handling Ford XE Falcon and could only manage two 3rd placings at both Sandown and Barbagallo to finish a disappointing 6th in the championship, 94 points behind Moffat.
Nissan driver George Fury, helped by consistent performances led the series going into the final round at Lakeside and needed only to finish 9th to claim the title. However team manager Howard Marsden decided the team would skip the round, and therefore give up their chance of winning the championship, unless Allan Moffat finished 6th or worse (Moffat finished 2nd behind Brock). Controversy also reigned throughout the series with some teams such as the Holden Dealer Team and STP Roadways Racing claiming that Moffat was foxing during the championship, and not racing as fast as he could in an effort to 'hoodwink' CAMS into believing the RX-7's, which ran the 12A engine in the championship, needed the larger and more powerful (by some 30 bhp (22 kW; 30 PS)) 13B engine in order to be competitive against the V8 Holden's and Ford's at Bathurst. Ultimately CAMS approved the larger 13B for the RX-7's, but also granted concessions to the other cars which ended up giving the bigger cars an advantage on the Mountain.
Controversially CAMS announced the concessions for the post-ATCC 1 August homologation during the race of Round 7 at Oran Park via the ABC's telecast of the race, with ABC commentators Will Hagon and John Smailes making the announcement mid-race. In a TV interview with Smailes immediately following his 2nd placing to Moffat, Peter Brock was informed of the new homologation's and professed his displeasure with CAMS for announcing it on television during the race and not letting those who the decision affected (the teams) first. The fallout from CAMS decision led to both the Nissan and Roadways teams boycotting the final race of the series at Lakeside.
Nissan's boycott of the last round also meant that series leader George Fury virtually forfeited any chance of winning the championship provided that Moffat finished. Despite this it was generally felt that the championship went to the right driver as Moffat and his RX-7 were usually the fastest combination and the expat Canadian was regarded as the man to beat. Moffat only failed to finish once at Sandown and finished every other race on the podium, including four wins, while Fury's best were two seconds (Calder and Wanneroo) and one third at Symmons Plains.
One outcome from this series was that in the future turbocharged cars had their engine capacities multiplied for the purposes of class point score weightings, meaning that in the 1984 Australian Touring Car Championship, Fury would compete on an equal footing with the other outright class competitors. Despite this meaning that the Nissan would score equal points as the RX-7's, Commodore's and Falcons, Nissan team boss Howard Marsden raised no objections to the change as he knew the Bluebird turbo was able to match the speed of the outright class cars.
Teams and drivers
The following drivers and teams competed in the 1983 Australian Touring Car Championship.
|Masterton Homes||Ford||Falcon XE||2||Steve Masterton|
|Mike Burgmann||Chevrolet||Camaro Z28||3||Mike Burgmann|
|Cadbury-Schweppes Racing||Holden||Commodore VH||3||Peter Janson|
|STP Roadways Racing||Holden||Commodore VH||4||Steve Harrington|
|Holden Dealer Team||Holden||Commodore VH||05||Peter Brock|
|Peter Brierley||Holden||Commodore VH||7
|Garry Willmington Performance||Ford||Falcon XD||8||Garry Willmington|
|Andrew Harris||Ford||Falcon XE||9||Andrew Harris|
|Soundwave Discos||Holden||Commodore VH||11|| Clive Benson-Brown
|Team Toshiba||Holden||Commodore VH||12||Jim Keogh|
|Bob Holden Motors||Ford||Ford Escort Mk.II||13||Bob Holden|
|John English||Ford||Falcon XD||14||John English|
|John Donnelly||Ford||Falcon XD||15||John Donnelly|
|Terry Finnigan||Holden||Commodore VH||15||Terry Finnigan|
|Rusty French||Holden||Commodore VH||16||Rusty French|
|Re-Car||Holden||Commodore VH||16||Garry Rogers|
|Dick Johnson Racing||Ford||Falcon XE||17||Dick Johnson|
|Murray Carter||Ford||Falcon XE||18||Murray Carter|
|Gary Hinton||Holden||Commodore VH||18||Gary Hinton|
|Ken Mathews||Holden||Commodore VH||19||Ken Mathews|
|Warren Cullen Racing||Holden||Commodore VH||22|| Warren Cullen
|Peter Stuyvesant International Racing||Mazda||RX-7||31||Gregg Hansford|
|Lester Smerdon||Isuzu||Gemini||33||Lester Smerdon|
|Terry Shiel||Mazda||RX-7||37||Terry Shiel|
|Bernie Stack||Holden||Commodore VH||38||Bernie Stack|
|Barry Jones||Mazda||RX-7||41||Barry Jones|
|Bernie Parmenter||Ford||Capri Mk.III||46||Bernie Parmenter|
|Roger Manson Holden||Isuzu||Gemini PF50||48||Roger Manson|
|David Parsons||Holden||Commodore VH||50||David Parsons|
|Nissan Motorsport Australia||Nissan||Bluebird Turbo||55||George Fury|
|Graham Treasure||Ford||Falcon XD||57||Graham Treasure|
|Capri Components||Ford||Capri Mk.III S||51
|Beninca Motors||Alfa Romeo||Alfetta GTV||59||Peter Beninca|
|Slick 50 Racing||Mazda||RX-7||59
|John White||Isuzu||Gemini||65||John White|
|Kevin Bartlett||Chevrolet||Camaro Z28||66||Kevin Bartlett|
|Alf Grant||Ford||Falcon XD||71||Alf Grant|
|Graham Mein||Ford||Ford Escort Mk.II||77||Graham Mein|
|The Daily Planet||Toyota||Celica||88||Craig Bradtke|
|Ross Burbidge||Mazda||RX-7||Ross Burbidge|
|Hulcraft Autos||Ford||Capri Mk.III||John Craft|
|John Eaton||Holden||Commodore VH||John Eaton|
|Jim Faneco||Isuzu||Gemini||Jim Faneco|
|Les Grose||Ford||Capri Mk.III||Les Grose|
|Ken Hastings||Ford||Capri Mk.III||Ken Hastings|
|Mike Imrie||Ford||Falcon XD||Mike Imrie|
|Bill O'Brien||Ford||Falcon XD||Bill O'Brien|
|Martin Power||Triumph||Dolomite Sprint||Martin Power|
|Bayside Spares||Holden||Commodore VH||Geoff Russell|
|Bob Thomson||Mazda||RX-3||Bob Thomson|
|Les Verco||Holden||Commodore VH||Les Verco|
|Russell Worthington||Mazda||626||Russell Worthington|
|Rd.||Race Title ||Circuit ||City / State||Date ||Winner ||Team||Report|
|1||Calder Park||Calder Park Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||5 - 6 Feb||Allan Moffat||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing|
|2||International Motor Show Trophy||Sandown International Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||19 - 20 Feb||Allan Grice||Roadways Racing|
|3||Symmons Plains||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||12 - 13 Mar||Allan Grice||Roadways Racing|
|4||Wanneroo Park||Wanneroo Park Raceway||Perth, Western Australia||23 - 24 Apr||Allan Moffat||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing|
|5||Motorcraft 100||Adelaide International Raceway||Adelaide, South Australia||30 Apr - 1 May||Peter Brock||Holden Dealer Team|
|6||Surfers Paradise||Surfers Paradise International Raceway||Surfers Paradise, Queensland||14–15 May||Allan Moffat||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing|
|7||Oran Park||Oran Park Raceway||Sydney, New South Wales||28–29 May||Allan Moffat||Peter Stuyvesant International Racing|
|8||Lakeside||Lakeside International Raceway||Brisbane, Queensland||18 - 19 Jun||Peter Brock||Holden Dealer Team|
Car competed in two classes,
- Up to and including 3000cc
- 3001-6000cc 
The "Up to and including 3000cc class" consisted of Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Datsun Bluebird turbo, Ford Capri, Ford Escort, Isuzu Gemini, Mazda 626, Mazda RX-3, Toyota Celica and Triumph Dolomite Sprint.
The "3001-6000cc class" consisted of Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Mazda RX-7.
Championship points were awarded on a two tier system to the top twenty outright finishers in each round.
|Outright Position ||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20|
|Points if Up to 3000cc||30||27||24||21||19||17||15||14||13||12||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2|
|Points if 3001-6000cc||25||23||20||17||15||13||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||0||0||0|
Only the best seven round result could be counted by each driver.
- Conditions for Australian Titles, 1983 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, pages 91-95
- Summary of Titles 1983, 1983 CAMS Manual of Australian Motor Sport, page 41
- Paul Gover, Australian Touring Car Championship, Australian Motor Racing Yearbook 1983/84, pages 184-201
- 1983 ATCC - Oran Park on YouTube (part 6/6)
- Graham Howard & Stewart Wilson, Australian Touring Car Championship, 30 fabulous years, 1989, page 258
- Official V8 Supercar site Contains historical ATCC information.