1990 Australian Touring Car Championship
|1990 Australian Touring Car Championship|
The 1990 Shell Ultra Australian Touring Car Championship was the 31st running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. It began on 25 February 1990 at Amaroo Park and ended on 15 July at Oran Park Raceway after 8 rounds. The championship was open to drivers of Touring Cars complying with CAMS Group 3A regulations.
The championship was won for the third time by Jim Richards, driving for Nissan Motorsport Australia, utilising both Skyline HR31 GTS-R and the new Skyline R32 GT-R during one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the championship.
Teams and drivers
The following drivers and teams competed in the 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship.
The opening three rounds of the series continued the story of the previous two seasons with the Ford Sierra RS500's of Dick Johnson Racing team mates Dick Johnson (winner of Symmons Plains and Phillip Island) and John Bowe dominating podiums with only the tight nature of the Amaroo Park layout giving another driver a look-in, namely the Nissan Skyline of Jim Richards who held off Bowe in a race long duel to win the season's opening round. Another tight track at Winton Motor Raceway gave Richards his second victory of the year with team-mates Tony Longhurst and Alan Jones putting their Benson & Hedges Sierras ahead of the DJR pair onto the podium (the Longhurst Sierra's were generally acknowledged as most powerful of the Blue Oval's cars at some 590 bhp (440 kW; 598 PS), though the extra power usually hurt the Sierra's skinny rear tyres and as team manager Frank Gardner put it "We usually started at the front and worked our way back"). Lakeside Raceway saw a complete upset with veteran Colin Bond winning his first ATCC race since 1978 from former team mate Peter Brock in his Mobil 1 Sierra and Holden Racing Team driver Win Percy in what would prove be Holden's only podium finish of the season.
Colin Bond made it two in a row at Mallala after Mark Skaife's spectacular debut of Nissan's new 4WD, twin turbo Skyline R32 GT-R, which was nicknamed "Godzilla", ended with a broken hub after storming to the lead in the early laps. As at Lakeside, Bond's steady, though unspectacular race pace paid off and as others fell away, his Caltex Sierra emerged in front. Peter Brock broke through for his first victory of the year at Wanneroo despite driving with falling turbo boost pressure for the last half of the race which actually helped minimise his tyre wear, while a broken axle to Johnson at Wanneroo saw his points lead surrendered to Richards who finished fourth in his first race of the new GT-R.
Ahead of the Oran Park Raceway Grand Finale, Richards held a three point lead over two-time defending champion Johnson, with Bond and Brock still a chance being eleven and twelve points behind respectively. Bowe, winless despite his form, was too far behind even if he won and all other contenders retired. Richards, again in the GT-R, dominated Oran Park, making the points calculations irrelevant. Second place allowed Brock to slip past Johnson and Bond into the series runner's up position. After a poor start by Brock, who proved to be the only Sierra driver capable of matching Richards in the Nissan, Richards drove away from the field. Behind Bowe, Longhurst was sixth after an inconsistent season ahead of Glenn Seton's improving Sierra. Percy was the best of the Holdens in eighth ahead of Alan Jones and Gregg Hansford who only had a partial season in Allan Moffat's Eggenberger Motorsport built Sierra.
For the first time since the ATCC changed from a single race to a series of races in 1969, the ATCC did not appear in Melbourne with neither Sandown or Calder hosting a round. The Phillip Island circuit, revived in 1989 for the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix which was a round of the 1989 Grand Prix motorcycle World Championship, held its first ATCC race since 1977.
Results and standings
The 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship consisted of 8 rounds with one race per round. Each race was slightly under one hour in duration.
|Rd.||Race Title||Circuit||City / State||Date||Winner||Car||Team||Report|
|1||Amaroo||Amaroo Park||Sydney, New South Wales||23 – 25 Feb||Jim Richards||Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R||Nissan Motorsport Australia|
|2||Launceston||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||9 – 11 Mar||Dick Johnson||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra-Hi Racing|
|3||Phillip Island||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||Phillip Island, Victoria||23 – 25 Mar||Dick Johnson||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra-Hi Racing|
|4||Winton||Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||6 – 8 Apr||Jim Richards||Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R||Nissan Motorsport Australia|
|5||Lakeside||Lakeside International Raceway||Brisbane, Queensland||4 – 6 May||Colin Bond||Ford Sierra RS500||Caltex CXT Racing|
|6||Mallala||Mallala Motor Sport Park||Mallala, South Australia||8 – 10 Jun||Colin Bond||Ford Sierra RS500||Caltex CXT Racing|
|7||Wanneroo||Barbagallo Raceway||Perth, Western Australia||22 – 24 Jun||Peter Brock||Ford Sierra RS500||Mobil 1 Racing|
|8||Oran Park||Oran Park Raceway||Sydney, New South Wales||13 – 15 Jul||Jim Richards||Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R||Nissan Motorsport Australia|
Points were awarded 20–15–12–10–8–6–4–3–2–1 based on the top ten race positions. The pointscore system required a driver to drop his/her worst round result.
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1990, Page 173
- Clarke, Andrew (August 1990). Clarke, Andrew, ed. "Nissan's First, Richards' Third". Racing Car News (Hornsby: Chevron Publishing Group): 42.
- Official V8 Supercar site Contains historical ATCC information.
- Records,Titles and Awards at www.camsmanual.com.au