1981 Australian Sports Sedan Championship
The Sports Sedan championship was discontinued from 1982 with the introduction of the Australian GT Championship, though sports sedans were still able to race with the GT cars, while some cars such as the Chevrolet Monza, Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV and BMW 318i turbo were converted to GT specifications (the GT championship itself lasted only until 1985 before also being disbanded due to GT cars being outnumbered by sports sedans). Although there were minor sports sedan series run in various Australian states, the Australian Sports Sedan Championship would not return to the Australian calendar until 1991.
The 1981 championship was the last time legendary Australian driver / businessman Bob Jane raced. Driving his Pat Purcell built DeKon Chevy Monza to equal ninth in the series Jane, who had won the Bathurst 500 on four occasions in the 1960s, and had also won four Australian Touring Car Championships, retired from driving at the end of 1981 due to an ongoing back injury.
Tony Edmonson, the reigning ASSC, won his second title in a row in the Don Elliot owned Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV, this time fitted with an ex-Formula 5000 5.0L Chevrolet V8 engine instead of the Repco Holden V8 used in 1980. His closest competition came from the 6.0 L Monza of Adelaide's John Briggs who finished second in the championship with Sydney's Phil Ward finishing third in his Penthouse sponsored Holden Monaro HQ. Both the Alfa Romeo and the Monza were built by the Adelaide-based K&A Engineering.
The championship was contested over an eleven-round series.
- Round 1, Lakeside, Queensland, 29 March
- Round 2, Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, 3 May
- Round 3, Amaroo Park, New South Wales, 24 may
- Round 4, Oran Park Raceway, New South Wales, 21 June
- Round 5, Sandown Raceway, Victoria, 5 July
- Round 6, Calder Park Raceway, Victoria, 2 August
- Round 7, Barbagallo Raceway, Western Australia, 16 August
- Round 8, Surfers Paradise Raceway, Queensland, 30 August
- Round 9, Symmons Plains Raceway, Tasmania, 20 September
- Round 10, Baskerville Raceway, Tasmania, 11 October
- Round 11, The Advertiser Sports Sedan Challenge, Adelaide International Raceway, South Australia, 25 October
Rounds 5 & 9 were contested as single races and all other rounds were staged over two heats.
Championship points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the top six placegetters in each round. Only the best nine round performances were counted towards each driver's championship total. For rounds run over two heats, round points were awarded on a 20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis to the top 14 placegetters in each heat. The six drivers attaining the highest aggregate from the two heats were then awarded the championship points for that round. If more than one driver attained the same total, the relevant round placing was awarded to the driver who achieved the higher placing in the second heat.
|Position ||Driver||No.||Car||Entrant||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Rd 7||Rd 8||Rd 9||Rd 10||Rd 11||Total|
|1||Tony Edmondson||1||Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet||Donald Elliott||4||9||9||9||-||9||9||-||-||9||9||67|
|2||John Briggs||9||Chevrolet Monza||John Roberts||9||-||1||-||-||6||-||6||9||6||6||43|
|3||Phil Ward||2||Holden Monaro HQ||Australian Penthouse Racing||6||6||6||4||-||4||-||1||4||4||-||35|
|4||Garry Rogers||34||Holden Torana LX||Garry Rogers||-||-||-||6||9||2||-||-||6||3||-||26|
|5||Allan Grice||11||BMW 318i||JPS Team BMW||-||-||4||-||3||-||6||9||-||-||-||22|
|6||Tony Parkinson||28 & 12||Holden Commodore VB||QH - Adelaide Brake Service||3||-||-||3||4||-||-||-||3||2||3||18|
|7||Clem Smith||16||Chrysler Valiant Charger VH||Clem Smith||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||4||8|
|8||Peter Finch||16||Holden Monaro HQ||Peter Finch||-||-||-||-||6||1||-||-||-||-||-||7|
|9||Bob Jane||10 & 7||Chevrolet Monza||Bob Jane T-Marts||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||2||5|
|John English||14||Ford Escort Mk 1 Mazda||Bryan Byrt Ford||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||5|
|John Tesoriero||32||Volvo 242||John Tesoriero||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||5|
|12||Geoff Boyd||29||Holden Torana||Carling Constructions||-||4||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||4|
|Gordon Mitchell||57||Alfa Romeo GTV||Cechelle Motors||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||-||4|
|14||Ken James||49||Mazda RX-3||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3|
|Dick Ward||27||Fiat Abarth||Go Gear-rotomotion||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||3|
|16||Jeff Groves||97||Ford Escort||Jeff Groves||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2|
|Bob Stevens||17||Holden Monaro HQ||Bob Stevens||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2|
|Paul Jones||64||Chevrolet Monza||Paul Jones||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2|
|Rusty French||23||Ford Falcon XD||Rusty French Racing||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||2|
|Craig Marsland||56||Chrysler Valiant Charger||Pizza Hut||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||2|
|Rob Davies||44||Ford Escort Mk 1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||2|
|22||Kent Youlden||55||Ford Cortina TE||Dowsett Engineering||-||1||-||-||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||2|
|23||John White||65||Chevrolet Monza||John White||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1|
|Larry Perkins||69||Holden Commodore VC||Launceston Hotel||-||-||-||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1|
|Gordon Stephenson||75||Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT||Gordon Stephenson||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||-||-||1|
|Kerry Baily||58||Holden Torana GTR XU-1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||1|
|Richard Purtell||62||Holden Torana GTR XU-1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||1|
|Luigi DeLuca||22||Ford Anglia||DWU Australia Pty Ltd||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||1|
- Note: The above results are based on the table published in Australian Motor Racing Year, 1981, Page 164 however additional positions below the top six have been calculated from race results listed in the same publication.
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1981, Page 94
- Australian Motor Racing Year, 1981/82, Pages 164-187
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1981, Page 91-92
- Racing Car News, November 1981, Round 11 results, page 35
- Racing Car News, January 1982, Page 38
- Souvenir Programme, Adelaide International Raceway, Sunday 25 October 1981