1984 Australian GT Championship
|1984 Australian GT Championship|
The 1984 Australian GT Championship was a CAMS sanctioned national motor racing title and was the seventh Australian GT Championship to be awarded. It was a series open to grand tourer cars complying with CAMS Group D regulations with Group B Sports Sedans competing by invitation. The series was contested over six rounds from 15 April to 9 September 1984.
Some of the cars that competed in the series included the Chevrolet Monza, Jaguar XJ-S, Porsche Carrera RSR, Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC, Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV, Porsche 935, BMW 318i Turbo, Holden Commodore and Holden Monaro and Ford Falcon. Other than the 5.6L V12 Jaguar, the turbo Porsche 935 and BMW 318i and the 3.2L Flat-6 Porsche RSR, most of the top cars were powered by 5.0L or 6.0L Chevrolet V8 engines, though Bryan Thompson's Mercedes was powered by a twin turbo, 4.2L Chevrolet V8.
Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 regular Allan Grice (probably the only full time professional driver in the field), won the series driving the ex-Bob Jane 6.0L Monza from Queenslander Mark Trenoweth driving the ex-John McCormack XJS Jag and Series Production ace Peter Fitzgerald in his Porsche Carrera RSR. Fitzgerald, the only driver other than Grice to win a race in the championship*, did not enter the first two races of the series at Lakeside and Adelaide, thus his win at Calder was his first points for the season. Going into the last round of the series at the then new 3.9 km (2.4 mi) International circuit at Sandown, only Grice and Trenoweth could win the championship, but with the Sydney based driver winning both heats and the Queenslander only finishing 4th and 3rd, the title was Grice's. It was Grice's third (and ultimately last) national title win after also capturing the 1978 and 1979 Australian Sports Sedan Championships (the SS Championship was merged into the GT Championship in 1982). The expected challenge from dual Aussie Sports Sedan champion Tony Edmonson in the Don Elliot owned Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet (upgraded from 5.0 to 6.0L) was hamstrung by reliability problems with the Chevrolet V8. On occasion Edmonson showed the speed to match Grice and indeed set the category lap record at Winton (which still stands as of 2016) while leading Grice in the first heat, but he rarely finished a race due to engine dramas.
Despite his final winning margin being only 12.5 points, Grice and the Monza dominated the series. He sat on pole position for every round, his biggest pole margin over the field being a full 4 seconds at Sandown, and not only did he win all bar one race in the championship he also set the fastest lap for every race except for the first heat in the first round at Lakeside and the first heat of the last round at Sandown. Bryan Thompson in his Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC Chev V8 was credited with the fastest race lap in both races (the Mercedes reportedly had over 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS) compared to the Monza's 650 bhp (485 kW; 659 PS), but was not as reliable, often retiring with turbo failure).
* Fitzgerald won at Calder after race leader Grice retired with just over a lap remaining with no fuel pressure. Grice held an eight second lead at the time of his retirement. Bryan Thompson suffered turbocharger failure in the Mercedes-Benz on the warmup lap and took over Tino Leo's Holden Monaro to finish 9th.
|Round||Circuit||Date||Format||Race Winners||Round winner||Car||Report|
|1||Lakeside International Raceway||15 April||One race||Allan Grice||Allan Grice||Chevrolet Monza|
|2||Adelaide International Raceway||6 May||Two heats||Allan Grice
|Allan Grice||Chevrolet Monza|||
|3||Calder Park Raceway||29 July||One race||Peter Fitzgerald||Peter Fitzgerald||Porsche Carrera RSR|||
|4||Winton Motor Raceway||12 August||Two heats||Allan Grice
|Allan Grice||Chevrolet Monza|
|5||Surfers Paradise Raceway||26 August||Two heats||Allan Grice
|Allan Grice||Chevrolet Monza|
|6||Sandown Raceway||9 September||Two heats||Allan Grice
|Allan Grice||Chevrolet Monza|
Points were awarded on a 30-27-24-21-19-17-15-14-13-12 basis to the top ten outright finishers in each round. For rounds that featured two heats, the points were halved for each heat. All scores counted towards the championship.
Only the top 20 drivers are listed.
|Pos||Driver||No.||Car||Entrant||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Total|
|1||Allan Grice||4||Chevrolet Monza||Re-Car Racing||30||30||-||30||30||30||150|
|2||Mark Trenoweth||8||Jaguar XJ-S||Mark Trenoweth/Jaguar Racing||24||25.5||19||21||25.5||22.5||137.5|
|3||Peter Fitzgerald||3||Porsche Carrera RSR||Peter Fitzgerald/Stanilite Electronics||-||-||30||27||21||25.5||103.5|
|Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC-Chevrolet
Holden Monaro HQ
|5||John Bourke||77||Toyota Celica Turbo||Biran Hilton Toyota||21||-||17||-||19||-||57|
|6||Bob Jolly||31||Holden Commodore||Bob Jolly||-||21.5||21||12||-||-||54.5|
|7||Robin Doherty||18||Holden Torana LX Hatchback||Robin Doherty||-||6.5||24||15.5||-||-||46|
|8||Jeff Barnes||3 & 6||Chevrolet Monza||Lithgow VHS Video||-||20||-||-||25.5||-||45.5|
|9||Doug Clark||78||Toyota Celica||Brian Hilton Toyota||19||-||-||-||16||-||35|
|10||Mick Monterosso||2||Ford Escort Mk I||Garry Sloper||-||17||-||17.5||-||-||34.5|
|11||Tino Leo||86||Holden Monaro HQ||Tino Leo||-||17||-||16||-||-||34|
|12||Tony Hubbard||15||Ford Falcon XC Hardtop||Scandia Heaters||-||-||27||-||-||-||27|
|13||Cos Monterosso||69||Ford Escort Mk II||-||-||15||7||-||-||22|
|13||Ray Ellis||38||Holden Torana||-||-||-||6||-||16||22|
|15||John Chambers||91||Holden Gemini||-||-||12||6||-||18|
|16||Gerry Bezett||74||Holden Commodore SS||17||-||-||-||-||-||27|
|17||Simon Harrex||49||Holden Commodore SS||-||-||-||-||15.5||-||15.5|
|18||Bonny Cameron||110||Holden Torana LC||15||-||-||-||-||-||15|
|19||Larry Kogge||41||Mazda R100||-||-||-||7.5||-||7||14.5|
|19||Luigi Deluca||22||Ford Anglia||DWU Australia||-||14.5||-||-||-||-||14.5|
- Official Programme, Adelaide International Raceway, 6 May 1984
- Australian Titles Retrieved from CAMS Online Manual of Motor Sport on 2008-7-28
- 1984 Australian motor racing images including 1984 AGTC Retrieved from Autopics on 2008-7-28