1984 Australian Sports Car Championship
|1984 Australian Sports Car Championship|
The 1984 Australian Sports Car Championship was a national motor racing title for drivers of Sports Cars complying with CAMS Group A regulations. Due to the relatively small number of Group A Sports Cars competing, grids were often filled with amateur Clubman racers.
Queensland based owner/driver Bap Romano won the series driving his Romano WE84 Cosworth from 1982 champion Chris Clearihan (driving the Kaditcha-Chevrolet that Peter Hopwood used to win the 1983 Championship) and Andrew Roberts driving a self designed Roberts S2 Ford.
Romano dominated the series, continuing on from the final round of the 1983 Championship at Winton. Despite only being seen only a 'gentleman racer', and with engineering help from former Williams and Tyrrell Formula One mechanic Wayne Eckersley transforming the Barry Lock built car, Romano put the renamed WE84 (formerly called a Kaditcha K583) on Pole Position at every round, scored fastest lap at for each race he contested (Clearihan scored fastest lap in Heat 2 of Round 1) and he won all bar Round 1 at Calder Raceway where he crashed heavily in Heat 1, and was a non-starter in Heat 2.
The expected challenge from Alan Newton in his Elfin MS7-Chevrolet (the same model that Elfin Sports Cars founder Garrie Cooper had used to win the championship 9 years earlier) came to a premature end during the first lap of the second heat at the opening round at Calder. Sitting in second behind Clearihan going down Calder's back straight, the cars throttle jammed open going into the braking area and Newton veered left, running at high speed across the infield until hitting a small rise which saw the Elfin literally fly across the track (it was airborne for approximately 20 metres) before landing and hitting the guardrail at undiminished speed. Thankfully Newton survived the crash with nothing more than a busted knee and broken ankle (later during the race Newton was shown by race broadcaster Channel 7 sitting up and talking to medical staff as he was being loaded into an ambulance). Although the Elfin suffered heavy damage in the crash, it was later repaired though it took no further part in the series. Another possible challenger, Terry Hook and his 5.0 litre, ex-Guy Edwards run Lola T610 Chevrolet never got going in the championship. Hook's Lola first appeared at Surfers Paradise for Round 2 but Hook became spooked at the car's front end lifting at high speed and it became a static display. After also appearing in practice for the Oran Park round, the car would not be seen again until 1985.
Romano could have benefited from the fact that his cars 3.0L ex-McLaren Formula One Cosworth DFV engine allowed him to run in Class B (1601 - 3000cc) which meant he scored more points for a win or place than his main challenger Clearihan did driving in Class C (Over 3000cc), i.e. a win for Romano meant 28 points while a win for Clearihan scored only 25. As it was, by actually winning 4 of the 5 rounds, and with Clearihan scoring a DNF in Round 3 at Lakeside with damaged suspension, Romano would have still won the series 100-94 had they both been driving for outright class points.
The championship was contested over a five round series:
|Round||Circuit||State||Date||Format||Race Winners||Round winner||Car|
|1||Calder Park||Victoria||29 April||Two heats||Chris Clearihan
|Chris Clearihan||Kaditcha Chevrolet|
|2||Surfers Paradise||Queensland||13 May||One race||Bap Romano||Bap Romano||Romano WE84 Cosworth|
|3||Lakeside||Queensland||22 July||One race||Bap Romano||Bap Romano||Romano WE84 Cosworth|
|4||Oran Park||New South Wales||19 August||One race||Bap Romano||Bap Romano||Romano WE84 Cosworth|
|5||Winton||Victoria||14 October||One race||Bap Romano||Bap Romano||Romano WE84 Cosworth|
Round 1 of the championship was originally to be run at Melbourne's Sandown Park. However, due to the circuit's closure while it was rebuilt and lengthened in time for the 1984 Sandown 1000 World Endurance Championship round, the meeting was cancelled. Former racer and millionaire tyre retailer Bob Jane then came to the rescue and restored the series to five rounds by hosting Rd.1 at his Calder Park Raceway. Round 4 at Sydney's Oran Park was also originally cancelled, but was later restored after the circuit owners had a vacant spot to fill in the support categories for the Valvoline 250 endurance race for touring cars. The Oran Park round was run on the circuits shorter, 1.960 km (1.218 mi) 'South Circuit' rather than the full 2.620 km (1.62 mi) GP circuit.
Cars competed in three classes according to engine capacity:
- Class A : Up to 1600cc
- Class B : 1601 - 3000cc
- Class C : 3001 - 5000cc
|1||Bap Romano||8||Romano WE84 Cosworth||Bap Romano Racing||B||-||28||28||28||28||112|
|2||Chris Clearihan||22||Kaditcha Chevrolet||Steve Webb||C||25||23||-||23||23||94|
|3||Andrew Roberts||14||Roberts S2 Ford||A||21.5||21||13||21||-||76.5|
|4||Jeff Harris||49 & 6||Kaditcha SR781 Mazda||B||-||23||-||23||23||69|
|5||Michael Hart||Mawer Ford||A||17||15||15||-||-||47|
|6||John Campbell||Auscam Clubman Toyota||A||-||17||27||-||-||44|
|7||Peter Tighe||Mallock U2T Mk20T||A||-||19||24||-||-||43|
|8||Leigh Vine||9 & 11||Kaditcha Chevrolet
Elfin 360 Mazda
|9||Geoff Watson||Watson Toyota||A||8.5||-||-||19||-||27.5|
|10||Joe Vorst||11||Kaditcha Chevrolet||Chris Clearihan||C||21.5||-||-||-||-||21.5|
|11||Kevin Johnston||WAH 002 Datsun||A||-||-||21||-||-||21|
|12||John Kierath||Cheetah Clubman||A||-||-||19||-||-||19|
|12||Colin Memery||Allison Clubman||A||-||-||-||-||19||19|
|14||Greg Gardiner||Bulant Clubman||A||-||-||-||-||17||17|
|16||Peter Heraud||Farrell Clubman||A||-||-||-||-||15||15|
|18||John Barram||ASP Clubman||A||-||14||-||-||-||14|
|18||Peter Ferguson||Nambull Clubman||A||-||-||-||-||14||14|
|21||Ken Peters||Auscam 600M Mazda||B||-||-||13||-||-||13|
|21||John Butcher||Milano||Barry Ekins||B||-||-||-||13||-||13|
|24||Peter Irwin||Triumph TR5||B||-||12||-||-||-||12|
|24||John Dooley||Bulant Mk7||A||-||12||-||-||-||12|
|26||Alan Newton||5||Elfin MS7 Chevrolet||C||11.5||-||-||-||-||11.5|
|27||Peter Kyriakidis||Farrell F483||Albert Middleton||A||10.5||-||-||-||-||10.5|
|28||Bernie Van Elsen||Bolwell Nagari||Bernie Van Elsen||C||8.5||-||-||-||-||8.5|
Championship points were awarded as shown in the table below. However for Round 1 only, points were awarded for each race with the aggregate achieved by each driver divided by two. The result was the driver's championship points allocation for that round.
|Position||Class A||Class B||Class C|
- Australian Motor Racing Year, 1984/85
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1984
- Race Year, 1984