Australian Touring Car Championship

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Australian Touring Car Championship
CategoryTouring car racing
Inaugural season1960; 63 years ago (1960)
Tyre suppliersDunlop
Drivers' championNew Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) is a touring car racing award held in Australia since 1960. The series itself is no longer contested, but the title lives on, with the winner of the Repco Supercars Championship awarded the trophy and title of Australian Touring Car Champion.


The first Australian Touring Car Championship was held in 1960 as a single race for Appendix J Touring Cars. This was reflected the rising popularity of races held for passenger sedans; as opposed to those for purpose built open wheel racing cars, or sports cars. The race was held at the Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit in Orange in rural New South Wales, west of Sydney. It was won by journalist racer, David McKay driving a Jaguar 3.4 Litre prepared by his own racing team, which to this point had been better known for preparing open-wheel and sports racing cars.

The early years of the ATCC saw the annual event held mostly at rural circuits, before finally visiting a major city circuit, Lakeside Raceway on the outskirts of Brisbane in 1964. This race was also the first not won by a Jaguar with Ian Geoghegan driving a Ford Cortina GT to win the first of his five titles. From 1965 the title would largely be won by an American V8 powered muscle car, most notably the Ford Mustang which would be used to win five consecutive titles in 1965 to 1969 with (Norm Beechey) and Geoghegan. The first championship victory by the driver of an Australian car was that of Beechey in 1970 driving a Holden HT Monaro GTS350. As of 4 December 2011 Beechey and Jamie Whincup are the only two people to have won the championship in both a Ford and a Holden. The 1971 and 1972 championships were won by 1962 and 1963 champion Bob Jane who drove a 7.0 litre Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 in 1971 before CAMS rule changes forced Jane to use the smaller 5.7 litres 350 Chevrolet in the Camaro in 1972.

1979 Champion Bob Morris (Holden Torana)

A major shift occurred in 1973. The championship had grown from a single race into a multi-event series in 1969, but the competition had not changed markedly. The 'Supercar scare' that had rocked the buildup to 1972 Bathurst 500 forced sweeping changes through touring car regulations. The Improved Touring Car regulations which governed the ATCC, known at the time as Group C were amalgamated with the more basic Group E Series Production Touring Cars regulations which governed the Bathurst touring car endurance race in a compromise between the two, creating a single class for touring car racing that would hold sway of Australian Touring Car racing until the introduction of Group A in 1985.

This period saw a rise in the tribal style conflicts between Holden and Ford and in particular the two marques leading drivers, respectively Peter Brock and Allan Moffat who between them would claim seven of the eras 12 championships (and nine of the associated Bathurst victories). By the mid-1980s Group C had become wracked with infighting and almost random parity adjustments between competing marques.

Attention focussed purely on Holden and Ford had blurred as European and Japanese manufacturers joined the Australian agents of the two big American companies, the trend starting in 1981 with BMW, Mazda and Nissan. The international Group A regulations that already utilised by European and Japanese touring car series came into full effect in Australia from 1985 and allowed the international manufacturers to compete on equal terms. Holden was forced briefly into catchup phase and all but backed out of the sport in 1992 after Group A had been dominated by more track-focused production cars such as the turbocharged Ford Sierra RS500 and various Nissan Skylines, as well as the BMW M3.

By the mid-1980s, a number of the leading teams including the Holden Dealer Team, Dick Johnson Racing, JPS Team BMW and the Peter Jackson Nissan team had begun to make a lot of noise about the very little amount of prize money on offer for their efforts in crisscrossing the country in pursuit of the title. In 1984, the final year of the Group C rules, it was estimated that the Brisbane based Johnson team had covered some 20,000 km in travelling to and from championship meetings, often for as little as AU$1,500 for a win. When CAMS increased the title to 10 rounds in 1986, with little change to the prize money, the teams were threatening that the ATCC would see smaller and smaller grids unless CAMS found a series sponsor. The sponsor that was found was oil giant Shell who put up some $275,000 worth of prize money from the 1987 ATCC, ensuring the long-term future of the series.

1992 saw the unhappy demise of Group A and with the international touring car scene fragmenting in several directions (moving towards DTM, Super Touring and Super GT) Australia forged its own path evolving the Group A specification Holden Commodores and re-introducing the Ford Falcon into the new Group 3A regulations that would later be renamed as V8 Supercar.

The ATCC continued to be used until the end of the 1998 season, after which V8 Supercar organisers altered the name of the series, eventually adopting its present identity, the Supercars Championship.

ATCC champions and records[edit]

Accurate to the 2015 Coates Hire Sydney 500. Current full-time drivers are highlighted in bold text.

Event starts by driver[edit]

The Ford Mustang with which Ian Geoghegan won the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Australian Touring Car Championships, pictured in 2013.
Driver Seasons Starts
1 Australia Russell Ingall 1996–2015 250
Australia Craig Lowndes 1996, 1998–2015
3 Australia Garth Tander 1998–2015 237
4 Australia Jason Bright 1997–2015 229
5 Australia John Bowe 1986, 1988–2007 225
6 Australia Mark Skaife 1987–2011 220
7 Australia Todd Kelly 1999–2015 215
8 Australia Peter Brock 1972–1997, 2002, 2004 212
9 Australia Glenn Seton 1984, 1986–2008, 2010 209
10 Australia Dick Johnson 1970–2000 202

Race wins by driver[edit]

Driver Wins
1 Australia Jamie Whincup 122
2 Australia Craig Lowndes 110
3 Australia Mark Skaife 90
4 Australia Garth Tander 56
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 55
6 Australia Peter Brock 48
7 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 42
8 Australia Glenn Seton 40
9 Australia Mark Winterbottom 38
10 Canada Allan Moffat 36

Pole positions by driver[edit]

Driver Poles
1 Australia Jamie Whincup 89
2 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 76
3 Australia Peter Brock 57
4 Australia Craig Lowndes 42
5 Australia Mark Skaife 41
6 Canada Allan Moffat 39
7 Australia Mark Winterbottom 36
8 Australia Garth Tander 31
9 Australia Dick Johnson 28
10 Australia John Bowe 25

Championship wins by driver[edit]

Driver Championships Years
1 Australia Jamie Whincup 7 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017
2 Australia Ian Geoghegan 5 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
Australia Dick Johnson 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989
Australia Mark Skaife 1992, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002
5 Australia Bob Jane 4 1962, 1963, 1971, 1972
Canada Allan Moffat 1973, 1976, 1977, 1983
New Zealand Jim Richards 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991
8 Australia Peter Brock 3 1974, 1978, 1980
Australia Craig Lowndes 1996, 1998, 1999
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 2018, 2019, 2020
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 2016, 2021, 2022
12 Australia Norm Beechey 2 1965, 1970
Australia Glenn Seton 1993, 1997
Australia Marcos Ambrose 2003, 2004
15 Australia David McKay 1 1960
Australia Bill Pitt 1961
Australia Colin Bond 1975
Australia Bob Morris 1979
New Zealand Robbie Francevic 1986
Australia John Bowe 1995
Australia Russell Ingall 2005
Australia Rick Kelly 2006
Australia Garth Tander 2007
Australia James Courtney 2010
Australia Mark Winterbottom 2015

Championship wins by manufacturer[edit]

Manufacturer Championships Years
1 Ford 27 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020
2 Holden 23 1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022
3 Jaguar 4 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963
4 Nissan 3 1990, 1991, 1992
5 Chevrolet 2 1971, 1972
BMW 1985, 1987
7 Mazda 1 1983
Volvo 1986

See also[edit]