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1987 Australian Touring Car Championship

1987 Australian Touring Car Championship
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The 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship was a motor racing competition which was open to Touring Cars complying with regulations as defined by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and based on FIA Group A rules. The championship, which was the 28th Australian Touring Car Championship, began on 1 March 1987 at Calder Park Raceway and ended on 5 July at Oran Park Raceway after nine rounds. The Calder round saw the world debut of the racing versions of the BMW M3, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and the Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo.

After years of racing for very little in prize money which brought numerous complaints from the leading competitors (in 1984, Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) had travelled an estimated 20,000 km to races around the country from their Brisbane base, often for as little as A$1,200 in prize money, far less money that was on offer at the time for the lower ranked Group E Series Production "Super Series" which offered a total prize pool of $200,000 thanks to series sponsor Bob Jane T-Marts), CAMS signed a AU$275,000 sponsorship package with Shell which brought the championship an overall sponsor for the first time and saw the series promoted as the Shell Ultra Australian Touring Car Championship.[1]

Shell would also become the major sponsor of DJR which saw the team expand to running two cars for the first time. The team ran a pair of the new Ford Sierra RS Cosworths for team boss Dick Johnson and his 1986 James Hardie 1000 co-driver Gregg Hansford. Dick Johnson's win in Round 5 at the Adelaide International Raceway was the world's first race victory for the Sierra RS Cosworth and was also Dick's first ATCC win since Round 4 of the 1984 ATCC at Surfers Paradise.

The 1987 ATCC was the first time since 1975 that Peter Brock failed to win a round of the championship, his best finish being a 3rd at Symmons Plains in Tasmania in Round 2 where his 4.9L V8 Holden VK Commodore SS Group A was simply out-gunned on a noted power circuit by the Roadways Racing Commodore of Allan Grice (before his race ended), the factory Nissan Skyline turbo of race winner George Fury, while his heavy Commodore was no match on tyres and brakes for the 4 cyl, 2.3L BMW M3 of Jim Richards. Brock did manage to hold second behind runaway early leader Grice for a number of laps, but once Fury was through the Skyline drove away from Brock and he then had no answer to the challenge of Richards.

The 1987 championship was also the first time since 1972 that a Holden car failed to win a round of the ATCC, the best result being a second by Larry Perkins in the opening round at Calder.

The 1987 ATCC was also the first time in championship history that rolling starts were used. Rolling starts were used at Calder for Round 1 and at Adelaide for Round 5.

Jim Richards victory in the final round of the series at Oran Park would be the last time a car powered by a naturally aspirated engine would win an ATCC race until Tony Longhurst won Round 6 of the 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship driving a BMW M3 Evolution. Between 1988 and Round 6 in 1991, turbo powered cars would win 30 straight ATCC races, 21 of them by the Sierra Cosworth's evolution replacement which appeared after the 1987 ATCC, the Ford Sierra RS500.

1987 was a year of lasts in Australian touring car racing. It was the last time Peter Brock would drive a Holden until 1991 as he would switch first to BMW in 1988 and then Fords in 1989 and 1990. Consequently, it was the last time the Holden Dealer Team name, which started under Harry Firth in 1969, would be used, though the team officially ran as "HDT Racing Pty Ltd" as it was no longer the factory backed team following Holden's well publicised split with Brock in February only one week before the opening round at Calder. Prior to Calder, Holden had formed the Holden Motorsport Group and immediately signed Larry Perkins and his team as well as Allan Grice and Roadways Racing to be the 'factory backed' teams in the championship, though Grice would later say that it was more about moral support and an easier supply of parts rather than any financial support. It would also be Colin Bond's last year of racing Alfa Romeo's before switching back to Ford to run a Sierra RS500 from 1988 (largely due to Alfa stopping its development program of the Alfa 75 touring car and because Bond felt that he needed an outright car to do justice to his sponsor Caltex). It was also the last time the JPS Team BMW (who won their second title) would be seen with team boss Frank Gardner unexpectedly closing the team down at the end of the year.

Teams and driversEdit

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship.

Team Car No Driver
Roadways Racing Holden VK Commodore SS Group A
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A
2   Allan Grice
8   Graeme Crosby
JPS Team BMW BMW E30 M3 3   Jim Richards
4   Tony Longhurst
12   Ludwig Finauer
HDT Racing Pty Ltd Holden VK Commodore SS Group A
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A
05   Peter Brock
6   Gary Scott
  David Parsons
  Peter Brock*
  Jon Crooke
John Andrew Motorsport Ford Sierra XR4Ti 10   Neville Crichton
  Denny Hulme
Enzed Team Perkins Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 11   Larry Perkins
Bob Holden Motors Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 13   Bob Holden
  Garry Willmington
41   Mike Hall
  John Sax
Netcomm Nissan Skyline DR30 RS 14   Murray Carter
Peter Jackson Nissan Racing Nissan Skyline DR30 RS 15   Glenn Seton
30   George Fury
60   John Bowe
Nissan Gazelle 60   Mark Skaife
Ralliart Australia Mitsubishi Starion 16   Brad Jones
Shell Ultra Hi-Tech Racing Team Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 17   Dick Johnson
18   Gregg Hansford
Terry Finnigan Holden VL Commodore SS Group A 20   Terry Finnigan
Lusty Engineering Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 21   Graham Lusty
Alf Grant Racing Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 23   Alf Grant
Team Nissan Racing NZ Nissan Skyline DR30 RS 24   Kent Baigent
25   Graeme Bowkett
Kalari Transport Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 26   Tony Noske
  Gary Rush
Ray Gulson BMW 635CSi 27   Graham Gulson
  Ray Gulson
Capri Components Ford Mustang GT 28   Lawrie Nelson
Wayne Clift Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 28   Wayne Clift
Simon Emmerling BMW 635CSi 29   Simon Emmerling
Toyota Team Australia Toyota Corolla GT AE86 31   John Smith
Toyota Corolla FX-GT AE82 32   Drew Price
33   John Faulkner
Ian Love Ford Mustang GT 34   Ian Love
Oxo Motorsport Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 34   Don Smith
  John Giddings
35   Andrew Miedecke
36   Don Smith
John Farrell Holden VL Commodore SS Group A 34   John Farrell
Grellis Marketing Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 38   Ray Ellis
Lansvale Racing Team Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 39   Trevor Ashby
Steve Williams Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 40   Steve Williams
Jagparts Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 42   Gerald Kay
Sutherland Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Starion 42   Kevin Bartlett
Lester Smerdon Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 45   Lester Smerdon
Mobile Concrete Pumping Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 47   Brian Callaghan
Wayne Park Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 48   Wayne Park
John Donnelly Rover Vitesse 50   John Donnelly
Mike Freeman Toyota Celica RA40 57   Mike Freeman
David Ratcliff Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 58   David Ratcliff
Jon Mitchell Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 69   Jon Mitchell
Graeme Hooley Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 71   Graeme Hooley
Caltex CXT Racing Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo 75   Colin Bond
Liverpool Toyota Toyota Celica Supra MA61 77   Peter Williamson
Peter McLeod Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 84   Peter McLeod
Daryl Hendrick Isuzu Gemini ZZ[2] 86   Daryl Hendrick
Brian Bolwell BMW E30 323i 87   Brian Bolwell
David Sala Isuzu Gemini PF60 88   David Sala
Alf Barbagallo Rover Vitesse 96   Tim Slako

Peter Brock drove both the #05 and #6 HDT VK Commodore during the season

Race CalendarEdit

The 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship was contested over a nine round series with one race per round.

Rd. Race Title Circuit Location / State Date Winner Car Team Report
1 Calder Park Calder Park Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 28 Feb - 1 Mar   Glenn Seton Nissan Skyline RS DR30 Nissan Motorsport Australia [3][4][5]
2 Launceston Symmons Plains Raceway Launceston, Tasmania 7 - 8 Mar   George Fury Nissan Skyline RS DR30 Nissan Motorsport Australia [6]
3 Lakeside Lakeside International Raceway Brisbane, Queensland 4 - 5 Apr   Jim Richards BMW M3 JPS Team BMW [7]
4 Perth Wanneroo Raceway Perth, Western Australia 25 - 26 Apr   Glenn Seton Nissan Skyline RS DR30 Nissan Motorsport Australia [8]
5 Adelaide Adelaide International Raceway Adelaide, South Australia 4–5 May   Dick Johnson Ford Sierra RS Cosworth Shell Ultra Hi-Tech Racing Team [9]
6 Surfers Paradise Surfers Paradise Raceway Surfers Paradise, Queensland 30–31 May   Jim Richards BMW M3 JPS Team BMW [10][11][12]
7 Sandown Sandown International Raceway Melbourne, Victoria 6 - 7 Jun   Glenn Seton Nissan Skyline RS DR30 Nissan Motorsport Australia
8 Amaroo Park Amaroo Park Sydney, New South Wales 20 - 21 Jun   Jim Richards BMW M3 JPS Team BMW [13]
9 Grand Final[14] Oran Park Raceway Sydney, New South Wales 4 - 5 Jul   Jim Richards BMW M3 JPS Team BMW [15]

ClassesEdit

Cars competed in two classes based on engine capacity.

  • Over 2500cc
  • Under 2500cc [2]

The Over 2500cc class was contested by Ford Mustang, Ford Sierra, Holden Commodore, Nissan Skyline, Rover Vitesse and Toyota Supra.

The Under 2500cc class consisted of Alfa Romeo 75, BMW 323i, BMW M3, Isuzu Gemini, Nissan Gazelle, Toyota Celica and Toyota Corolla.

Points systemEdit

Championship points were awarded at each round on a 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the top ten positions outright and on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis for the top six positions in each of the two classes.[2] Only the best eight round results could be retained by each driver.[2]

Championship resultsEdit

Pos [16] Driver [16] Car [16] Cal Sym Lak Wan Ade Sur San Ama Ora Pts [16]
1 Jim Richards BMW M3 5th 2nd 1st 4th 5th 1st Ret 1st 1st 193
2 Glenn Seton Nissan Skyline DR30 1st 4th 2nd 1st Ret 3rd 1st 3rd Ret 167
3 George Fury Nissan Skyline DR30 3rd 1st Ret Ret 2nd 4th 2nd 4th 2nd 143
4 Tony Longhurst BMW M3 6th 5th 3rd 8th 8th 2nd Ret 2nd 5th 116
5 Larry Perkins Holden VK Commodore 2nd (7th) 4th 3rd 6th 5th 3rd 5th 4th 115 (121)
6 Dick Johnson Ford Sierra Cosworth 9th 9th DSQ 2nd 1st Ret Ret Ret 3rd 72
7 Peter Brock Holden VK Commodore
Holden VL Commodore
Ret 3rd 5th 7th 4th 9th 9th 7th 7th 65
8 Allan Grice Holden VK Commodore
Holden VL Commodore
4th Ret 6th 6th 3rd 4th 9th Ret 62
9 Colin Bond Alfa Romeo 75 12th 11th 7th 9th 7th Ret 21st Ret 10th 36
10 Gregg Hansford Ford Sierra Cosworth Ret 6th DSQ 5th Ret Ret Ret 8th Ret 25
11 Kent Baigent Nissan Skyline DR30 7th 5th Ret 8th 20
12 Murray Carter Nissan Skyline DR30 8th Ret 7th 13th 6th 17
13 Ludwig Finauer BMW M3 6th 9th 16
13 Graeme Bowkett Nissan Skyline DR30 6th 6th DNS 11th 16
15 Andrew Miedecke Ford Sierra Cosworth 7th 8th Ret 12th DSQ DSQ DSQ Ret 10
15 Drew Price Toyota Corolla Ret 11th 14th 16th 10
17 Mark Skaife Nissan Gazelle 12th 9
18 John Smith Toyota Corolla Ret 13th 6
18 Daryl Hendrick Isuzu Gemini ZZ [17] 15th 15th 20th 6
20 Lester Smerdon Holden VK Commodore 8th 11th 5
20 David Ratcliff Toyota Corolla 18th 15th 5
22 Gary Scott Holden VK Commodore Ret Ret DNS 8th 11th 4
22 Don Smith Ford Sierra Cosworth 11th 10th Ret 9th 4
24 Wayne Clift Holden VK Commodore 9th Ret 3
24 David 'Skippy' Parsons Holden VK Commodore 8th 3
24 John Faulkner Toyota Corolla 17th 3
27 David Sala Isuzu Gemini ZZ [17] 16th 2
27 John Sax Toyota Corolla 19th 2
27 Brian Bolwell BMW 323i 16th 19th 2
27 Tony Noske Holden VK Commodore 13th 11th 10th 10th 2
31 Neville Crichton Ford Sierra XR4Ti 10th Ret 1
31 Mike Freeman Toyota Celica 17th Ret 1
31 Wayne Park Holden VK Commodore 10th 14th 1
31 Graeme Hooley Holden VK Commodore 10th 13th 16th 1
31 Peter Williamson Toyota Supra 10th 15th 1
31 Brian Callaghan Holden VK Commodore 10th 16th 1
Pos Driver Car Cal Sym Lak Wan Ade Sur San Ama Ora Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Withdrew (WD)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not participate (DNP)
Excluded (EX)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Graham Howard & Stewart Wilson, Australian Touring Car Championship, 30 fabulous years, 1989, page 290
  2. ^ a b c d Graham Howard & Stewart Wilson, Australian Touring Car Championship, 30 fabulous years, 1989, page 298
  3. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 1 - Pt.1
  4. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 1 - Pt.2
  5. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 1 - Pt.3
  6. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 2
  7. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 3
  8. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 4
  9. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 5
  10. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 6 - Pt.1
  11. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 6 - Pt.2
  12. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 6 - Pt.3
  13. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 8
  14. ^ "1987 Australian Touring Car Championship Programmes". The Programme Covers Project. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  15. ^ 1987 ATCC Round 9
  16. ^ a b c d The official history - Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years
  17. ^ a b touringcarracing.net Retrieved 16 March 2018

External linksEdit