1992 Australian Touring Car Championship
|1992 Australian Touring Car Championship|
The 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship was the 33rd running of the Australian Touring Car Championship. It was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Group 3A Touring Cars, commonly known as Group A cars. It began on 23 February 1992 at Amaroo Park and ended on 21 June at Oran Park Raceway after nine rounds.
Mark Skaife, driving for a Nissan Skyline GT-R for Gibson Motorsport, won his first Australian Touring Car Championship. His teammate and defending series champion Jim Richards finished second, with BMW M3 driver Tony Longhurst finishing in third place.
Even though Mark Skaife was the overall winner of the opening round at Amaroo Park, Peter Brock's win in Heat 1 of the round in his Mobil 1 Racing Holden VN Commodore SS Group A was the first win by a Holden in the ATCC since Brock had won Round 6 of the 1986 ATCC at Surfers Paradise.
In an effort to reduce costs and to even out the cars, CAMS imposed a number of changes for 1992. The Holden Commodore's and Ford Sierra RS500's were restricted to a 7,500 rev limit (a situation that still exists as of 2021) and the BMW M3's, the giant killers of 1991, had an extra 50 kg of weight added to the cars.
However the biggest change came to the Nissan GT-R's. Before the start of the season the cars were given an extra 40 kg, bringing them up to a total of 1400 kg. CAMS also directed that the cars were to run Formula One style pop-off valves on the twin turbos to restrict their power, bringing them down from 1991's 640 bhp (477 kW; 649 PS) to around 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS). Gibson Motorsport continually protested against the imposed penalties on the car (after winning the ATCC the cars were given an extra 100 kg to bring them 1500), and even took CAMS to court (unsuccessfully) in a bid to be able to run the GT-R as they were in 1991 claiming that they were no longer competitive. However most saw this as a false claim since the team won both the ATCC and the Tooheys 1000. Team boss Fred Gibson later admitted that his team had actually fooled CAMS into believing the cars had lost some 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) by setting the rig used to test the engine power to show exactly what CAMS wanted to see. Gibson told in a magazine interview that while CAMS mandated the use of the pop-off valves, they had no idea how the valves actually worked, thus once the team worked them out (with help from sponsors Shell and its links to the McLaren F1 team who had previously used exactly the same items in 1987 and 1988) it was easy to fool the governing body. Some experts and fans believe that the cars more than likely still ran with around 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) and that Richards and Skaife were deliberately sandbagging in qualifying and races.
Teams and driversEdit
The following drivers competed in the 1992 ATCC.
Results and standingsEdit
|Rd.||Race title||Circuit||City / state||Date||Winner||Car||Team||Report|
|1||Amaroo||Amaroo Park||Sydney, New South Wales||21 - 23 Feb||Mark Skaife||Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R||Winfield Team Nissan|
|2||Sandown||Sandown International Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||6 - 8 Mar||John Bowe||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra-Hi Racing|
|3||Launceston||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||13 - 15 Mar||Glenn Seton||Ford Sierra RS500||Peter Jackson Racing|
|4||Winton||Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||3 - 5 Apr||Mark Skaife||Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R||Winfield Team Nissan|
|5||Lakeside||Lakeside International Raceway||Brisbane, Queensland||1–3 May||Tony Longhurst||BMW M3 Evolution||Benson & Hedges Racing|
|6||Eastern Creek||Eastern Creek Raceway||Sydney, New South Wales||22–24 May||John Bowe||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra-Hi Racing|
|7||Mallala||Mallala Motorsport Park||Mallala, South Australia||29–31 May||Mark Skaife||Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R||Winfield Team Nissan|
|8||Wanneroo||Wanneroo Raceway||Perth, Western Australia||5 - 7 Jun||John Bowe||Ford Sierra RS500||Shell Ultra-Hi Racing|
|9||Oran Park||Oran Park Raceway||Sydney, New South Wales||19 - 21 Jun||Mark Skaife||Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R||Winfield Team Nissan|
Points were awarded on a 30-27-24-21-19-17-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 basis to the top twenty drivers at each round. Round positions were determined by applying the same points structure to each of the two heats and ranking the drivers by the total. In the event of two or more drivers having the same total, the round placing was determined by the finishing order in the second heat.
- Shell Australian Touring Car Championship (magazine), Special 10th Anniversary Issue, 1996