A chronicle of Australian Touring Car Championship / V8 Supercars / Supercars history from 1960 to the present day…
Originally known as the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC), the first race is held in 1960 at Gnoo-Blas in Orange, New South Wales, as a category for modified, production-based sedans. It was won by David McKay in a Jaguar Mk1 3.4. From 1960 to 1968, a single race determined the outcome of the Championship.
The Armstrong 500 moves from Phillip Island, its home of three years, to Bathurst, pioneering the event we know today as the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Melbourne hosts the first Sandown endurance race. The six hour international touring car race is won by the Alfa Romeo Super Ti of Ralph Sach and Italian Roberto Bussinello.
The first nine outright positions at the Bathurst Armstrong 500 go to Mini Coopers.
For the first time the ATCC is contested over a series of races. Held over five rounds, Ian Geoghegan wins his fifth title in his legendary Ford Mustang GTA.
An Australian-built car wins the ATCC for the first time – the Holden Monaro GTS 350, driven by Norm Beechey.
Australia’s motor sport racing legend Peter Brock wins his first Bathurst – the first of an unbeaten nine for the ‘King of the Mountain’.
Group C Touring Car regulations are introduced. Creating a single class for touring car racing, the regulations trigger an increase in tribal style conflicts between Holden and Ford, and in particular, the two marques’ leading drivers, Peter Brock and Allan Moffat, who between them would claim seven of the era’s 12 championships (and nine Bathurst victories).
After ten years as a 500-mile race, the Bathurst event expands to 1000km.
In the very first ‘Hardies Heroes’ Top 10 Shootout, it’s Peter Brock who takes pole position in the Bathurst 1000.
The end of the Group C regulations for Australian touring car racing.
International Group A regulations are introduced. Based on FIA rules (then in use in the European Touring Car Championship), they put overseas cars on an equal footing with Australian makes, ending one of the sport’s most significant eras which had produced some of the most recognised cars and drivers in Australian touring car history.
The Bathurst 1000 has a record field of 25 top overseas touring car drivers, including the 3-car Jaguar TWR team headed-up by Tom Walkinshaw. The likes of Volvo, Jaguar, Ford, BMW, Nissan and Mitsubishi make it hard for the locally produced Holden to compete.
The Bathurst 1000 takes on world championship status in 1987, doubling as a round of the inaugural World Touring Car Championship, and produces the most star-studded international field ever seen at Mount Panorama. Peter Brock wins his last Bathurst 1000 crown after the top two Texaco Sierras are excluded for technical irregularities.
Turbocharged cars such as the Ford Sierra and Nissan GTR have been dominant for several years. The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) announces a ban of Group A turbo and 4WD cars, creating a three-class Australian-made 5-litre V8 formula and paving the way for the Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores to replace the international category.
With no Class B or C category, rules change to specify that only two makes of cars are allowed, the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon.
Sports marketers IMG win the Series’ rights after a bitter battle against CAMS and the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club. Together with Touring Car Entrants Group of Australia (TEGA), they create the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) and the series begins a rapid expansion.
Entering a new era, the category is re-named ‘V8 Supercars’ although the ATCC title remains until 1999.
The V8 Supercar Championship holds its first overseas event at Pukekohe in New Zealand.
The series becomes known as the ‘V8 Supercar Championship Series’.
‘Project Blueprint’ regulations are introduced to achieve fairer racing and parity between the two makes.
AVESCO is renamed V8 Supercars Australia.
The series races in Shanghai, China. It was the Series’ first attempt at expanding beyond the shores of Australia and New Zealand, though the five-year agreement was terminated after that first event.
Peter Brock is killed in a tarmac rally accident in Perth. As a mark of respect to the nine-time Bathurst winner, the Peter Brock Trophy is introduced for the winners of the Bathurst 1000.
The Championship heads overseas to the Middle East for the first of four Bahrain Desert 400 events between 2006 and 2010.
The FIA grants the Series international status, allowing it to race at up to six international venues and 12 Australasian tracks each year until 2015.
The ‘Car of the Future’ blueprint is released specifying new control parts, future direction of the sport and the pathway for more manufacturers to join the Series.
The ‘Car of the Future’ is officially unveiled. Two prototypes showcase the new platform ahead of its full 2013 racing debut.
A five-year deal to compete at the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas is announced.
Nissan announces it is to join the Championship with the Altima in 2013, becoming the first new manufacturer to enter under the ‘Car of the Future’ regulations, ending the Holden and Ford’s 20-year duopoly. This is followed by the announcement that Stone Brothers Racing and Erebus Motorsport are to form an alliance to run three AMG-prepared E63 Mercedes-Benz entries.
The 2013 season sees the introduction of the New Generation V8 Supercar, built to the Car of the Future specification.
The V8 Supercars compete at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The event is then dropped from the 2014 calendar and the contract with COTA terminated after the one foray to the United States.
Volvo announces it will partner with Garry Rogers Motorsport and its own Polestar tuning firm to enter the V8 Supercars Championship in 2014 racing the Volvo S60.
Jamie Whincup secures a record-equalling fifth V8 Supercars championship title joining the late Ian Geoghegan, Dick Johnson and Mark Skaife as the only five-time title winners in Australian touring car history.
Volvo marks its return with 20-year old New Zealander, Scott McLaughlin, finishing second in the second race of the season opening Clipsal 500.
American motor racing team, Team Penske, announces its entry in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship in partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, with two-time Champion Marcos Ambrose returning to to drive the famous no. 17 Ford Falcon, after nine seasons in NASCAR.
V8 Supercars reveals the Gen2 blueprint, its vision for the category’s technical future that will open up the sport to new engine and body configurations rules alongside V8 engines from 2017.
Jamie Whincup makes history winning a record-breaking sixth V8 Supercars Championship.
Mark Winterbottom seals a long-awaited first V8 Supercars Championship, giving Prodrive Racing Australia (formerly Ford Performance Racing), its first title in its 13 years as a factory Ford team, and Ford its first title for five years.
The V8 Supercars Championship drops the ‘V8’ tag as the Series shifts towards the new Gen2 technical regulations.
Virgin Australia takeover the naming rights sponsorship and the Series is rebranded Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Volvo announces its withdrawal from the Supercars Championship to refocus on other technologies and championships overseas.