1985 Australian Touring Car Championship
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|1985 Australian Touring Car Championship|
The 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship was a CAMS sanctioned motor racing title for drivers of Touring Cars. It was the 26th running of the Australian Touring Car Championship and the first to be contested using regulations based on the FIA's International Group A regulations. The championship began on 10 February 1985 at Winton Motor Raceway (the track's first ever ATCC race) and ended on 14 July at Oran Park Raceway after ten rounds.
Triple Bathurst winner Jim Richards won his first Australian Touring Car Championship driving a BMW 635 CSi entered by JPS Team BMW. Defending series champion Dick Johnson finished 2nd in his Ford Mustang (the first time the Mustang was seen in the ATCC since 1972), with Peter Brock finishing third in his near standard Holden VK Commodore.
The first round of the series also created history when for the first time since the ATCC was first held in 1960, no Holden of any sort was on the grid. The race also saw the first ever ATCC race win by a BMW with Richards winning by a lap from his JPS team mate Neville Crichton. Volvo also joined the winners list when Kiwi Robbie Francevic won Round 3 at Symmons Plains in Tasmania in his Volvo 240T. Still a resident of Auckland, Francevic's win also saw him become the first non-Australian resident to win an ATCC race.
Richards (Winton, Wanneroo, Adelaide, Calder, Surfers, Lakeside and Amaroo, which staged its first ATCC race since 1978), Brock (Sandown) and Francevic (Symmons Plains and Oran Park) were the only drivers to win a race in the series.
Jim Richards and Up to 2000cc class Champion John Smith in his Team Toyota Australia Corolla were the only drivers to finish each round of the series. Smith won the Up to 2000cc class at the first nine rounds of the series before finishing a close second behind team mate Drew Price in the final round at Oran Park.
Other drivers/cars who made an impression in Australia's first foray into Group A included Sydney privateer Garry Willmington in his privately entered Jaguar XJS (built from a second hand road car) with its 5.3L V12 engine which proved fast but underdone thanks to Willmington's small budget. Perth based Expat Kiwi Tim Slako in an ex-Andy Rouse Rover Vitesse, another Kiwi in Jim Richards JPS team mate Neville Crichton in his BMW, and yet another Kiwi Kent Baigent who joined the series in Adelaide driving his ex-Schnitzer BMW. Also impressing with giant killing performances was 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones in Colin Bond's second Network Alfa team Alfa Romeo GTV6. Jones, in an Luigi Racing (ETCC) GTV6 generally out-performed Bond who drove his Alfa which had been converted from Group E to Group A specification in 1984. Jones, contesting his first ever ATCC finished 8th in the championship despite not contesting the final three rounds.
Teams and drivers
The following drivers and teams competed in the 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship.
|Masterton Homes||Holden||Commodore VK||3001 to 6000cc||2||Steve Masterton|
|Kent Baigent||BMW||635 CSi||2001 to 3000cc||3||Kent Baigent|
|Holden Dealer Team||Holden||Commodore VK||3001 to 6000cc||05|| Peter Brock
|7|| Peter Brock*
|Team Toyota Australia||Toyota||Corolla||Up to 2000cc||11||John Smith|
|Garry Willmington Performance||Jaguar||XJ-S||3001 to 6000cc||12||Garry Willmington|
|Bob Holden Motors||Toyota||Sprinter||Up to 2000cc||13|| Bob Holden
|Dick Johnson Racing||Ford||Mustang||3001 to 6000cc||17||Dick Johnson|
|Ken Mathews||Holden||Commodore VK||3001 to 6000cc||19||Ken Mathews|
|Jim Keogh||BMW||635 CSi||3001 to 6000cc||20||Jim Keogh|
|Mark Petch Racing||Volvo||240T||2001 to 3000cc||21||Robbie Francevic|
|JPS Team BMW||BMW||323i||2001 to 3000cc||23||Tony Longhurst|
|635 CSi||3001 to 6000cc||31||Neville Crichton|
|Network Alfa||Alfa Romeo||GTV6||2001 to 3000cc||26||Colin Bond|
|The Toy Shop||Alfa Romeo||GTV6||2001 to 3000cc||27||Gregg Hansford|
|Capri Components||Ford||Mustang||3001 to 6000cc||28||Lawrie Nelson|
|Ken Harrison||Ford||Escort Mk.II||Up to 2000cc||34||Ken Harrison|
|Mike Minear Racing||Volvo||360GLT||Up to 2000cc||36||Mike Minear|
|Jag Parts||Triumph||Dolomite Sprint||Up to 2000cc||49||Martin Power|
|Greville Arnel||Mitsubishi||Starion||2001 to 3000cc||51||Greville Arnel|
|Chris Heyer||Audi||5+5||2001 to 3000cc||53||Chris Heyer|
|Melbourne Brake & Clutch||Mitsubishi||Starion||2001 to 3000cc||54||Brian Sampson|
|JL Hazelton||Ford||Capri Mk.III||2001 to 3000cc||57||Laurie Hazelton|
|John Craft||Ford||Capri Mk.III||2001 to 3000cc||65||John Craft|
|Mitsubishi Ralliart||Mitsubishi||Starion||2001 to 3000cc||66||Kevin Bartlett|
|Ian Thompson||BMW||323i||2001 to 3000cc||77||Ian Thompson|
|Peter Williamson Toyota||Toyota||Celica Supra||2001 to 3000cc||77||Peter Williamson|
|Alf Barbagallo||Rover||Vitesse||3001 to 6000cc||96||Tim Slako|
|Russell Worthington||Mazda||RX-7||2001 to 3000cc||100||Russell Worthington|
|Raymond Spencer||Mazda||RX-7||2001 to 3000cc||Raymond Spencer|
|Ross Burbidge||Mitsubishi||Starion||2001 to 3000cc||Ross Burbidge|
|Phil Parsons||Ford||Capri Mk.III||2001 to 3000cc||Phil Parsons|
The 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship was contested over a ten round series with one race per round.
|Rd.||Race Title||Circuit||Location / State||Date||Winner ||Team||Report|
|1||Winton||Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||9 - 10 Feb||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|2||Pye Audio Round 2||Sandown International Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||23 - 24 Feb||Peter Brock||Holden Dealer Team|
|3||Symmons Plains||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||10 - 11 Mar||Robbie Francevic||Mark Petch Motorsport|
|4||Wanneroo||Barbagallo Raceway||Perth, Western Australia||30 - 31 Mar||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|5||Motorcraft 100||Adelaide International Raceway||Adelaide, South Australia||20 - 21 Apr||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|6||Eurovox Trophy||Calder Park Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||27 - 28 Apr||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|7||Gold Coast Bulletin Century||Surfers Paradise International Raceway||Surfers Paradise, Queensland||18–19 May||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|8||Lakeside||Lakeside International Raceway||Brisbane, Queensland||22 - 23 Jun||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|9||Better Brakes 100||Amaroo Park||Sydney, New South Wales||6 - 7 Jul||Jim Richards||JPS Team BMW|
|10||Castrol Grand Final||Oran Park Raceway||Sydney, New South Wales||12 - 13 Jul||Robbie Francevic||Mark Petch Motorsport|
Cars competed in three classes determined by engine capacity.
- Up to 2000cc
- 2001 to 3000cc
- 3001 to 6000cc 
Championship points were allocated on a three tier system, to Australian license holders only, for outright places gained in each round:
- Scale A was applied to drivers of cars in the Up to 2000cc class
- Scale B was applied to drivers of cars in the 2001 to 3000cc class
- Scale C was applied to drivers of cars in the 3001 to 6000cc class 
|Outright Position ||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20|
Points from the best nine round results were retained by each driver, any other points not being included in the nett total.
- Australian Motor Racing Year 1985/86, pages 313-314
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1985, page 90
- CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, 1985, page 86
- Official V8 Supercar site Contains historical ATCC information.
- 1985 Australian Touring Car racing images at www.autopics.com.au