Feature: The non-Ford and Holden Australian touring cars

Ford and Holden may be the two pillars of Australian touring cars, but other manufacturers have enjoyed championship success.

Jaguar was the manufacturer to beat in the formative years of the Australian Touring Car Championship, winning the first four titles under the Appendix J rules.

Chevrolet took the final two championship wins in the Improved Production era, with the brand returning to Supercars to replace Holden into Gen3 in 2023.

Mazda claimed a championship win with the rotary-powered RX-7 in Group C, while the Group A era paved the way for more international representation with titles for BMW, Volvo and Nissan.

Non-Ford and Holden manufacturers were locked out of the V8 era until the introduction of the Car of the Future, when Nissan, AMG Mercedes-Benz and Volvo came and went with varied success.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #125 is a celebration of the iconic cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

The following non-Ford and Holden features are in issue #125:

The original reborn: The rebirth of the first winner of the Armstrong 500, the Vauxhall Cresta.

When Davids beat Goliaths. The small cars that defied the odds and defeated their bigger rivals, including the Mini Cooper S, Mazda RX-7 and BMW M3.

Cars of the Rising Sun. Nissan’s history in Australian touring cars leading into its dominant spell with the Skyline.

Welcome to the jungle. The challenge of getting the Nissan Altima and AMG Mercedes-Benz E-Class Supercars competitive.

Shootout! The top 10 most successful cars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, including representatives from Mazda, BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar and Nissan.

The print edition of issue #125 also includes a pullout poster featuring the Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R, 30 years since ‘Godzilla’ bowed out of Australian touring cars with a second consecutive championship and Bathurst double.

CLICK HERE to purchase the Nissan Skyline poster.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

Feature: The General’s Holden hero cars

Holden bows out of Australian touring cars at the end of 2022, bringing to an end a storied run of success dating back to the sport’s formative years.

Holden was represented on the grid for the first Australian Touring Car Championship event in 1960 and has been a mainstay ever since, with the Monaro, Torana and Commodore all achieving success across various eras of the championship.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #125 is a celebration of the iconic cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

The following Holden features are in issue #125:

Iconic cars: Holden HT Monaro GTS 350. The Monaro that gave Holden its first Australian Touring Car Championship title.

When Davids beat Goliaths. The small cars that defied the odds and defeated their bigger rivals, including the Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1.

The last of the Big Bangers. Holden’s famed Holden VK Commodore, which crushed the opposition in its brief time in the endurance events of 1984.

Iconic cars: Holden VL Commodore. The Holden that scored surprising Bathurst 1000 wins in very different forms in the Group A era.

Pushing the limits. The technical innovations that pushed the limits of the V8-powered parity era, including Commodores from Perkins Engineering, Holden Racing Team and more.

Secrets behind the success. Holden’s VF Commodore and its strengths under the Car of the Future rules.

Under the skin of the ZB. A deep dive into Holden’s final-ever Commodore Supercar, the ZB.

Holdens also feature in a countdown of the top 10 most successful cars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

CLICK HERE for SupercarXtra Magazine‘s Holden special edition.

Feature: Ford’s Blue Oval battlers

Ford will race on into the Gen3 era of Supercars in 2023, outlasting its great rival Holden.

The Blue Oval has dominated various eras across a number of cars, including the Mustang in Improved Production and Supercars, the Falcon in Group C and Group 3A/V8s and the Sierra in Group A.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #125 is a celebration of the iconic cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, featuring the Mustang, Falcon and Sierra.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

The following Ford features can be found in issue #125:

Mustang’s racing pedigree. The Mustang’s successes in the Australian Touring Car Championship, highlighted by its domination of the 1960s.

Sensational Sierra. Ford’s turbo-charged rocket that became the car to have under the Group A rules.

Iconic cars: Ford BA Falcon. The Falcon that ended the Commodore’s domination and put Ford back on top.

The X factor. The final Falcon, the FG X, which gave the model a fitting farewell for the Blue Oval.

Pony power. The birth and development of Ford’s current Mustang Supercar.

Other Ford representation includes in a feature on the technical innovations that pushed the limits of the V8-powered parity era and a countdown of the top 10 most successful cars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

Shootout: Top 10 cars in Australian touring cars

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #125 celebrates the great cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, culminating in the ‘Shootout’ section and a countdown of the top 10 most successful cars in the history of the championship.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

Cars from Holden, Ford, Nissan, Jaguar, Chevrolet, BMW and Mazda are represented in the top 10, with the Commodore and Falcon unsurprisingly filling the top two places.

The Falcon scored its first championship win in 1973 and won its 17 championships over a 46-year period, including six in the Group C era (three each from Allan Moffat and Dick Johnson) and the rest in the V8 era from 1993 up until victory with Scott McLaughlin in its farewell season in 2018.

The Commodore debuted in 1980 and has notched up 17 drivers’ championship wins over 42 years, with all but the first with Peter Brock in its debut season occurring in the V8 era from 1993 (the Commodore winning in 1994). Its current tally of 17 titles matches the mark set by the Ford Falcon, with the chance to get one over its great V8 rival with an 18th and final success in 2022.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

SupercarXtra Magazine #125 on sale now!

The latest edition of SupercarXtra Magazine, issue #125, is on sale now!

Issue #125 is a celebration of the iconic cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, featuring the Mustang, Monaro, Torana, Falcon, Commodore, Sierra, Skyline and more.

Included in the print edition is pullout poster featuring Ford Falcon versus Holden Commodore on one side and the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R on the other.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to order high-quality prints of the posters.

Issue #125 includes the following:

The original reborn: The rebirth of the first winner of the Armstrong 500, the Vauxhall Cresta.

Mustang’s racing pedigree. The Mustang’s successes in the Australian Touring Car Championship, highlighted by its domination of the 1960s.

Iconic cars: Holden HT Monaro GTS 350. The Monaro that gave Holden its first Australian Touring Car Championship title.

When Davids beat Goliaths. The small cars that defied the odds and defeated their bigger rivals.

The last of the Big Bangers. Holden’s famed Holden VK Commodore, which crushed the opposition in its brief time in the endurance events of 1984.

Iconic cars: Holden VL Commodore. The Holden that scored surprising Bathurst 1000 wins in very different forms in the Group A era.

Sensational Sierra. Ford’s turbo-charged rocket that became the car to have under the Group A rules.

Cars of the Rising Sun. Nissan’s history in Australian touring cars leading into its dominant spell with the Skyline.

Pushing the limits. The technical innovations that pushed the limits of the V8-powered parity era.

Iconic cars: Ford BA Falcon. The Falcon that ended the Commodore’s domination and put Ford back on top.

Welcome to the jungle. The challenge of getting the Nissan Altima and AMG Mercedes-Benz E-Class Supercars competitive.

Secrets behind the success. Holden’s VF Commodore and its strengths under the Car of the Future rules.

The X factor. The final Falcon, the FG X, which gave the model a fitting farewell for the Blue Oval.

Under the skin of the ZB. A deep dive into Holden’s final-ever Commodore Supercar, the ZB.

Pony power. The birth and development of Ford’s current Mustang Supercar.

Around The Bend. What’s on offer at Australia’s best motorsport facility, The Bend Motorsport Park.

Shootout. Counting down the top 10 most successful cars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

Flashback: Thirty years on, the events of 1982

As we get into the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, we look back at the key events in the history of Australian touring cars from the decade anniversaries in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #124.

CLICK HERE for details on issue #124.

Dick Johnson rose to the top of Australian touring cars with his championship and Bathurst double in 1981. And though he would defend his title in 1982, it was a victory clouded by controversy.

Johnson won three of eight rounds and was awarded the title when rival Peter Brock was disqualified from six of the eight rounds. Brock had scored more points than Johnson before the disqualifications, but his Holden Dealer Team had used illegal inlet manifolds that led to the penalties.

The matter was decided after a series of legal challenges by the Holden Dealer Team, leaving Johnson as champion and Brock with one win and fifth in the championship. It was a disappointing follow-up from Johnson and Brock’s last-round championship showdown in 1981.

Other round winners included Allan Moffat in his increasingly competitive Mazda RX-7, Kevin Bartlett in his Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and Allan Grice in a Holden VH Commodore SS. But it was under 3000cc class competitor Bob Holden and his Ford Escort Mk.II who finished second in the championship.

Brock overcame his championship disappointment to win the Bathurst 1000, teaming with Larry Perkins with Holdens filling the top four positions. It was Brock’s sixth victory, extending his record for most wins in the event, and the first for Perkins.

Johnson and Brock may have split championship and Bathurst honours between them, but the off-track squabbles left a bitter taste.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition issue #124.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #124. 

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.

ON SALE NOW: Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint program

The Repco Supercars Championship returns to Winton Motor Raceway for the first time in three years, with Shane van Gisbergen the driver to beat as the challengers attempt to stop the reigning champion at a track where he has won just once.

The SupercarXtra Magazine-produced Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint program is your must-have guide to the event. The program will be on sale in print form at the event and is available to order in digital form online.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of the program.  
 
Despite only winning one race at Winton Motor Raceway, van Gisbergen remains the driver to beat at the first event back at the circuit since May 2019.

Van Gisbergen gave Holden its 600th win in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars last time out in Perth, and is a strong position to give the Commodore a final championship win before it’s replaced by the Camaro under the Gen3 rules in 2023.

The Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint consists of three 115-kilometre races – Races 13, 14 and 15 of the 2022 season – with the first race grid spots determined by the three-part knockout qualifying and the latter two determined by single qualifying sessions.

Supercars will run on the super-soft tyre compound for the event, one of three events running the softest tyre compound in Dunlop’s range, meaning tyre life and strategy will be key at Winton.

The tight and twisty circuit first hosted the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985 and has been a regular since, with Turns 3 and 4 resurfaced and reprofiled in 2019. Despite being the slowest circuit on the Supercars calendar, the combination of short straights, slow corners and fast kinks makes it a challenge for drivers with the complication of the softer tyre.

Winton has thrown up some surprise results over the years, with Triple Eight Race Engineering, the current dominators of Supercars, winning just one race at the circuit since 2013.

The support bill for the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint includes the Porsche Carrera Cup, V8 SuperUtes, Aussie Racing Cars, Sports Sedans and Formula Ford.

The fallout from Walkinshaw Andretti United’s switch

The latest edition of Parked Up Plus gives you all and more from the biggest bombshell of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship – Walkinshaw Andretti United’s dramatic switch from General Motors to Ford for 2023 and beyond.

Award-winning journalist and Parked Up Plus host Mark Fogarty gives you the inside line on the extravagant official announcement of the deal, plus the fallout that has seen GM power brokers lie low.

Fogarty also speaks with Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arroca about the government funding that is set to be allocated to a new outer-Melbourne circuit that, if it comes to fruition, will set a new standard for motor racing facilities in Australasia.

Also, listen in for the latest news regarding the New Zealand Supercars round, the future of Perth’s inclusion on the Supercars calendar and a heart-felt tribute that will be played out at the Bathurst 12 Hour this weekend.

Plus, racing wraps from the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, World TCR and more.

Listen below to the latest episode of Parked Up Plus:

Feature: Why Walkinshaw is switching to Ford

Holden stalwart Walkinshaw Andretti United’s (WAU) impending switch to Ford is dividing fans.

To be confirmed today, WAU’s defection has generated equal outrage and support.

Reaction on social media is roughly split, with Holden diehards appalled and Ford fans rejoicing. Followers of WAU star Chaz Mostert are excited about his return to Ford.

WAU’s move to the Gen3 Mustang next year will be announced on Friday morning. It’s a seismic shift because historically, the team has been linked commercially and emotionally with Holden/General Motors.

Walkinshaw ran the factory Holden Racing Team from 1990-2016, alongside the HSV hot Holden road car division. It lost the HRT franchise to Triple Eight in 2017, when HSV’s 30 years as Holden’s performance partner also ended.

WAU retained a GM link through the parent Walkinshaw Automotive Group’s deal to ‘remanufacture’ right hand drive versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado pick-up.

The Camaro conversion failed to rival factory made RHD Mustangs and its future as a traditional V8 muscle car is in doubt beyond 2024.

Camaro will race in Australia without a local road car version and a limited life in the USA. WAU’s ties to GM’s post-Holden Specialty Vehicles division are tenuous.

Still, a Gen3 switch to Ford and the Mustang over the Camaro is a surprise – at least in the interim. It’s no secret WAU has been seeking a new third manufacturer alliance, derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, so staying in the GM fold next year seemed logical.

But for other commercial or competitive reasons, the historically Holden/GM Supercars team is defecting to Ford. It’s the biggest change since Triple Eight swapped from Falcon to Commodore in 2010.

Much more significant, though, because of Walkinshaw’s embedded history with Holden/GM. In its various guises, it has been a Holden flag-bearer for 30 years.

Since McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown and IndyCar legend Michael Andretti invested in 2018, the Clayton operation has rebuilt to become a Supercars force.

Following Chaz Mostert’s and Lee Holdsworth’s dominant victory in last year’s Bathurst 1000, WAU has been competitive. Mostert has won three of the opening 12 races of the Supercars championship, second only to defending title-winner Shane van Gisbergen’s eight victories.

WAU ‘crossing the floor’ for Gen3 will alter the Ford/GM balance. It’s now 16 Commodores versus nine Mustangs; next year it will be 11 Mustangs against 14 Camaros.

Apart from just potential competitive advantages, there could be commercial gains for the Walkinshaw Automotive Group. It converts American RAM and Chevrolet pick-ups to RHD, as well as upgrading VW Amoraks. Work for Ford with enhanced Rangers is not out of the question.

Ruled out, though, is converting F-150s to RHD, already dedicated to a Thailand-based engineering company.

Whatever the reason, the implications of WAU’s dramatic change in Supercars are profound. As we understand, Chevrolet Racing is offering minimal incentives to existing Holden teams.

WAU’s switch to Ford is a sign that factory support for the Camaro is very limited. The word is that Ford Australia support for Supercars is also lukewarm.

Little or no money directly, but substantive support with CFD aero development of the Gen3 Mustang’s shape.

Friday’s announcement will confirm the company’s local commitment, backed by Ford Performance in the USA. The Gen3 Mustang will adopt the altered look of the 2023 S650 update.

Feature: Holden’s 600 wins by the numbers

In its final season in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, Holden has become the first manufacturer to reach the 600-win milestone in championship history.

Despite being retired in 2020, the Holden name lived on in Supercars with the ZB Commodore being raced in 2022 before being replaced by the Chevrolet Camaro under the Gen3 rules in 2023.

Shane van Gisbergen scored Holden’s 600th win in Race 10 of the 2022 season in Perth, with the championship leader also in a strong position to give the Commodore an 18th and final drivers’ title, surpassing the tally of 17 championship wins of the Commodore’s former arch rival the Ford Falcon.

Holden wins per car and driver:

By car:

108: VF Commodore
103: VE Commodore
70: ZB Commodore
63: VT Commodore
45: VX Commodore
37: VZ Commodore
35: VS Commodore
27: VR Commodore
23: VY Commodore
17: Torana L34, Torana A9X, VP Commodore
8: VH Commodore
7: VB Commodore
6: Torana XU-1
4: HT Monaro, VC Commodore
2: HK Monaro, Torana SL/R5000, Torana LX SS, VK Commodore
1: VN Commodore

By driver:

91: Jamie Whincup
85: Craig Lowndes
80: Mark Skaife
59: Shane van Gisbergen
56: Garth Tander
46: Peter Brock
28: Greg Murphy
21: Russell Ingall
19: Todd Kelly
14: Jason Bright
12: Allan Grice, Rick Kelly
8: Bob Morris, Larry Perkins
7: Jason Bargwanna, James Courtney
6: Norm Beechey, Colin Bond, Will Davison, Paul Dumbrell, Steven Richards, Chaz Mostert
5: Fabian Coulthard
4: Jim Richards, David Reynolds, Nick Percat
3: Warren Luff, Jonathan Webb, Lee Holdsworth
2: John Harvey, Wayne Gardner Paul Morris, Tony Longhurst, Cameron McConville, Scott McLaughlin, Sebastien Bourdais, Tim Slade
1: Charlie O’Brien, Dean Canto, Ian Geoghegan, Jack Perkins, Jason Richards, Michael Caruso, Steve Owen, Alexandre Prémat, Luke Youlden, Scott Pye, Anton De Pasquale, Will Brown

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine‘s Holden special edition.