The Commodore is in its 43rd and final Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars season in 2022, looking to bow out with an 18th championship win and to get the edge over its former arch rival, the Ford Falcon, as we examine in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #124.
Confirmation of the introduction of the Gen3 regulations in 2023 means the Commodore will race for a final time in 2022. General Motors will be represented by the Chevrolet Camaro in Gen3, marking the end of the road for the Commodore.
The Commodore debuted in 1980 and has notched up 17 drivers’ championship wins and 28 Bathurst 1000 victories over 42 years. Its current tally of 17 titles matches the mark set by the Ford Falcon, with its final championship win in its farewell season in 2018.
The Falcon scored its first championship win in 1973 and won its 17 championships over a 46-year period, while the Commodore could surpass that feat in 43 years. The Commodore is already ahead of the Falcon for wins in the Bathurst 500/1000, with 28 victories for the Commodore and 14 for the Falcon.
Peter Brock gave the Commodore a winning debut with the Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 double in 1980. While it was the Commodore’s only title in the Group C years, Brock scored a further three Bathurst wins under the Group C rules from 1982 to 1984.
The Commodore was uncompetitive in the Group A years, failing to win a championship between 1985 and 1992, though there were three popular wins in the Bathurst 1000 for the privateer Chickadee-backed entry in 1986, another success for Brock in 1987 and the first win for the Holden Racing Team in 1990.
The Commodore did battle against the Falcon in the V8 era from 1993, with the rise of the Holden Racing Team netting five consecutive championships between 1998 and 2002. There were also seven Bathurst 1000 wins in a row for the Commodore between 1999 and 2005.
Triple Eight Race Engineering’s switch from Ford to Holden in 2010 saw the Commodore gain the ascendency yet again. The Commodore has won seven championships and nine Bathurst 1000s since then.
In the exclusive battle between the Commodore and Falcon from 1993 to 2012, the Commodore won 11 championships to the Falcon’s nine and 15 Bathurst 1000 victories to five.
There are 16 ZB Commodores on the grid for the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship.
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