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.
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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.
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