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Flashback: Thirty years on, the events of 1992

The Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R scored a second consecutive championship and Bathurst double in 1992, in a controversial end to the Group A era.

17 April 2022

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, on sale now!

Nissan took championship and Bathurst honours with the Skyline R32 GT-R in 1991. And despite attempts to hobble the car nicknamed ‘Godzilla’, there would be no stopping the Japanese manufacturer in 1992.

The Skylines were forced to run with an extra 40 kilograms in addition to pop-off valves to restrict the power from the turbo engines. However, reigning champion Jim Richards and Mark Skaife remained the overwhelming title favourites.

Skaife opened the season with the round win at Amaroo Park and won four of the nine rounds in total. While he notched up wins and scored top-three finishes in all but two rounds, Richards failed to win a round with Skaife going on to claim his first championship success.

While Nissan held sway in the championship standings, with a second consecutive one-two finish, there were round wins for the Ford Sierra RS500s of John Bowe and Glenn Seton and the BMW M3 of Tony Longhurst. Longhurst finished ahead of Bowe and Seton in the championship standings, with Holden languishing with a solitary race win for Peter Brock in the season opener with the introduction of two races per round in 1992.

With the Nissans absent from the Sandown 500, Larry Perkins and Steve Harrington scored a popular win for Holden in the older model VL Commodore. Nissan returned for Bathurst, playing a starring role in the drama that unfolded in the Great Race.

Skaife and Richards were leading when the latter was caught out by heavy rain in the late stages of the race. With cars strewn across the track, the race was red flagged and the Nissan declared the winner for a second consecutive year despite being parked up by the side of the road and the Sierra of Bowe and Dick Johnson still running.

With the crowd turning on the Nissan drivers, as frustration at their dominance reached its boiling point, Richards delivered his infamous “pack of arseholes” speech from the podium. It was a controversial end for the Group A era, which despite the variety of machinery and manufacturers, had been reduced to one-sided domination by Nissan.

From 1993, the V8 Ford Falcon versus Holden Commodore rules that became the foundation of V8 Supercars were introduced. There would be no room for Nissan’s all-conquering Skyline, which departed with consecutive championship and Bathurst doubles.

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