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Sunday, 03 June 2018 15:06

The year that was: 1985


Australian touring cars re-invented itself in 1985, adopting the international Group A regulations, and the BMW 635CSi and Jaguar XJ-S dominating the championship and Bathurst 1000 respectively. 

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #104.

Australia officially became part of the global motorsport scene with the addition of the Australian Grand Prix into the Formula 1 world championship in 1985. And Australian touring cars also joined the international fraternity that year with the change from the home-grown Group C to international Group A regulations.

Group A put the emphasis on manufacturer involvement at a time when turbos ruled across different disciplines led by automotive brands investing heavily in the technology and motorsport.

Manufacturers had to produce certain amounts of cars in order to race that particular model, ending the days when privateers like Murray Carter and Dick Johnson could develop their own cars such as with the Ford Falcon XD in Group C.

The balance of power parity system attempted to level the playing field based on power to weight and tyre sizes. Group A cars may have been production based with limits on engine modifications (the more power, the more weight) but the lower ride height and suspension and brake packages were sn improvement on the Group C era.

Costs, therefore, increased with the look of the cars, running without the aerodynamic aids and guard flares of Group C, noticeably different. Entrants running European-spec cars would have the advantage while the locals played catch up.

Indeed, no Australian-made car would be on the grid for the season opener at Winton. Holden was still in the process of converting the VK Commodore into Group A-spec, Ford entrants such as Dick Johnson opted for the European-built Mustang GT, while Nissan was forced to sit out while it waited for the Skyline to be completed.

BMW was the favourite given its European Group A pedigree and having run in Australia in 1984. And it was Jim Richards in the JPS Team BMW who won the season opener with ease, setting the tone for the rest of the championship.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #104 within Australia to read the full feature.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #104 within New Zealand to read the full feature.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #104 for the rest of the world to read the full feature.

CLICK HERE to purchase the digital edition of issue #104 to read the full feature.


Event Date
Superloop Adelaide 500 February 20-23
Melbourne 400 March 12-15
BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint June 27-28
Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint July 18-19
BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown August 15-16
CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint August 22-23
NTI Townsville SuperSprint August 29-30
Townsville SuperSprint September 5-6
The Bend Motorsport Park September 19-20
The Bend Motorsport Park September 26-27
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 October 15-18



1. Scott McLaughlin
2. Jamie Whincup
1847 -215
3. Cameron Waters
1577 -485
4. Shane van Gisbergen
1555 -507
5. Chaz Mostert
1524 -538
6. Fabian Coulthard 
1444 -618
7. Nick Percat
1425 -637
8. David Reynolds
1298 -764
9. Lee Holdsworth
1261 -801
10. Scott Pye
1258 -804

Full championship standings