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Sunday, 14 July 2019 21:00

Super grid: Race of champions


In total, 25 drivers have won the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars championship over the last six decades. 

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To commemorate the 60-year milestone, we put these drivers together on a grid to see how this dream ‘Race of Champions’ would look. With drivers with the most titles higher up the grid, we’ve also picked the most dominant championship-winning cars for the multi-time champs.

The grid begins with the first two champions of the Australian Touring Car Championship, David McKay and Bill Pitt.

McKay won the first Australian Touring Car Championship in a Jaguar Mark 1 3.4 at Gnoo Blas near Orange, New South Wales, in 1960. The motoring journalist enjoyed a distinguished racing career, highlighted by the championship win.

Pitt became the second championship winner in a Jaguar Mark 1 3.4 at Lowood, Queensland, in 1961. Pitt had an extensive career racing Jaguars, finishing second in 1960 by six seconds before victory the following year.

At the other end of the grid are the multiple champions, including the drivers who have won five or more championships in Ian Geoghegan, Dick Johnson, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup.

Geoghegan won his first championship in a Ford Cortina in 1964, but he’s best remembered for his run of four consecutive titles with the Ford Mustang from 1966 to 1969. The Mustang evolved and improved across that period, with the win in 1969 the first under the multi-round format.

Johnson won five championships for Ford, three in Falcons and two in Sierras. The most dominant and memorable of the lot was 1981 in the XD Falcon, in which Johnson won eight races for an equal record 72.73 per cent winning season and overcame the challenge of Holden rival Peter Brock.

Skaife had already won two championships for Gibson Motorsport before the start of his dominant run with the Holden Racing Team, in which time he won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002. The 2001 and 2002 seasons saw Skaife conquer all in his VX Commodore, winning 15 races in 2002 for a winning percentage of more than 50 per cent.

Whincup became the undisputed best in Supercars with his run of seven championships between 2008 and 2017. The first championship win in 2008 was a clinic, winning 15 races for an equal second most in championship history. Despite missing an entire round in New Zealand following a qualifying crash, Whincup still won his first title by a big margin.

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