Saloon Car Racing - A Brief History
The Saloon Car concept was created late in 1998 by a group of enthusiasts who thought that relatively late model six cylinder Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons would make inexpensive and popular race cars at an entry level. A Board of Management was formed to administer the “new” category, it consisted of a National Administrator, Secretary, Treasurer and a representative from each state.
The Technical Regulations were drafted and submitted to the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) for approval, once they were approved test vehicles were constructed and tested. The regulations adopted many strictly controlled components including a brake and suspension package, wheels, tyres, computer (ECU), camshaft etc.
It took over eighteen months of research, testing and advice from people that had been involved in Production Car Racing in the early 90’s to finalise the regulations and to ensure that the parity between the Commodore V6 and the In-line OHC Falcon was even.
A sponsorship proposal outlining the Saloon Car concept was presented to Mullins Wheels in 1999. Mullins could see the potential that the category offered and agreed to be naming rights sponsors (CSA Alloy Wheels), this agreement was signed off before a Saloon Car had actually fired a shot in anger! Corporate support has also come from Dial Before You Dig, Supaloc – Steel Building Systems, Pedders Suspension, Cebco Brakes, Bridgestone, Performance Friction and Kumho Tyres.
These companies have made it possible for Saloon Cars to contest a National Championship/Series every year since 2000 each of which had television coverage. 2012 is the twelth anniversary of the Saloon Car category.
Saloon Cars are basically very simple, the vehicles are six cylinder production based model VT Commodore and AU Falcon sedans, slightly modified for competition, safety and reliability. The category is a full-on traditional battle between Holden and Ford that offers competitors high-speed thrills at a relatively low cost, and of course entertainment for the spectators. Saloon Car racing has brought to Australian Motor Sport something that has been needed for a long time i.e. close, high-speed competition at a realistic cost. Saloon Cars are envisaged as a vital step in Australian Touring Car racing.
Saloon Cars have been part of the support program of many of the highest profile race meetings in the country including the V8 Supercar Series, Clipsal 500, Konica/Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, Indy 300, VIP Petfoods and OzEmail Queensland 500, Bathurst and four years of being a core category with the Shannons Nationals.