MEMORY LANE: 1978 Symmons Plains ATCC

Today’s AN1 Images Memory Lane shot features the post-race celebrations of the 1978 round of the Australian Touring Car Championship at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

The shot, taken by Ian Smith and now part of the AN1 Images online archive, was taken after Peter Brock had led home fellow Holden Torana A9X pilots Bob Morris and John Harvey to win the 40-lap series opener on Sunday March 5, 1978.

This was very much a year where the Torana drivers dominated, particularly given Brock had returned to the HDT outfit after a few years away racing as a privateer and the Moffat Ford Dealers squad had their funding cut – and their results followed suit.

On this particular day there were 12 finishers from the 20 cars that started with five finishing on the lead lap – Brock, Morris, Harvey, Colin Bond’s Moffat Ford Dealers Falcon and Allan Grice’s Craven Mild Torana.

Current Supercars team owner Garry Rogers was sixth in his Torana while father of his current driver James – the great Allan Moffat – only lasted two laps before engine dramas sidelined his championship-defending #1 Falcon.

If you look really closely in this post-race parade lap shot you’ll see Brock with his arm out the window with the winner’s wreath (we really should bring those back to racing, don’t you think?!) and a range of team members sitting in the rear with the hatch popped open!

This was back when Symmons Plains traditionally held the opening round of the ATCC – the last time it hosted the championship kick-off was back in 1981.

Brock went on to claim the treble in 1978, claiming the ATCC, Sandown ‘Hang Ten’ 400 enduro and the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst sharing with Jim Richards.

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