This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most successful touring cars ever seen in world motorsport – the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, a car that also did its fair share of winning in Australia.
Our AN1 Images Memory Lane photo today is very much in theme of celebrating Sierras, from the opening round of the 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship at Amaroo Park in Sydney.
Mobil 1 Racing duo Peter Brock and his new teammate Andrew Miedecke head Dick Johnson’s Shell Sierra through the loop at the sadly now defunct Sydney circuit.
But it wasn’t a Sierra doing the winning that day, instead the Nissan Skyline GTS-R of Jim Richards claimed victory in the timed 50-minute race from the Shell cars of John Bowe and Johnson.
The Mobil cars struggled with their Bridgestone tyres, Brock fifth and Miedecke – who had replaced Brad Jones in the team’s second car after finishing up running his own team – seventh.
A total of 28 cars started the race with 22 finishers, nine of which were on the lead lap. There was also a range of cars that did not qualify to race given the circuit was running 28 cars maximum with eight reserves after the wet qualifying session.
As a mark of just how much the Sierra had become part and parcel of Aussie touring car racing, the turbo Fords filled positions two through to nine in the 1990 Amaroo round and there were 10 of them in the top 13 finishing positions.
The turbocharged Sierra RS500 Cosworth made its debut in mid-1987 as a homologation special of the previous RS Cosworth model and instantly the beefed up car made its mark.
In Australia the RS500 Sierra claimed victory at Bathurst in 1988 (Tony Longhurst/Tomas Mezera) and 1989 (Johnson/Bowe) as well as Australian Touring Car Championships with Johnson in 1988 and 1989.
The Sierra’s time in top level Group A touring car racing in Australia came to an end when the 1992 season was over, though the Sierra did find a way to continue racing – Steve Ellery acquired one of Glenn Seton’s old cars and ran it as a two-litre car in 1993 and 1994.
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