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When homologation specials were the craze in the 1990s

Production car racing was revitalised in Australia off the back of the early incarnations of the Bathurst 12 Hour, which moved to Eastern Creek in 1995 for its final edition as many manufacturers fought for outright victory.

After four previous Bathurst 12 Hours, the event moved to Eastern Creek for 1995 where the highly competitive battle between Mazda and Porsche continued. The inaugural Australian GT Production Car Series played host to the shakedown of special homologation models set to battle at Eastern Creek.

The rules at the time stated just 10 identical road-registerable examples of the model wished to be raced needed to be manufactured to be homologated.

Porsche’s new 911 RSCS raised the bar initially when released in early 1995, replacing the previous 968CS used by Peter Fitzgerald’s team since 1993.

Based on the 911, the RSCS was targeted at track day enthusiasts as all the creature comforts were removed including the carpets, power windows, air conditioning and radio, while a welded roll cage was included. Exterior wise, a larger spoiler was installed and a deeper chin spoiler improved aerodynamic efficiency.

Pole was achieved by Jim Richards sharing Fitzgerald’s 911 RSCS, but it was defeated by the Mazda.

In response, Mazda’s team manager Allan Horsley developed the special RX7 SP special as the Japanese manufactured aimed to continue its stranglehold on Australia’s premier production car event.

After taking a hattrick of Bathurst 12 Hour wins from 1992 to 1994, Mazda was forced to up the ante for 1995 and the SP was the result. Around 127 parts were changed to create Mazda’s new performance benchmark including a lighter flywheel, larger diameter exhaust, carbon fibre air ducting and air box, modified turbo seals, plus a smaller, lighter battery. Also installed was a 110-litre fuel tank to combat one of Porsche’s advantages.

The body contained more carbon fibre and aluminium components including the bonnet, nose cone spoiler sourced from Mazdaspeed and a large rear wing, which is the model’s trademark. Not only did the model defeat Porsche in 1995 courtesy of Dick Johnson and John Bowe, but it enjoyed sustained success in the Australian GT Production Car Series up until the turn of the millennium.

There was another challenger, albeit a bit obscure and another didn’t make the race.


Peter Brock’s association with Volvo started in 1994 when he partnered with Tony Scott in a stock 850 in the Bathurst 12 Hour finishing 25th, but the support ramped up for 1995.

Although not at homologation model like the three mentioned in this article, the 850 T5-R was Volvo’s aim to kick its reserved image as it was doing in its British Touring Car Championship campaign.

Co-developed with Porsche, the T5-R achieved more power through a new ECU and an extra 1.5psi in boost. There were 6,964 T-5Rs produced as just 28 arrived in Australia with a limited number featuring the five-speed manual transmission.

Exterior modifications included a front spoiler with lip, rear wing and side skirts.

Two T5-Rs were entered for Eastern Creek, but struggled against the likes of Audi and Porsche as Brock teamed with Tony Scott to finish 16th, while teammates Ed Ordynski and Win Percy finished 19th.

Racing legend Frank Gardner by the mid-1990s was leading the factory BMW assault on the Australian Super Touring Championship, which was in the midst of a sometimes spiteful livery with Audi.

Gardner convinced BMW to allow his team to homologate 15 examples of its ultimate driving machine, the M3R. Unlike the stock M3, which competed the previous year the R version featured revised camshafts, an upgraded intake, optimised exhaust ports, dual-pick up oil sump and a new ECU.

Just like the Mazda a lightened flywheel was featured and a choice of clutches depending on the M3R’s intended use. Brakes were also upgraded, while a rear spoiler and a 100kg weight loss.

Of the 15 imported, four were used on the track and 11 sold to the public, but the purchaser required a motor racing licence to buy one.

Although Paul Morris debuted the M3R at the Oran Park Australian GT Production Car Series round, it didn’t make an appearance at Eastern Creek.