NIGHT racing has been back in vogue in Australian touring car racing during the last few years.
Supercars is pushing the attraction of flood-lit action in a big way, with five races during its upcoming four-event Sydney swing to be held under lights.
Back in the mid-1990s, the Sydney venue hosted the 1996 Australian Touring Car Championship opener under lights, but it was Melbourne’s Calder Park that was the true home of flood-lit motorsport.
Most notably, the Peter Brock Classic in late 1995 and the ’97 Australian Car Championship opener, which marked the first event under the V8 Supercars banner, both included night races.
Before that, Calder turned the expertise that had seen it light its drag racing and Thunderdome NASCAR/AUSCAR events to its 2.3km circuit layout for the two-litre Super Tourers.
Round 4 of the 1995 Australian Super Touring Championship on May 12/13 was in fact the first major circuit racing meeting held at Calder in seven years due to the track’s anti-tobacco sponsorship.
Friday night qualifying was followed by two 30-minute races on the Saturday night for the burgeoning category, which did its part by producing a highly competitive 17-car field.
The championship arrived direct from the previous weekend’s event at Symmons Plains with Diet Coke BMW teammates Paul Morris and Geoff Brabham separated by just eight points at the top of the standings.
The Audi 80s of Brad Jones and Greg Murphy were their closest challenges, but the likes of Steven Richards (Alfa Romeo), Jeff Allam (Ford Mondeo) and Tony Scott (Volvo 850 Estate) appeared ever-more-competitive.
Check out Race 1 from Calder Park thanks to the V8 Sleuth YouTube channel. Click through for more videos and subscribe to be notified when new videos are posted.