10 smallest title-winning points margins

26 Aug 2021
On 11 occasions has a title been won by eight or fewer points

Earlier this week, Supercars.com listed the 10 biggest title-winning points margins, a list headed by Mark Skaife.

Skaife won the 2001 and 2002 titles by over 500 points - but he also lost the 1991 title by a scant five points.

Points systems have changed over the years, and seasons feature more events now than they did in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

However, the potential for close title fights remains, although margins between champions and runners-up were remarkably tight in the early decades of the championship.

On just 11 occasions in ATCC/Supercars history has a title been won by eight or fewer points.

On just 15 occasions in 52 points-paying seasons have drivers won the title by 100 or more points.

Most recently, the 2017 title fight between Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin, decided in a Newcastle thriller, saw the end margin just 21 points.

Of the top 26 closest title fights, just two have come this century - the controversial 2017 battle, and the enthralling 2007 arm-wrestle between Whincup and Garth Tander.

Here are the 10 closest title-winning margins in ATCC/Supercars history.

Eight points: Allan Moffat over Colin Bond in 1976

Moffat at Sandown Pic: AN1 Images

Five years before Dick Johnson beat Peter Brock to the title by eight points, Ford hero Moffat won his second title.

The Canadian ace won the Calder, Oran Park and Adelaide rounds, with Bond taking second from Barry Seton with victory at the Phillip Island finale.

Seven points: Bob Morris over Peter Brock in 1979

Brock leads Morris Pic: AN1 Images

All eight rounds in 1979 were won by the Holden LX Torana SS A9X Hatchback.

Only the best seven results counted towards the total, and it was Morris - with round wins Oran Park, Sandown, Lakeside and Adelaide - who emerged victorious.

Six points: Allan Moffat over George Fury in 1983

Moffat's Mazda was the one to beat Pic: AN1 Images

Calder Park, Perth, Surfers Paradise and Oran Park round wins helped Moffat to his fourth title, and first in a Mazda.

The odd class points system saw Fury lead the entire championship despite not winning a race, but Nissan’s absence from the Lakeside finale saw Moffat win the title.

Six points: Bob Jane over Allan Moffat in 1971

Jane won his third title in 1971 Pic: AN1 Images

Jane won his third ATCC title, defeating Moffat and Ian Geoghegan.

Defending champion Norm Beechey finished fifth in the series, and only finished two rounds all season.

Jane and Moffat won three rounds each, the former’s Oran Park finale victory gifting him the crown.

Five points: Robbie Francevic over George Fury in 1986

Francevic and Volvo were unlikely winners in 1986 Pic: AN1 Images

A year after Jim Richards won in a BMW, New Zealand compatriot Francevic won the 1986 title aboard a Volvo.


It was the first title won by a turbocharged car, with Francevic winning at Amaroo, Symmons Plains and Adelaide.

Defending champion Richards could only manage one win at Winton.

Fury won five of the season’s 10 rounds - Sandown, Perth, Calder, Lakeside and Oran Park - but retirements at Amaroo and Adelaide cost him dearly.

Five points: Jim Richards over Mark Skaife in 1991

Richards also won Bathurst in 1991 Pic: AN1 Images

Nissan dominated, with Richards and Skaife winning seven of the nine rounds between the, six of them one-two results.

Skaife’s fourth-place finish at the penultimate Lakeside round gifted the title to Richards, who despite failing to score in the Oran Park finale, had enough points to hold on.

Richards and Skaife later combined to win the first of three Bathurst 1000s together, adding wins in 1992 and 2002.

Four points: Norm Beechey over Jim McKeown in 1970

Beechey at Calder in 1970 Pic: AN1 Images

The 1970 saw Beechey clinch the title with victory at the penultimate round at Lakeside. He had also won in Bathurst and Sandown.

Beechey and pole man Moffat didn’t start the final race at Symmons Plains, which was won by McKeown.

Two points: Peter Brock over Bob Morris in 1978

Brock also won Bathurst in 1978 Pic: AN1 Images

Victories at Symmons Plains, Oran Park and Perth paved the way to Brock’s second title. Morris won at Calder, and finished two points behind Brock.

Morris lost the two points awarded for his fifth placing at Amaroo, but Brock still would otherwise have won the title due to a tiebreaker.

Brock had three round wins to Morris’ one.

Two points: Garth Tander over Jamie Whincup in 2007

15 wins, but Tander still left it to the final day Pic: AN1 Images

The most recent instance of a title being decided by a single-digit figure came in 2007, which featured a new points system.

Toll HSV Dealer Team veteran Tander won 15 races to Triple Eight young gun Whincup’s five. However, two of Whincup’s victories came at the Sandown and Bathurst enduros, the latter of which Tander didn’t finish.

Tander won the opening two races at the Phillip Island finale, and had a seven-point margin heading into the final race. Todd Kelly, Whincup, Tander and Lowndes were joined at the hip in the closing laps of Race 3, with Lowndes nudging Tander out of the way with three laps to go.

Whincup finished second behind Todd Kelly, with fourth enough for Tander to clinch the title, despite having to be coaxed to the line by engineer Matthew Nilsson after the Lowndes incident.

Seven of the next 10 championships would be won by Whincup, who also finished as runner-up in 2010 and 2016.

One point: Ian Geoghegan over Alan Hamilton in 1969

Geoghegan won five titles Pic: AN1 Images

Geoghegan won his fifth and final ATCC title, creating a record that would not be equalled until Johnson in 1989.

It was also Geoghegan's fourth consecutive title, a feat which would not be achieved again until Whincup in 2014.

Hamilton scored the most points across the five races, but with drivers required to drop their worst round, Geoghegan was champion by a single point.

Related News