AUSCAR (Australian Stock Car Auto Racing) was an auto racing sanctioning body owned by Bob Jane, which ran American-style Superspeedway racing in Australia. The initial AUSCAR venue was the Calder Park Thunderdome Superspeedway, but over time the series expanded to include the Bob Jane owned 1/2 mile Speedway Superbowl at the eastern end of Adelaide International Raceway, the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, and eventually several Australian road racing circuits. Three categories of racing car were developed to run on the Australian circuits.
* NASCAR: imported and locally developed versions of the American race cars * AUSCAR: down spec-ed cars, closer to production specification, initially just the Holden Commodore, but quickly expanded to include the Ford Falcon * Sportsman: lower specification again, cheaper to buy or build and older cars, and some former AUSCARs
Other categories, such as the HQ's, a category based around the Holden HQ Kingswood powered by the 3.3L Holden red motor, were also popular at the Calder Park Thunderdome. Another category was based on the American dirt track category known as Legends (unrelated to Aussie Racing Cars), since disappeared from circuit racing. And Formula Vee open wheelers raced briefly on the Thunderdome apron.
AUSCAR was also the name used for the second tier racing category that raced alongside the Australian NASCAR stock car racing series, starting in 1986 and continuing until 2001. The cars were not pure space frame chassis like NASCAR, but were built on Australian Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon road car chassis. As a result, AUSCARs are right-hand-drive, and race clockwise at ovals, compared to the left-hand-drive anticlockwise NASCAR vehicles. Brad Jones dominated the category winning five consecutive titles during the peak of the series popularity, all in Commodore's. Other notable drivers include: Marshall J. Brewer, Terry Wyhoon, Russell Ingall, John Faulkner, Jim Richards, Steven Richards, Adam Pay, Nathan Pretty, Nicole Pretty and Leigh Watkins (who was the only driver to win the championship in a Ford Falcon). Even Australian touring car legend Peter Brock briefly tried AUSCAR in 1988 driving a Falcon and again at his testimonial race meeting (held on the Calder Park road circuit) in 1995 driving a Commodore.
Due to the returning popularity of the Australian Touring Car Championship, relaunched as V8 Supercars in 1997, and financial difficulties, AUSCAR was shut down and the drivers dispersed into other national racing series.