Rule changes made the previously dominating Toranas and Falcons less appealing, and Holden
decided to pull out of motor racing. Thankfully the Holden Dealer Team had already been sorting a Commodore in the latter part of 1979
made its announcement. Ron Hodgson had also announced he too was pulling the plug on his involvement, thus leaving race ace Bob Morris high and dry.
Fortunately, Peter Brock
together with Marlboro and 'selected Holden dealers' had strung together for a two-car Commodore team, while Alan Grice and Bob Morris pooled their resources to run a pair of V8s - a Torana and a Commodore under the Craven Mild Banner. Some drivers were looking towards the new Mazda RX-7
with its peripheral porting, a couple of XD Falcons
were underway, and Kevin Bartlett announced he would campaign a Chev Camaro.
Brock set an unprecedented eight pole positions in as many races, and won six ATCC races to take the title easily from Bartlett. Morris was the best other Holden finisher in fifth place. Grice was eighth and Charlie O'Brien was 10th in the newer Roadways Commodore. At the Bathurst post mortem, the results showed that Commodore had run riot in the nation's top race. Despite finishing in the first seven places, and nine of the top 10, race winners Brock and Jim Richards had their hardest-fought win yet.
First, Dick Johnson
in his new XD
had set them a merry chase before the Commodore clipped a slow car and was forced to pit for repairs. The stop cost them two laps and many positions. Johnson hit a rock shortly afterwards and was out. The lead was then shared between Grice/ John Smith and the second Marlboro HDT car of John Harvey and Ron Harrop. The former finished seventh after a spin caused damage to the fuel tank and the latter blew an engine.
Brock and Richards continued in the race. Surprisingly quickly they were back in the top 10 and, before one third of the race had been completed, were into the lead. From there on, the pair went on to a hat-trick victory.