Formula 3000 was a type of open wheel, single seater formula racing, occupying the tier below Formula One and above Formula Three. It was so named; the most prestigious F3000 series, International Formula 3000, was introduced by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile in 1985 to replace Formula Two, was itself replaced by the GP2 Series in 2005. While the International series is synonymous with F3000, other series racing to F3000 specification have existed. A small British Formula 3000 series ran for several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s using year-old cars. Founded in 1989 as the British Formula 3000 Championship, the series was renamed the British Formula Two Championship in 1992, but grids diminished and it was ended after the 1994 season, it was restarted in 1996 and cancelled once more the following year, after one race had been held with only three cars. Two other attempts at restarting F3000 racing in the UK failed. An Italian series evolved into a second-level one, Euro Formula 3000, running the previous generation of spec Lolas.
An Italian national series started in 2005 with the arrival of the GP2 Series, but has now been merged with Euroseries 3000, running both B02/50 and B99/50 cars. As of 2010, it is renamed Auto GP, using old A1 Grand Prix cars and engines in place of F3000 regulations; the American Racing Series, a predecessor of Indy Lights, ran with March F3000 chassis and Buick V6 engines, before turning to Lolas some years later. Japan persisted with Formula Two rules for a couple of years after the demise of F2 in Europe, but adopted F3000 rules in 1987. Unlike European F3000, the Japanese Championship featured a lot of competition between tyre companies, tended to feature paid drivers in cars tending to be more developed and tested than those in the European series; the Mugen engine dominated this series, was competitive in European F3000. Japanese F3000 was renamed Formula Nippon in 1996, split off from European racing in 2009 with the new Swift chassis. In Australia Formula 4000 continued to use old F3000 chassis until 2006, as had its predecessors Formula Brabham and Formula Holden
Bruce Leslie McLaren was a New Zealand race-car designer, driver and inventor. His name lives on in the McLaren team, one of the most successful in Formula One championship history, winning a total of 8 World Constructors' Championships and 12 World Drivers' Championships. McLaren cars dominated CanAm sports car racing with 56 wins, a considerable number of them with him behind the wheel, between 1967 and 1972, have won three Indianapolis 500 races, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Bruce McLaren attended Meadowbank Primary School; as a nine-year-old, he was diagnosed with Perthes disease in his hip that left his left leg shorter than the right. His parents and Ruth McLaren, owned a service station and workshop in Remuera Rd, Auckland. Bruce spent all of his free hours hanging around the workshop and developed his passion during his formative years. Les McLaren restored an aging Austin 7 Ulster, which 14-year-old Bruce used in 1952 when he entered his first competition, a hillclimb.
Two years he took part in his first real race and showed promise. He moved up from the Austin to a Ford 10 special and an Austin-Healey a Formula Two Cooper-Climax sports racing car, he began to modify and master it, so much so that he was runner-up in the 1957–58 New Zealand championship series. McLaren founded McLaren Automotive in 1963, his performance in the New Zealand Grand Prix in 1958 was noticed by Australian driver Jack Brabham. Because of his obvious potential, the New Zealand International Grand Prix organisation selected him for its'Driver to Europe' scheme designed to give a promising Kiwi driver year-round experience with the best in the world. McLaren was the first recipient, to be followed by others including Denny Hulme. McLaren stayed seven years, he raced in F2 and was entered in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in which F2 and F1 cars competed together. He astounded the motor racing fraternity by being the first F2, fifth overall, in a field of the best drivers in the world.
McLaren joined the Cooper factory F1 team alongside Jack Brabham in 1959 and won the 1959 United States Grand Prix at age 22 years 104 days, becoming the youngest GP winner up to that time. He followed that with a win in the Argentine Grand Prix, the first race of the 1960 Formula One season, he would finish runner-up that season to Brabham. McLaren won the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix finishing a fine third in the championship that year; the next year, he founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, which remains in the Formula One championship as McLaren. McLaren win in Coopers. McLaren left Cooper at the end of 1965, announced his own GP racing team, with co-driver and fellow Kiwi Chris Amon. Amon left in 1967 to drive for Ferrari. In 1968, McLaren was joined by another fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme, who had become world champion in 1967 with Brabham. McLaren took his fourth career win racing his own McLaren car at Spa in 1968, achieving the team's first Grand Prix win. Hulme won twice in the McLaren-Ford; the 1969 championship was a success, with McLaren finishing third in the standings despite taking no wins.
In tribute to his homeland, McLaren's cars featured the "speedy Kiwi" logo. McLaren's design flair and ingenuity were graphically demonstrated in powerful sports car racing. Just as the Can-Am began to become popular with fans in Canada and the U. S. the new McLaren cars finished second twice, third twice, in six races. In 1967, they in 1968, four of six; the following year, McLarens proved unbeatable. In two races, they finished 1–2–3.. In 1966, McLaren and co-driver Chris Amon won the prestigious 24 Hour Race at Le Mans in a Ford GT40. McLaren was a competitive driver, but his legacy, the McLaren Racing Team, stems from his abilities as an analyst and manager. In the early days of McLaren sports cars, McLaren was testing and as he drove out of the pits, he noticed the fuel filler access door was flapping up and down as he drove; the current aerodynamic thinking was that it should have been pressed more in place as the speed of the car increased. Instead, it bounced more vigorously, his frustration at the sloppy work changed and he had an insight.
Stopping in the pits, he grabbed a pair of shears, started cutting the bodywork away behind the radiator. Climbing back in the car, he began turning lap times faster than before, he explained, I was first angry that the filler door hadn't been properly closed but I began to wonder why it wasn't being pressed down by the airflow. The only answer was. From that session came the "nostrils" that have been a key McLaren design feature, including in the McLaren P1 road car. McLaren noticed that his team's cars were less innovative than the Chaparrals of rival driver/designer Jim Hall, but their superior reliability was rewarded by race and championship victories; that culture continued after his death and when Ron Dennis bought the team was reinforced by the lessons learned in his early career as a race mechanic. Bruce McLaren died when his Can-Am car crashed on the Lavant Straight just before Woodcote corner at Goodwood Circuit in England on 2 June 1970
The Tasman Series (formally the Tasman Championship for Drivers was a motor racing competition held annually from 1964 to 1975 over a series of races in New Zealand and Australia. It was named after the Tasman Sea; the Tasman Series races were held in January through to late February or early March of each year, during the Formula One off season, taking advantage of winter in the Northern Hemisphere to attract many top drivers to summer in the south. The Tasman Cup was the permanent trophy awarded to the winning driver; the Tasman started in 1960 as a series of unrelated races between Australia and New Zealand. In 1964 it was renamed Tasman Cup; until 1969, the Tasman Formula specified open-wheel single-seater racing cars similar to Formula One cars, yet retaining F1 engine rules that were in effect until 1960. Thus, engines of 2500 cm³ that were obsolete for the contemporary Formula One class were eligible for the Tasman Formula. After F1 upgraded to 3000 cm³ in 1966, the Tasman Formula regulations continued to specify a 2500 cm³ limit for another four years.
The chassis of the previous F1 season were fitted with "Tasman" engines, entered "down under". In what many consider Tasman's zenith season, 1968, Cosworth produced a Tasman variant of its legendary DFV V8, known as the DFW, BRM equipped its cars with a reduced capacity version of their F1 V12. In 1969 both Lotus and Ferrari contested the series with two cars teams, Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill in Lotus 49BTs and Chris Amon and Derek Bell in 2.4 Dino V6 cars which used F2 chassis fitted with modernised versions of the late 1950s F1 Dino engine. Piers Courage challenged the work teams in a Frank Williams Cosworth 2.5 BT24 Brabham which beat the Lotus and Ferrari teams at Teretonga in New Zealand. For the Tasman Series, F1's "return to power", coupled to increasing costs, reduced the cachet of its Antipodean sister and after 1969 teams became unwilling to invest significant funds into what many perceived as a lesser championship. Only one Cosworth DFW 2.5 powered car appeared in the 1970 and 1971 Tasman series, Bell driving an uncompetitive Goodyear shod Wheatcroft Brabham BT26 in 3 rounds in 1970 and Amon and fellow Kiwi David Oxton each contesting 2 rounds of 1971 series in the ex Andretti March 701.
In an attempt to reduce costs, the Tasman Formula was extended to incorporate Formula 5000 cars from 1970 and the limit on pure racing engines was reduced from 2.5 litres to 2.0 litres from 1972. These changes failed to contain spiralling costs and at the end of the 1975 event the series folded; the four Australian former Tasman races became the Rothmans International Series from 1976 to 1979. The four New Zealand races became the'Peter Stuyvesant Series' and after 1976 changed to Formula Pacific cars. Many high-profile local drivers from that era, such as Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon and Denny Hulme took part in their home events, but the series attracted international F1 stars like Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Jochen Rindt, Pedro Rodríguez and Jackie Stewart, who travelled the long way from Europe. For two brief years beginning in 1999 the Tasman Series was revived as a series for Formula Holden racing cars with Simon Wills and Andy Booth winning the two series held in New Zealand.
The Tasman Series is planned to be revived as part of the new Formula Thunder 5000 series. Note: values in parentheses include the results from all races, not all of which counted towards the championship. Tasman racing in New Zealand Tasman Series history 1967–1969 Tasman Series history 1970–1976
Formula Libre is a form of automobile racing allowing a wide variety of types and makes of purpose-built racing cars to compete "head to head". This can make for some interesting matchups, provides the opportunity for some compelling driving performances against superior machinery; the name translates to "Free Formula" – in Formula Libre races the only regulations govern basics such as safety equipment. In 1932, Louis Chiron won the Nice Grand Prix aboard a Bugatti T51 followed just 3.4 seconds behind by Raymond Sommer in an Alfa Romeo Monza with third place going to René Dreyfus in a Bugatti T51. In 1933, the race was won by Tazio Nuvolari in a Maserati 8C, followed by René Dreyfus in his Bugatti and Guy Moll in an Alfa Romeo Monza. In 1934, the race was again won by an Italian in an Alfa Romeo Tipo B, none other than the best driver of the season, Achille Varzi; the last season to feature a Grand Prix at Nice was in 1935, when the Alfa Romeo Tipo Bs dominated the circuit in the hands of Tazio Nuvolari and Louis Chiron, who placed second, René Dreyfus, who took third.
Most the British Open Single Seaters Formula has spawned EuroBOSS and USBOSS equivalents, signalling the re-emergence of Formula Libre events. Racing purists have come to embrace Formula Libre as an alternative to the increasing preponderance of spec racing series, a number of competitors' vehicles are cars orphaned by discontinued spec series. Formula Libre has provided some ambitious young drivers with an alternative to series with higher competitive costs and lower performance. Most the UK's British Racing Drivers' Club awarded their Rising Star award to 2004 EuroBOSS Champion Scott Mansell; the concept is arguably the oldest in motor racing: Grand Prix racing adopted Formule Libre beginning in 1928. Formula Libre racing is very popular in South Africa. Germany's Interserie runs as a Formula Libre, mixing single-seat formula cars with sports racing prototypes; the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course hosted a Formula Libre race from 1958 through 1960 as a prelude to becoming the home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix.
USAC held a famous Formula Libre race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1962. Formula Libre is a popular class in vintage racing. Lime Rock Park held a famous Formula Libre race in 1959, where Rodger Ward shocked the expensive and exotic sports cars by beating them on the road course in an Offenhauser powered midget car considered competitive for oval tracks only. 1971's Questor Grand Prix was a well-attended inter-series race between Formula One, Formula 5000, ChampCar teams, featuring top drivers at California's Ontario Motor Speedway. The Rothmans 50000 race in 1972 permitted any kind of single-seater or sports-racer in a 300-mile race at Brands Hatch, competing for a £50,000 prize fund. Most of the grid consisted of Formula One and Formula 5000 cars, with some Formula Two machinery and the odd, more exotic vehicle. Formula Libre races closed the programme at British club meetings in the 1970s, allowing not only cars that didn't suit any of the classes racing that day to run but giving drivers of formula cars another chance to race
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing first codified in 1948. It was replaced in 1985 by Formula 3000, but revived by the FIA from 2009–2012 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship; the name returned in 2017. While Formula One has been regarded as the pinnacle of open-wheeled auto racing, the high-performance nature of the cars and the expense involved in the series has always meant a need for a path to reach this peak. For much of the history of Formula One, Formula Two has represented the penultimate step on the motorsport ladder. Prior to the Second World War, there existed a division of racing for cars smaller and less powerful than Grand Prix racers; this category was called voiturette racing and provided a means for amateur or less experienced drivers and smaller marques to prove themselves. By the outbreak of war, the rules for voiturette racing permitted 1.5 L supercharged engines. In 1946, the 3.0 L supercharged rules were abandoned and Formulae A and B introduced.
Formula A permitted the old 4.5 L aspirated cars, but as the 3.0 L supercharged cars were more than a match for these, the old 1.5 L voiturette formula replaced 3.0 L supercharged cars in an attempt to equalise performance. This left no category below Formula A/Formula One, so Formula Two was first formally codified in 1948 by FIA as a smaller and cheaper complement to the Grand Prix cars of the era. Among the races held in this first year of Formula Two was the 1948 Stockholm Grand Prix; the rules limited engines to two-litre aspirated or 750 cc supercharged. As a result, the cars were smaller and cheaper than those used in Formula One; this encouraged new marques such as Cooper to move up to Formula Two, before competing against the big manufacturers of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. In fact, Formula One in its early years attracted so few entrants that in 1952 and 1953 all World Championship Grand Prix races, except the unique Indianapolis 500, were run in Formula Two. F2 went into decline with the arrival of the 2.5 L F1 in 1954, but a new Formula Two was introduced for 1957, for 1.5 L cars.
This became dominated by rear-engined Coopers drawing on their Formula 3 and'Bobtail' sports car, with Porsches based on their RSK sports cars enjoying some success. Ferrari developed their'Sharknose' Dino 156 as a Formula Two car, while still racing front-engined Grand Prix cars; the dominant engine of this formula was the Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder, with the rare Borgward sixteen-valve unit enjoying some success. A enlarged version of the F2 Cooper won the first two Formula One Grands Prix in 1958, marking the beginning of the rear-engined era in Formula One; the 1.5 L formula was short-lived, with Formula Junior replacing first Formula Three and Formula Two until 1963—but the 1961 1.5 L Formula One was a continuation of this Formula Two. Formula Junior was introduced in 1959, an attempt to be all things to all people, it was soon realised that there was a need to split it into two new formulae. Formula Two was the domain of Formula One stars on their days off. Engines were by Cosworth and Honda, though some other units appeared, including various Fiat based units and dedicated racing engines from BMC and BRM.
For 1967, the FIA increased the maximum engine capacity to 1600cc. With the "return to power" of Formula One the gap between Formula One and Formula Two was felt to be too wide, the introduction of new 1600cc production-based engine regulations for Formula Two restored the category to its intended role as a feeder series for Formula One; the FIA introduced the European Formula Two Championship in 1967. Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the inaugural championship by 11 points from the Australian, Frank Gardner; the most popular 1600cc engine was the Cosworth FVA, the sixteen-valve head on a four-cylinder Cortina block, the "proof of concept" for the legendary DFV. The 1967 FVA gave 220 bhp at 9000 rpm. Other units appeared, including a four-cylinder BMW and a V6 Dino Ferrari. Many Formula One drivers continued to drive the smaller and lighter cars on non-championship weekends, some Grand Prix grids would be a mix of Formula One and Formula Two cars. Jacky Ickx made his Grand Prix debut there in a Formula Two car, qualifying with the fifth fastest time overall.
Forced to start behind the slower Formula One cars, Ickx forced his way back into a points position, only to be forced to retire with broken suspension. Jim Clark, regarded as one of the greatest race drivers of all time, was killed in a Formula Two race early in 1968, at the Hockenheimring; the "invasion" of Formula One drivers in Formula Two ranks was permitted because of the unique grad
Repco is an Australian automotive engineering/retailer company. Its name is an abbreviation of Replacement Parts Company and it is best known for spare parts and motor accessories; the company gained fame for developing the engines that powered the Brabham Formula One cars in which Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme won the 1966 and 1967 World Championship of Drivers titles respectively. Brabham-Repco was awarded the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers in the same two years. Repco runs a series of stores across Australia and New Zealand specialising in the sale of parts and aftermarket accessories; the company was founded by Robert Geoffrey Russell in 1922 and first traded under the name Automotive Grinding Company, from premises in Collingwood, Victoria. It has over 2,000 employees in 400 stores. Repco was a publicly traded company being first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1937, before being acquired by Pacific Dunlop in 1988, it was again listed in 2003. From 1 July 2013, the entire Exego group were all acquired by GPC Asia Pacific.
As at the end of 2013 Repco Australia has 295 Stores, Repco New Zealand has 81 Repco Stores and an additional 10 Appco Stores. In 1964 the Australian/New Zealand Tasman Series was created with a 2500cc capacity limit applied to engines. Jack Brabham approached Repco to develop a suitable engine, together they decided to base the SOHC design on Oldsmobile Jetfire 215 ci block with six cylinder-head studs per cylinder. Combined with a short stroke flat-plane crankshaft, Repco designed cylinder heads and two-stage chain/gear cam drive, a 2.5L engine was built in 1965 with its cylinder head cast by Commonwealth Aircraft. In 1963 the international motor racing body, the FIA, announced that the maximum engine capacity for the Formula One category would be doubled to three litres to start from the 1966 season. Despite calls for a "return to power" having been made, few teams were prepared as the main engine supplier in the UK, Coventry Climax, decided to get out of race engine building. Jack Brabham exploited his existing relationship with Australian automotive components manufacturer Repco.
He proposed they design and build a 3L version of the 2.5L engine by using a longer stroke flat-plane crankshaft. The Repco board agreed to his proposal in light of the expected rival 2.75 L Coventry Climax'FPF' DOHC engine being of four-cylinder configuration deemed to be near-obsolete, the plan to build the Cosworth DFV was not known yet. A small team under Repco Chief Engineer and General Manager of Repco Brabham, Frank Hallam, developed the F1 engine, fitted with two valves per cylinder SOHC heads from the 2.5L version. The first advantage of this Repco 620 V8 was its compact size and lightness, which allowed it to be bolted into an existing 1.5-litre Formula One chassis. With no more than 310 bhp, the Repco was by far the least powerful of the new 3-litre engines, but unlike the others it was frugal and compact. Unlike the others, it was reliable and due to low weight and power, the strain on chassis, suspension and tyres was low; this engine being based on British/American Rover V8 /Buick 215 block is a common misconception.
The Oldsmobile version of this engine, although sharing the same basic architecture, had cylinder heads and angled valve covers designed by Oldsmobile engineers to look like a traditional Olds V8 and was produced on a separate assembly line. Oldsmobile's intention to produce a higher powered, turbo-charged Jetfire version led to significant differences from the Buick 215 in cylinder head design: Buick used a 5-bolt pattern around each cylinder where Oldsmobile used a 6-bolt pattern; the sixth bolt was added to the intake manifold side of the head, one extra bolt for each cylinder, meant to alleviate a head-warping problem on high-compression versions. This meant that Buick heads would fit on Oldsmobile blocks, but not vice versa. Changing the compression ratio on an Oldsmobile 215 required changing the heads, but on a Buick 215, only the pistons, less expensive and simpler. GM's use of parts diagrams drawn for Oldsmobile in Buick parts catalog showing a six-stud cylinder block sowed further confusion.
Rover versions of the aluminum block and subsequent Buick iron small blocks went to a 4-bolt-per-cylinder pattern. In 1966, the Repco engine was good enough to score three poles for Jack Brabham. In his one-off BT19, it helped him get four consecutive wins and both titles in the nine-races long season, a unique accomplishment for a driver and constructor; this was his third title. The 2,995.58 cc V8 Repco had a bore and stroke of 3.50 x 2.375". It gave about 285 bhp. A test bed figure of 315 bhp at 7,800 rpm with 230 lb⋅ft torque at 6,500 rpm was obtained. In race trim, about 299 bhp was available. In 1967, the bore and stroke remained unaltered. In that year, 330 bhp bhp at 8,500 rpm was quoted. A test-bed figure of 327 bhp at 8,300 rpm was recorded. For 1968, a 32-valve version with 400 bhp at 9,500 rpm was planned. Only about 380 bhp at 9,000 rpm was achieved. In 1967 the competition had made progress. Repco produced a new version of the 700 series, this time with a Repco designed block. Brabham scored two poles early in the year, but the new Ford Cosworth DFV V8 appeared in the Lotus 49, setting a new pace with its 410 hp at 9,000 rpm, with Jim Clark and Graham
1957 Australian Drivers' Championship
The 1957 Australian Drivers' Championship was a CAMS-sanctioned Australian motor racing title for drivers of Formula Libre cars. The championship was contested over a nine race series with the winner awarded the 1957 CAMS Gold Star, it was the first Australian Drivers' Championship and the first motor racing title to be decided over a series of races at Australian circuits. The series was won by Victorian racer Lex Davison driving a Ferrari 500/625. Davison dominated the championship, winning six of the nine races, including the series-opening 1957 Australian Grand Prix, to finish 19 points ahead of Tom Hawkes; the other drivers to win races were Arnold Glass and Stan Jones. The championship was contested over a nine race series. Championship points were awarded on an 8-5-3-2-1 basis for the first five places at each race. At the Australian Grand Prix race at Caversham Lex Davison shared the winning car with Bill Patterson and championship points were allotted in proportion to the laps driven by each.
The championship was referred to by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport at the time as "The CAMS Gold Star". However the actual Gold Star medallion was inscribed with the words "Champion Australian Driver" and historical records published by CAMS use the term "Australian Drivers’ Championship". CAMS Gold Star Award, Points score up to and including Wakefield Trophy, Australian Motor Sports, November 1957, page 445 First Gold Star, Australian Motor Sports, January 1958, page 7