Mécanique Aviation Traction or Matra was a French company covering a wide range of activities related to automobiles, bicycles and weaponry. In 1994, it now operates under that name. Matra was owned by the Floirat family; the name Matra became famous in the 1960s when it went into car production by buying Automobiles René Bonnet. Matra Automobiles produced successful racing sports cars. By merging with various companies, Matra's CEO, Jean-Luc Lagardère, built a group around Matra diversified in media, state of the art technology, aeronautics and in automobiles and records production and distribution. Matra was privatized in 1988, with Lagardère holding 6% of the stock and by 1992, 25%. In 1992 the Lagardère Group was radically restructured. Lagardère merged Matra and Hachette to form Matra Hachette, of which Lagardère Group held 37.6%. Following a share swap in 1994 Lagardère held 93.3% of Matra Hachette's stock. In 1996 Matra Hachette was formally merged into Lagardère. Matra Hautes Technologies was the defence arm of Matra.
The company was involved in aerospace and telecommunications. In February 1999 MHT merged with Aérospatiale to form Aérospatiale-Matra. On July 10, 2000 Aérospatiale-Matra became part of EADS. Matra Défense Matra Systèmes & Information Matra BAe Dynamics, formed in 1996, Matra BAe Dynamics brought together the missile business of BAe and half of the missile business of Matra Défense.. Matra Marconi Space, was the space division of Matra which merged with the space operations of GEC in 1989 to form Matra Marconi Space. In 2000, it was merged with the space division of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG to form Astrium; this was renamed to EADS Astrium. Matra Nortel Communications R.511 air to air missiles R.530 air to air missiles Super 530 air to air missiles R.550 Magic air to air missiles MICA air to air missiles R.422 surface to air missiles Mistral anti-aircraft missiles Martel anti-radar and anti-shipping missiles in association with Hawker Siddeley ARMAT anti-radar missiles Otomat anti-shipping missiles in association with Oto Melara BLG 66 Belouga cluster bombs Durandal anti-runway bombs Pods for the SNEB unguided rocket The company was created following the acquisition of the brand Automobiles René Bonnet in 1964 by Jean-Luc Lagardere and disappeared in 2003 The Matra name was first used for road cars with the Renault-powered Matra Djet, an update of the Bonnet Jet, the Djet was replaced with the Matra 530, the Murena and the Rancho, an early type of sport utility vehicle.
In 1984 Renault launched the Matra built Espace minivan, the car was a success. After the discontinuation of the Renault Avantime, on February 27, 2003, Matra announced its intention to close its automobile factory in Romorantin-Lanthenay a month later. In September 2003, Pininfarina SpA acquired Matra Automobile's engineering and prototype businesses; the company was subsequently named Matra Automobile Engineering. On January 13, 2009, Pininfarina sold its share in Matra Automobile Engineering to Segula Technologies. Matra Djet Matra 530 Matra Bagheera Matra Murena Matra Rancho Renault Espace Renault Avantime In the mid-1960s Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and Formula 2 racing with its MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships. Matra competed as a constructor in Formula One from 1967 to 1972 and as an engine supplier between 1975 to 1982, winning the drivers' and constructors' championships in 1969. Matra competed in sports car racing from 1966 to 1974 winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, 1973 and 1974 and the World Championship for Makes in 1973 and 1974.
Matra sponsored Racing Club de France in 1987~1989 Matra produced a home computer, the Matra Alice Matra produced a fiberglass 14 ft sailing dinghy with an innovative double bottom, self-bailing hull called the Capricorne. Though several hundred were sold and a class association existed, it never caught on against the better established International 420. Matra created an automatic light rubber-tyred metro, the Véhicule Automatique Léger Matra attempted, failed, to produce a personal rapid transit system, Aramis Matra makes electric bicycles and electric scooters Matra i-step Runner and Force as well as Matra i-flow in Romorantin. Official website matraclub.com matra-automobile.com History of Renault Espace includes opinions about demise of Matra
The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, a much longer Nordschleife "North loop" track, built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains; the north loop is 20.8 km long and has more than 300 metres of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track "The Green Hell"; the track featured four configurations: the 28.265 km -long Gesamtstrecke, which in turn consisted of the 22.810 km Nordschleife, the 7.747 km Südschleife. There was a 2.281 km warm-up loop called Zielschleife or Betonschleife, around the pit area. Between 1982 and 1983 the start/finish area was demolished to create a new GP-Strecke, this is used for all major and international racing events. However, the shortened Nordschleife is still in use for racing and public access. In the early 1920s, ADAC Eifelrennen races were held on public roads in the Eifel mountains.
This was soon recognised as dangerous. The construction of a dedicated race track was proposed, following the examples of Italy's Monza and Targa Florio courses, Berlin's AVUS, yet with a different character; the layout of the circuit in the mountains was similar to the Targa Florio event, one of the most important motor races at that time. The original Nürburgring was to be a showcase for racing talent. Construction of the track, designed by the Eichler Architekturbüro from Ravensburg, began in September 1925; the track was completed in spring of 1927, the ADAC Eifelrennen races were continued there. The first races to take place on 18 June 1927 showed sidecars; the first motorcycle race was won by Toni Ulmen on an English 350 cc Velocette. The cars followed a day and Rudolf Caracciola was the winner of the over 5000 cc class in a Mercedes-Benz Compressor. In addition, the track was opened to the public in the evenings and on weekends, as a one-way toll road; the whole track consisted of 174 bends, averaged 8 to 9 metres in width.
The fastest time around the full Gesamtstrecke was by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 112.31 km/h in his Bugatti. In 1929 the full Nürburgring was used for the last time in major racing events, as future Grands Prix would be held only on the Nordschleife. Motorcycles and minor races used the shorter and safer Südschleife. Memorable pre-war races at the circuit featured the talents of early Ringmeister such as Rudolf Caracciola, Tazio Nuvolari and Bernd Rosemeyer. After World War II, racing resumed in 1947 and in 1951, the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring again became the main venue for the German Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship. A new group of Ringmeister arose to dominate the race – Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx. On 5 August 1961, during practice for the 1961 German Grand Prix, Phil Hill became the first person to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in under 9 minutes, with a lap of 8 minutes 55.2 seconds in the Ferrari 156 "Sharknose" Formula One car.
Over half a century even the highest performing road cars still have difficulty breaking 8 minutes without a professional race driver or one familiar with the track. Several rounds of the German motorcycle Grand Prix were held on the 7.7 km Südschleife, but the Hockenheimring and the Solitudering were the main sites for Grand Prix motorcycle racing. In 1953, the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring race was introduced, an Endurance race and Sports car racing event that counted towards the World Sportscar Championship for decades; the 24 Hours Nürburgring for touring car racing was added in 1970. By the late 1960s, the Nordschleife and many other tracks were becoming dangerous for the latest generation of F1 cars. In 1967, a chicane was added before the start/finish straight, called Hohenrain, in order to reduce speeds at the pit lane entry; this made the track 25 m longer. This change, was not enough to keep Stewart from nicknaming it "The Green Hell" following his victory in the 1968 German Grand Prix amid a driving rainstorm and thick fog.
In 1970, after the fatal crash of Piers Courage at Zandvoort, the F1 drivers decided at the French Grand Prix to boycott the Nürburgring unless major changes were made, as they did at Spa the year before. The changes were not possible on short notice, the German GP was moved to the Hockenheimring, modified. In accordance with the demands of the F1 drivers, the Nordschleife was reconstructed by taking out some bumps, smoothing out some sudden jumps, installing Armco safety barriers; the track was made straighter, following the race line. The German GP could be hosted at the Nürburgring again, was for another six years from 1971 to 1976. In 1973 the entrance into the dangerous and bumpy Kallenhard corner was made slower by adding another left-hand corner after the fast Metzgesfeld sweeping corner. Safety was improved again on, e.g. by removing the jumps on the long main straight and widening it, taking away the bushes right next to the track at the main straight, which had made that section of the Nürburgring dangerously narrow.
A second series of three more F1 races was held until 1976. Howe
Jacques Bernard "Jacky" Ickx is a Belgian former racing driver who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times, achieved eight wins and 25 podium finishes in Formula One. He won the Can-Am Championship in 1979 and is a former winner of the Dakar Rally. Ickx twice finished as championship runner-up in Formula One, in the consecutive years of 1969 and 1970, he won the majority of his races for Scuderia Ferrari, for which he was the team's leading driver for several seasons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Ickx was introduced to motorsports when he was taken by his father, motoring journalist Jacques Ickx, to races which he covered. Despite this family background, Ickx had limited interest in the sport until his father bought him a 50 cc Zündapp motorcycle, he began to compete in motorcycle trials and demonstrated impressive talent when he defeated future motocross world champion Roger De Coster in the Belgian 50 cc trials national championship. Soon afterwards, Ickx won 8 of 13 races at the European 50 cc trials title.
He took another two titles before he moved to racing a Lotus Cortina in touring car racing, taking his national saloon car championship in 1965, as well as winning the Spa 24 Hours race in 1966 driving a BMW 2000TI. He competed in sports car races where he had significant experience from taking part in the 1000 km races at the Nürburgring. Ickx entered his first Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in 1966, driving a Matra MS5-Cosworth one-litre Formula Two car, entered by Ken Tyrrell. However, a first lap collision with John Taylor caused both cars to retire and Taylor died as a result of burns received in the accident. In 1967, Ickx again drove at the Nurburgring, with an F2 Matra MS7-Cosworth 1.6-litre entered by Tyrrell. Despite the greater power of the Formula One cars, only two drivers qualified with a faster time than Ickx: Denny Hulme and Jim Clark; as Ickx was racing in the separate F2 class, he started the race behind all of the Formula One cars, but within four laps of the 28 km circuit he was up to fifth place, having overtaken 12 Formula One cars.
He was forced to retire after 12 laps with broken front suspension, but set fastest lap of the F2 runners. At Monza in 1967, he made his Formula One debut in a Cooper T81B-Maserati, finishing sixth, despite suffering a puncture on the last lap, he drove for Cooper in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen but retired on lap 45 with overheating. In 1968 Ickx drove in Formula 1 for Ferrari, he retired from his first two races, but at his home race at Spa-Francorchamps he started from the front row and finished third. At the French Grand Prix at Rouen he took his first win, in heavy rain. Ickx finished third at Brands Hatch and fourth at the Nürburgring after driving the entire race in heavy rain without his helmet visor. At Monza he finished the race in third position. In Canada he crashed and broke his left leg during practice, thus did not start and missed the subsequent United States Grand Prix, he returned in time for the final race of the season in Mexico. Ickx scored 27 points in the 1968 Formula One season finishing in fourth place behind Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and Hulme.
In 1969, Ickx moved to Brabham at the instigation of the John Wyer team for whom he'd had considerable success in sports cars. Wyer's main sponsor, Gulf Oil were keen to ensure that they retained his services rather than lose him to Ferrari's sports car team, his first results at Brabham were poor, but after Jack Brabham broke his foot in a testing accident, Ickx's results improved: Alan Henry suggests that Ickx performed better with the whole team focussed on him. Ickx finished third in France, second in Great Britain and won in Canada and in Germany at the Nürburgring, where he took pole position and fastest lap, in the last Formula One race there before'The Ring' was made less bumpy and dangerous. In the 1969 Mexican Grand Prix Ickx finished second and ended the year as runner-up in the drivers' world championship, behind Stewart, he returned to the Ferrari team for the 1970 season, a move he had been considering since the Italian Grand Prix. As in 1969, Ickx had a disappointing start to the 1970 season.
On the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix he collided with the BRM of Jackie Oliver and his car caught fire. It took at least 20 seconds for him to leave the burning car and he was hospitalized with severe burns. After 17 days he was back in his car at the Monaco Grand Prix, where he ran fifth before retiring with a driveshaft failure; the car started to improve and at the German Grand Prix he fought with Jochen Rindt for the win, but finished a close second. At the Austrian Grand Prix it was Ickx. At Monza, Rindt died in an accident during qualifying. Ickx was the only driver with a chance to take the championship from Rindt who had won five of nine races in that season, with four more to go. Monza saw a win by Ferrari teammate Clay Regazzoni; the Belgian took the win at Canada but in the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen he only finished fourth, with Emerson Fittipaldi scoring his first win for Lotus as well as the Championships for the team and his late teammate. Despite winning the last race in Mexico, Ickx could not beat Rindt's points total.
Ickx stated in a 2011 article in the British magazine Motor Sport, that he was glad he did not win the 1970 World Championship. He did not want to win against a man who could not defend his chances, referring to the deceased Rindt. In 1971, Ickx and Ferrari started as favourites, but the championship went to Jackie Stewart with the new Tyrrell. Ferrari traditionally started the season with it
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is an association established on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. To the general public, the FIA is known as the governing body for many auto racing events; the FIA promotes road safety around the world. Headquartered at 8 Place de la Concorde, the FIA consists of 246 member organisations in 145 countries worldwide, its current president is Jean Todt. The FIA is known by its French name or initials in non-French-speaking countries, but is rendered as International Automobile Federation, its most prominent role is in the licensing and sanctioning of Formula One, World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship and various forms of sports car and touring car racing. The FIA along with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme certify land speed record attempts; the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the federation in 2011, granted full recognition in 2013. The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus was founded in Paris on 20 June 1904, as an association of national motor clubs.
The association was designed to represent the interests of motor car users, as well as to oversee the burgeoning international motor sport scene. In 1922, the AIACR delegated the organisation of automobile racing to the Commission Sportive Internationale, which would set the regulations for international Grand Prix motor racing; the European Drivers' Championship was introduced in 1931, a title awarded to the driver with the best results in the selected Grands Prix. Upon the resumption of motor racing after the Second World War, the AIACR was renamed the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the FIA established a number of new racing categories, among them Formulas One and Two, created the first World Championship, the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, in 1950. The CSI determined the regulations for holding Grands Prix and selected the races that formed part of the World Championships – a World Sportscar Championship was established in 1953 – but the organisers of the individual races were responsible for accepting entries, paying prize money, the general running of each event.
In Formula One, this led to tension between the teams, which formed themselves into the Formula One Constructors Association founded in 1974, event organisers and the CSI. The FIA and CSI were amateur organisations, FOCA under the control of Bernie Ecclestone began to take charge of various aspects of organising the events, as well as setting terms with race organisers for the arrival of teams and the amount of prize money; this led to the FIA President Prince Metternich attempting to reassert its authority by appointing Jean-Marie Balestre as the head of the CSI, who promptly reformed the committee into the autonomous Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile. Under Balestre's leadership FISA and the manufacturer-backed teams became involved in a dispute with FOCA; the conflict saw several races being cancelled or boycotted, large-scale disagreement over the technical regulations and their enforcement. The dispute and the Concorde Agreement, written to end it, would have significant ramifications for the FIA.
The agreement led to FOCA acquiring commercial rights over Formula One, while FISA and the FIA would have control over sport's regulations. FOCA chief Bernie Ecclestone became an FIA Vice-President with control over promoting the FIA's World Championships, while FOCA legal advisor and former March Engineering manager Max Mosley would end up becoming FISA President in 1991. Mosley succeeded Balestre as President of the FIA in 1993 and restructured the organisation, dissolving FISA and placing motor racing under the direct management of the FIA. Following the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, the FIA formed an Expert Advisory Safety Committee to research and improve safety in motor racing. Chaired by Formula One medical chief Professor Sid Watkins, the committee worked with the Motor Industry Research Association to strengthen the crash resistance of cars and the restraint systems and to improve the drivers personal safety; the recommendations of the committee led to more stringent crash tests for racing vehicles, new safety standards for helmets and race suits, the eventual introduction of the HANS device as compulsory in all international racing series.
The committee worked on improving circuit safety. This led to a number of changes at motor racing circuits around the world, the improvement of crash barriers and trackside medical procedures; the FIA was a founder member of the European New Car Assessment Programme, a car safety programme that crash-tests new models and publishes safety reports on vehicles. Mosley was the first chairman of the organisation; the FIA helped establish the Latin NCAP and Global NCAP. The Competition Directorate of the European Commission and the FIA were involved in a dispute over the commercial administration of motorsport during the 1990s; the Competition Commissioner, Karel Van Miert had received a number of complaints from television companies and motorsport promoters in 1997 that the FIA had been abusing its position as motorsport's governing body. Van Miert's initial inquiry had not concluded by 1999, which resulted in the FIA suing the European Commission, alleging that the delay was causing damaging uncertainty, receiving an apology from the Commission over the leaking of documents relating to the case.
Mario Monti took over as Commissioner in 1999, the European
The Tyrrell Racing Organisation was an auto racing team and Formula One constructor founded by Ken Tyrrell which started racing in 1958 and started building its own cars in 1970. The team experienced its greatest success in the early 1970s, when it won three Drivers' Championships and one Constructors' Championship with Jackie Stewart; the team never reached such heights again, although it continued to win races through the 1970s and into the early 1980s, taking the final win for the Ford Cosworth DFV engine at Detroit in 1983. The team was bought by British American Tobacco in 1997 and completed its final season as Tyrrell in 1998. Tyrrell Racing first came into being in 1958, running Formula Three cars for Ken Tyrrell and local stars. Realising he was not racing driver material, Ken Tyrrell stood down as a driver in 1959, began to run a Formula Junior operation using the woodshed owned by his family business, Tyrrell Brothers, as a workshop. Throughout the 1960s, Tyrrell moved through the lower formulas, variously giving single seater debuts to John Surtees and Jacky Ickx.
But the team's most famous partnership was the one forged with Jackie Stewart, who first signed up in 1963. Tyrrell ran the BRM Formula Two operation throughout 1965, 1966 and 1967 whilst Stewart was signed to the Formula One team. Tyrrell signed a deal to run Formula Two cars made by French company Matra. With the help of Elf and Ford, Tyrrell achieved his dream of moving to Formula One in 1968 as team principal for Matra International, a joint-venture established between Tyrrell's own team and the French auto manufacturer Matra. Stewart was a serious contender, winning three Grands Prix in the Tyrrell-run Matra MS10; the car's most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks. These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg lighter while still being stronger than its competitors; the FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970, insisting on rubber bag-tanks. For the 1969 championship, the Matra works team decided not to compete in Formula One.
Matra would instead focus its efforts on Ken Tyrrell's'Matra International' team and build a new DFV powered car with structural fuel tanks though it would only be eligible for a single season. Stewart won the 1969 title driving the new Cosworth-powered Matra MS80 which corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10. Stewart's title was the first won by a French car, the only one won by a car built in France as well as by a car entered by a privateer team, it was a spectacular achievement from the British team and the French constructor that both had only entered Formula One the previous year. For the 1970 season following Matra's merger with Simca, Tyrrell were asked by Matra to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth. Simca was a subsidiary of a rival of Ford. Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV; as a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, Ken Tyrrell had little alternative but to buy a March 701 chassis as interim solution while developing his own car in secret.
Tyrrell was still sponsored by French fuel company Elf, Tyrrell would retain the traditional French blue racing colours for most of the rest of its existence. Tyrrell and Stewart ran the March-Fords throughout 1970 with mixed success, while Derek Gardner worked on the first in-house Tyrrell Grand Prix car at the woodshed in Ockham, Surrey; the Tyrrell 001, which bore much resemblance to the MS80, emerged at the end of 1970. It earned Stewart a pole position in the Canadian GP but suffered mechanical failures in all of its 3 race starts; the nearly identical Tyrrell 003 won both Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in 1971, with strong driving from Jackie Stewart and François Cevert. Stewart's 1972 challenge was ruined by a stomach ulcer, but he returned to full fitness in 1973, he and Cevert finishing 4th in the Championship. Tragedy struck on 6 October 1973, as Cevert was killed in practice for the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Stewart, to retire at the end of the season, Tyrrell stood down handing the Constructors' title to Lotus.
At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision, made before the US Grand Prix. Without their star driver or his skilled French protégé aboard, Tyrrell were never serious World Championship contenders again. Despite this, the team remained a force throughout the 1970s, winning races with Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler. Most notable of these was Scheckter's triumph at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix, giving Tyrrell a 1–2 finish driving the distinctive Derek Gardner designed Tyrrell P34 car; the P34 was the first successful six-wheeler F1 car, which replaced the conventional front wheels with smaller wheels mounted in banks of two on either side of the car. The design was abandoned after Goodyear refused to develop the small tyres needed for the car as they were too busy fighting the other tyre manufacturers in Formula One. Ken Tyrrell had been spending a lot of his own money running his team, but in the summer of 1979 he found a sponsor: Italian appliance manufacturing group Candy put up the money to run the 009, fielded by Jarier and Pironi.
In 1977, the Turbo era dawned in Grand Prix racing, which was, by the mid-1980s, to render normally-aspirated-engined cars obsolete. Without the proper funding, Tyrrell was the last to race with the Cosworth DFV when all other teams had switched to turbocharged engines, it was the beginning of two decades of struggle for Tyrrell, underfunded through lack of sponsorship. It seemed appropriate
Group 5 (racing)
Group 5 was an FIA motor racing classification, applied to four distinct categories during the years 1966 to 1982. Group 5 regulations defined a Special Touring Car category and from 1970 to 1971 the classification was applied to limited production Sports Cars restricted to 5 litre engine capacity; the Group 5 Sports Car category was redefined in 1972 to exclude the minimum production requirement and limit engine capacity to 3 litres. From 1976 to 1982 Group 5 was for Special Production Cars, a liberal silhouette formula based on homologated production vehicles. In 1966 the FIA introduced a number of new racing categories including one for modified touring cars known as Group 5 Special Touring Cars; the regulations permitted vehicle modifications beyond those allowed in the concurrent Group 1 and Group 2 Touring Car categories. Group 5 regulations were adopted for the British Saloon Car Championship from 1966 and for the European Touring Car Championship from 1968; the Special Touring Cars category was discontinued after the 1969 season.
For the 1970 season, the FIA applied the Group 5 classification to the Sports Car class, known as Group 4 Sports Cars. The minimum production requirement remained at 25 and the engine capacity maximum at 5 litres as had applied in the superseded Group 4. Group 5 Sports Cars contested the FIA's International Championship for Makes in 1970 & 1971, alongside the 3 litre Group 6 Prototype Sports Cars. During 1970 the FIA decided to replace the existing Group 5 Sports Car category when the rules expired at the end of the 1971 season, so the big 917s and 512s would have to be retired at the end of that year. Ferrari decided to give up any official effort with the 512 in order to prepare for the new 1972 season regulations, but many 512s were still raced by most of them converted to M specification. As a result of the rule change, sports car racing popularity suffered and did not recover until the following decade, with the advent of Group C which incidentally were forced out of competition in favour of the 3.5 atmo engine formula, reminiscent of events nineteen years previous.
In an effort to reduce the speeds generated at Le Mans and other fast circuits of the day by the unlimited capacity Group 6 Prototypes such as the 7 litre Fords, to entice manufacturers of 3 litre Formula One engines into endurance racing, the Commission Sportive Internationale announced that the new International Championship for Makes would be run for Group 6 Sports-Prototypes limited to 3 litre capacity for the four years from 1968 through 1971. Well-aware that few manufacturers were ready to take up the challenge, the CSI allowed the participation of 5 litre Group 4 Sports Cars manufactured in quantities of at least 50 units; this targeted existing cars like the newer Lola T70 coupe. In April 1968, the CSI announced that, as there were still too few entries in the 3 litres Group 6 Prototype category, the minimal production figure to compete in the Group 4 Sport category of the International Championship of Makes would be reduced from 50 to 25 starting in 1969 through to the planned end of the rules in 1971.
This was to allow the homologation in Group 4 of cars such as the Ferrari 250 LM and the Lola T70 which had not been manufactured in sufficient quantities to qualify. Starting in July 1968, Porsche made a surprising and expensive effort to take advantage of this rule; as they were rebuilding race cars with new chassis every race or two anyway, they decided to conceive and build 25 versions of a whole new car for the Sport category with one underlying goal: to win its first overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In only ten months the Porsche 917 was developed, based upon the Porsche 908, with remarkable technology: Porsche's first 12-cylinder engine, many components made of titanium and exotic alloys, developed for lightweight hillclimb racers. Other ways of weight reduction were rather simple, like a gear lever knob made of Balsa wood; when Porsche was first visited by the CSI inspectors only three cars were completed, while 18 were being assembled and seven additional sets of parts were present.
Porsche argued that if they assembled the cars they would have to take them apart again to prepare the cars for racing. The inspectors asked to see 25 assembled and working cars. On April 20 Ferdinand Piëch displayed 25 917s parked in front of the Porsche factory to the CSI inspectors. Piëch offered the opportunity to drive one of the cars, declined. During June 1969, Enzo Ferrari sold half of his stock to FIAT, used some of that money to do what Porsche did 6 months earlier with the 917, to build 25 cars powered by a 5-litre V12 in order to compete against them. With the financial help of Fiat, that risky investment was made, surplus cars were intended to be sold to racing customers to compete for the 1970 season. Within 9 months Ferrari manufactured 25 512S cars. Ferrari entries only consisted of the factory cars, tuned by SpA SEFAC and there were the private cars of Scuderia Filipinetti, N. A. R. T. Écurie Francorchamps, Scuderia Picchio Rosso, Gelo Racing Team and Escuderia Montjuich which not receive the same support from the factory.
They were considered as field fillers, never as candidate for a win. At Porsche, however, JWA Gulf, KG Salzburg who were replaced by Martini Racing for the following season, received all direct factory support and the privateers like AAW Shell Racing and David Piper Racing received a much better support than Ferrari's clients; the 917 instability problem was resolved with a rev
Formula Three called Formula 3 or F3, is a class of open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, South America and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for F1 hopefuls – it is the first point in a driver's career at which most drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts. F3 is regarded as a key investment in a young driver's future career. Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or a Formula One test or race seat. Formula Three evolved from postwar auto racing, with lightweight tube-frame chassis powered by 500 cc motorcycle engines; the 500 cc formula evolved in 1946 from low-cost "special" racing organised by enthusiasts in Bristol, just before the Second World War. The second post-war motor race in Britain was organised by the VSCC in July 1947 at RAF Gransden Lodge, 500cc cars being the only post-war class to run that day.
The race was a complete flop, as three of the seven entrants were non-starters, and, of the four runners, all but one were out of it in the first lap, leaving Eric Brandon in his Cooper Prototype trailing round to a virtual walk-over at the unimpressive speed of 55.79 mph, though his best lap was 65.38 mph. Cooper came to dominate the formula with mass-produced cars, the income this generated enabled the company to develop into the senior categories. Other notable marques included Kieft, JBS and Emeryson in England, Effyh and Scampolo in Europe. John Cooper, along with most other 500 builders, decided to place the engine in the middle of the car, driving the rear wheels; this was due to the practical limitations imposed by chain drive but it gave these cars exceptionally good handling characteristics which led to the mid-engined revolution in single-seater racing. The 500cc formula was the usual route into motor racing through the mid-1950s. Other notable 500 cc Formula 3 drivers include Stuart Lewis-Evans, Ivor Bueb, Jim Russell, Peter Collins, Don Parker, Ken Tyrrell, Bernie Ecclestone.
From a statistical point of view, Don Parker was the most successful F3 driver. Although coming to motor racing late in life, he won a total of 126 F3 races altogether, was described by Motor Sport magazine as "the most successful Formula 3 driver in history." Although Stirling Moss was a star by 1953, Parker beat him more than any other driver, was Formula 3 Champion in 1952, again in 1953, in 1954 he only lost the title by a half-point. He took the title for a third time in 1959. In 1954, Parker took on a young man named Norman Graham Hill as his mechanic and general assistant, gave him his first taste of competitive motorsport in a 500cc car at Brands Hatch; some years now using his middle name of Graham, this young man twice became Formula 1 World Champion. Parker retired from Formula Three after the 1959 season, chose not to move to Formula 2 or Formula 1 because of his age. However, he did race for one final season, representing Jaguar in the British Saloon Car Championships, winning at Oulton Park on June 6 in his XK150.
As a retirement gift in 1961, Jaguar's Lofty England presented him with a specially-designed 3.8 litre Jaguar Mark 2. It was claimed to be the fastest Mark 2 Jaguar had built, being tested at 140 mph on the newly opened M4 motorway in 1963. 500cc Formula Three declined at an international level during the late 1950s, although it continued at a national level into the early 60s, being eclipsed by Formula Junior for 1000 or 1100 cc cars. A one-litre Formula Three category for four-cylinder carburetted cars, with tuned production engines, was reintroduced in 1964 based on the Formula Junior rules and ran to 1970; these engines tended to rev highly and were popularly known as "screamers". The "screamer" years were dominated by Brabham and Tecno, with March beginning in 1970. Early one-litre F3 chassis tended to descend from Formula Junior designs but evolved. For 1971 new regulations allowing 1600 cc engines with a restricted air intake were introduced; the 1971–73 seasons were contested with these cars, as aerodynamics started to become important.
Two-litre engine rules were introduced for 1974, still with restricted air intakes. Today engine regulations remain unchanged in F3, a remarkable case of stability in racing regulations; as the likes of Lotus and Brabham faded from F3 to concentrate on Formula One, F3 constructors of the 1970s included Alpine, March, Modus, GRD, Ensign. By the start of the 1980s however, Formula Three had evolved well beyond its humble beginnings to something resembling the modern formula, it was seen as the main training ground for future Formula One drivers, many of them bypassing Formula Two to go straight into Grand Prix racing. The chassis became sophisticated, mirroring the more senior formulae – ground effects