Nelson Piquet Souto Maior, known as Nelson Piquet, is a Brazilian former racing driver and businessman. Since his retirement, Piquet has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers in various motorsport polls. Piquet had a brief career in tennis before losing interest in the sport and subsequently took up karting and hid his identity to prevent his father discovering his hobby, he became the Brazilian national karting champion in 1971-72 and won the Formula Vee championship in 1976. With advice from Emerson Fittipaldi, Piquet went to Europe to further success by taking the record number of wins in Formula Three in 1978, defeating Jackie Stewart's all-time record. In the same year, he made his Formula One debut with the Ensign team and drove for McLaren and Brabham. In 1979, Piquet moved to the Brabham team and finished the runner-up in 1980 before winning the championship in 1981. Piquet's poor performances in 1982 saw a resurgence for his second world championship. For 1984–85, Piquet had once again lost chances to win the championship but managed to score three wins during that period.
He was a title contender until the final round in Australia. Piquet took his third and final championship in 1987 during a heated battle with teammate Nigel Mansell which left the pair's relationship sour. Piquet subsequently moved to Lotus for 1988 -- 89, he went to the Benetton team for 1990-91 where he managed to win three races before retiring. After retiring from Formula One, Piquet tried his hand at the Indianapolis 500 for two years, he had a go at sports car racing at various points during and after his Formula One career. Piquet is retired and runs several businesses in Brazil, he manages his sons Nelson Piquet Jr. and Pedro Piquet, who are professional racing drivers. Piquet was born in Rio de Janeiro the capital of Brazil, the son of Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior, a Brazilian physician, his father moved his family to the new capital, Brasília, in 1960 and became Minister for Health in João Goulart's government. Piquet had two brothers and Geraldo, a sister Genusa. Piquet was the youngest of the children.
Piquet started kart racing at the age of 14, but because his father did not approve of his racing career, he used his mother's maiden name Piquet misspelt as Piket to hide his identity. His father wanted Piquet to be a professional tennis player and was given a scholarship at a school in Atlanta. Piquet started playing tennis at the age of 11, he won tournaments in Brazil and took a trip to California to test his skill against tougher American players. During his time, he had learned to speak English and matured, his short tennis career saw Piquet to be prized as a good player but not thought sufficiently exciting for the sport, which led him to devote his career to motor racing. Piquet dropped out of a University two years into an engineering course in 1974, he was subsequently employed in a garage to finance his career, since he had no financial support from his familyUpon returning to Brazil and three friends brought a 20 hp cart and participated in Brazilian go-karting and in the local Formula Super Vee 1976 championship, on the advice of Emerson Fittipaldi, the first Brazilian Formula One world champion who sold the chassis for the Brazilian Formula Vee champion car with his brother, he arrived in European motor sports hailed as a prodigy.
In the 1978 British Formula 3 season he broke Jackie Stewart's record of the most wins in a season. Piquet made his Formula One debut for Ensign in Germany, starting 21st only to retire on lap 31 with a broken engine. After the race, Piquet drove a McLaren of BS Fabrications in the next three races, where he left good impressions; the deal was negotiated when BS Fabrications employees met Piquet when he was driving at Brands Hatch. His best finish was ninth in Italy. For the last race in 1978, Piquet moved to the Brabham team. Piquet stayed with Brabham until 1985. In 1979, Piquet competed in his first full season in Formula One, he once again drove alongside double world champion, Niki Lauda. The season was difficult for the team, accustomed to success. Piquet retired from eleven of the fifteen races in the season, he started off his season being involved in a first-lap pile up and getting injured at the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires and crashing into Clay Regazzoni's Williams car at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
The first points of his career came at the Dutch Grand Prix. He had a huge accident at the Italian Grand Prix, but through he crashed a few times driving a semi-competitive car that had an unreliable engine, Piquet qualified in the top 5 several times- out-qualifying Lauda. 2 weeks after the Italian round, Lauda abruptly quit driving before the start of the Canadian Grand Prix, leaving Piquet as the number one driver for Brabham, leaving him and new recruit Ricardo Zunino to debut the new BT49, which had a Ford-Cosworth DFV engine. In the final race, the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Piquet started from the front row and took the fastest lap in the race showing the new BT49's considerable potential. In 1980, Piquet finished a hard-fought 2nd in Argentina behind Alan Jones.
Pierluigi Martini is an Italian former racing driver. He participated in 124 Formula One Grands Prix between 1984 and 1995. Martini's uncle, Giancarlo Martini, raced during the 1970s, including some non-championship races in a Ferrari 312T entered by Scuderia Everest, a team owned by Giancarlo Minardi. Pierluigi's younger brother, Oliver, is a racing driver. Martini participated in 124 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 9 September 1984, driving for Toleman in place of suspended Ayrton Senna at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix, he was synonymous with the Minardi team. Indeed, aside from a single outing with Toleman and a one-season dalliance with Scuderia Italia, Martini's entire Formula One career was spent with the Italian outfit, he raced with the minnow team in three different stints, drove for them on their debut in 1985, scored their first point in the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix, their only front-row start at the 1990 United States Grand Prix, their only lap leading a race in the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix, their joint-best F1 result of 4th.
Martini was one of the drivers with a reputation for ignoring blue flags. Examples given are the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix when he held up Emanuele Pirro in the Dallara, Stefano Modena in the Tyrrell, Riccardo Patrese in the Williams for several laps despite running towards the back of the field, the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix where he blocked Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari when the Austrian tried to lap him. On both occasions Martini was called in for a 10-second go penalty for ignoring blue flags. Quizzed about this attitude on the occasion of the 1995 San Marino Grand Prix, where he held up winner Damon Hill, Martini replied:'What should I apologise for? My trajectories are always clean. Should I just park the car on the grass? I'm here to do my race like anybody else. I've always been correct; those who complain about my conduct should explain why they cannot overtake me when their car has at least 150hp more than mine'. Prior to commencing his Formula One career, Martini drove a Lancia LC2 in the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After leaving Formula One, he began a successful career in sportscar racing. He contested the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche run by Joest Racing. 1997 brought a fourth-place finish in a Porsche 911 GT1 which he raced in the FIA GT Championship that year. In 1998, he joined the brand new Le Mans program of BMW Motorsports. In 1999, Yannick Dalmas and Joachim Winkelhock won the Le Mans 24 Hours; the trio drove for BMW. The team had to fight both Toyota and Mercedes works cars and won the race by a lap from the runner-up Toyota. Martini returned to motorsports in 2006, competing in the Grand Prix Masters series for retired Formula One drivers. ^ DRIVERS: PIERLUIGI MARTINI, GrandPrix.com F1 Rejects article Driver Database Stats Racing Reference Stats
1981 Formula One World Championship
The 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 35th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1981 Formula One World Championship for Drivers and the 1981 Formula One World Championship for Constructors, which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-race series that commenced on 15 March and ended on 17 October. Formula One cars contested the 1981 South African Grand Prix, although this was technically a Formula Libre race and was not part of the Formula One World Championship; the 1981 championship was the inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship, replacing both the original World Championship of Drivers and the International Cup for Constructors. Teams were now required to lodge entries for the entire championship, a standardised set of rules would be in place at every championship race, while the FIA would set the prize monies. Nelson Piquet won the Drivers' Championship, claiming the first of his three Drivers' titles, while Williams won the Constructors' Championship for the second consecutive year.
The following teams and drivers contested the 1981 FIA Formula One World Championship: The 1981 Formula One season was an extraordinary season of Grand Prix racing for many reasons: it was the first season that Briton and Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone and FOCA had the Concorde Agreement in place, which would set Formula One on a course to become a profitable business, thanks to the growing professional involvement of outside companies and professional sponsorship. The South African Grand Prix, held on 7 February at the Kyalami Circuit near Johannesburg, was supposed to be the first round of the 1981 Formula One World Championship – but it was stripped of its championship status; the ongoing FISA–FOCA war resulted in Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile insisting on a date change, not acceptable to the race organisers. Approval was given for the race to go ahead on its original date but as a Formula Libre race rather than as a round of the Formula One World Championship; the downgraded race was supported by the Formula One Constructors Association aligned teams but not by the teams of the manufacturers, whose allegiances lay with FISA.
This race was run with the cars running in 1980-specification trim, with the ground-effect wing cars of the time, equipped with sliding skirts that increased their downforce by ensuring the air under the car did not escape from under the car, where the most important airflow was. This race, run in wet conditions, was won by the Argentine driver Carlos Reutemann in a Williams-Ford; the first of two rounds in the United States of America started a trilogy of F1 races in the Americas on March 15 at the Long Beach street circuit in southern California, just outside the metropolis of Los Angeles. The cars were now running in new 1981-specification cars, with the sliding skirts now banned and cars required to have a 6 cm ground clearance, in order to reduce downforce. Australian Alan Jones won this race in a Williams-Ford after pole-sitter Riccardo Patrese in an Arrows-Ford fell out and Jones's teammate Carlos Reutemann made a costly error that Jones took advantage of; the Formula One circus moved from North to South America to start a two-stop tour there.
The first round was at the Jacarepagua Autodrome in Rio de Janeiro – only the second time F1 had been there. F1 had visited the 5-mile Interlagos circuit in São Paulo in 1972–1980; this rain-soaked race saw Reutemann disobey team orders to let Jones through, a furious Jones did not appear on the podium afterwards. The other half of the South American tour in Reutemann's home country of Argentina was held in January; this race was a procession: at the varied circuit located in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, Brabham designer Gordon Murray had come up with a hydraulic suspension to get his BT49C closer to the ground, therefore be faster. This proved effective – as Brabham driver Nelson Piquet took pole ahead of French up-and-comer Alain Prost and the two Williams drivers, he and Mexican teammate Héctor Rebaque dominated the race, driving a car, embarrassingly superior to all the others; the Brazilian won handily from Renault driver Prost. Due to internal politics and the drivers' strike at the 1982 South African Grand Prix, the Argentine GP would not return to the calendar until 1995.
Four weeks the GP circus returned to Europe to start the 4 month long tour there. The first race was a new race – a second Italian race called the San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Dino Ferrari near Imola, just outside Bologna. Unlike the South American races, both of, uncommon disappointments. Brazilian Nelson Piquet won again for Brabham in changing conditions, with intermittent rain soaking the course throughout the race. In stark contrast to San Marino, the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder was a shambolic event filled with tragedies and frustration. Politics dominated this event – Gordon Murray's hydraulic suspension gave his Brabhams considerable performance advantages, the teams had been protesting the system's legality within the revised rules for the season; the tragedy, started with Carlos Reutemann accidentally running over an Osella mechanic, Giovanni Amadeo – who died of a fractured skull the Monday after the race. The race, was an appalling embarrassment by top motor racing standards – at the start, there was a drivers' strike concerning mechanic and team personnel safety – which delayed the start.
The Brabham BT19 is a Formula One racing car designed by Ron Tauranac for the British Brabham team. The BT19 competed in the 1966 and 1967 Formula One World Championships and was used by Australian driver Jack Brabham to win his third World Championship in 1966; the BT19, which Brabham referred to as his "Old Nail", was the first car bearing its driver's name to win a World Championship race. The car was conceived in 1965 for a 1.5-litre Coventry Climax engine, but never raced in this form. For the 1966 Formula One season the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile doubled the limit on engine capacity to 3 litres. Australian company Repco developed a new V8 engine for Brabham's use in 1966, but a disagreement between Brabham and Tauranac over the latter's role in the racing team left no time to develop a new car to handle it. Instead, the existing BT19 chassis was modified for the job. Only one BT19 was built, it was bought by Repco in 2004 and put on display in the National Sports Museum in Melbourne, Australia, in 2008.
It is demonstrated at motorsport events. The BT19 was created by Australian designer Ron Tauranac for the Brabham Racing Organisation to use in the 1965 season of the Formula One motor racing World Championship; the BT19, its contemporary the Lotus 39, were built to use the new FWMW flat-16 engine from Coventry Climax. Only one example of the BT19 design was built, it never raced in its original form. Climax abandoned the FWMW's development before the end of 1965, their existing FWMV V8 engines proving powerful enough to propel Jim Clark's Lotus 33 to seven wins and the drivers' championship. For 1966, the engine capacity limit in Formula One was doubled from 1.5 litres to 3 litres. It was not feasible to enlarge existing 1.5-litre engines to take full advantage of the higher limit and Climax chose not to develop a new 3-litre motor, leaving many teams without a viable engine for 1966. The new 3-litre engines under development by competing team Ferrari had 12 cylinders. Jack Brabham and lead driver of BRO, took a different approach to the problem of obtaining a suitable engine.
He persuaded Australian company Repco to develop a new 3-litre eight-cylinder engine for him based on available components. Brabham cars were designed and built by Motor Racing Developments Ltd., jointly owned by Tauranac and Jack Brabham and built cars for customers in several racing series. The Formula One racing team, BRO, was a separate company wholly owned by Jack Brabham, it bought its cars from MRD but Tauranac had little connection with the race team between 1962 and 1965. At the end of the 1965 season Tauranac was losing interest in this arrangement, reasoning that "it was just a matter of a lot of effort for no real interest because I didn't get to go racing much" and "I might as well get on with my main line business, selling production cars." Although Brabham investigated using chassis from other manufacturers, the two men agreed that Tauranac would have a greater interest in the Formula One team, which MRD took over from BRO. This agreement was not reached until November 1965. Repco delivered the first example of the new engine to the team's headquarters in the United Kingdom in late 1965, just weeks before the first Formula One race to the new regulations, the non-championship South African Grand Prix on 1 January 1966.
Rather than build a new car in the limited time available, BRO pressed chassis number F1-1-1965, the sole and unused BT19, into service. Tauranac built the BT19 around a mild steel spaceframe chassis similar to those used in his previous Brabham designs; the use of a spaceframe was considered a conservative design decision. Tauranac believed that contemporary monocoques were not usefully stiffer than a well-designed spaceframe and were harder to repair and maintain; the latter was a particular concern for Brabham, the largest manufacturer of customer single-seater racing cars in the world at the time. The company's reputation rested in part on BRO – the official'works' team – using the same technology as its customers, for whom ease of repair was a significant consideration. One mildly novel feature was the use of oval-section, rather than round, tubing around the cockpit, where the driver sits. In a spaceframe or monocoque racing car, the cockpit is a hole in the structure, weakening it considerably.
For a given cross sectional area, oval tubing is stiffer in one direction than round tubing. Tauranac used it to stiffen the cockpit area; the car weighed around 1250 pounds, around 150 lb over the minimum weight limit for the formula, although it was still one of the lightest cars in the 1966 field. The race starting weight of a 1966 Brabham-Repco with driver and fuel was estimated to be around 1,415 lb, about 280 lb less than the more powerful rival Cooper T81-Maseratis; the bodywork of the BT19 is glass-reinforced plastic, finished in Brabham's usual racing colours of green with gold trimming around the nose. Although the science of aerodynamics would not affect Formula One racing until the 1968 season, Tauranac had been making use of the Motor Industry Research Association wind tunnel since 1963 to refine the shape of his cars. Brabham has attributed the car's "swept-down nose and the upswept rear lip of the engine cowl" to Tauranac's "attention to aerodynamic detail". During the 1967 season, the car appeare
Gillingham is a town in the county of Kent in South East England. For local government purposes it is in the unitary authority of Medway; the town includes the settlements of Brompton, Wigmore, Rainham which has its own significant retail and leisure hub, Rainham Mark and Twydall. Gillingham means a "homestead of Gylla's family", from Old English ham and ingas, was first recorded in the 10th century as Gyllingeham. Gillingham became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894, gaining municipal borough status in 1903. John Robert Featherby was the first mayor of the Borough of Gillingham. In 1928 Rainham was added to the Gillingham Borough. Under the Local Government Act 1972 it became a non-metropolitan district, it merged with the other Medway Towns in 1998 under the 1990s UK local government reform, to become part of the Medway unitary authority. The Municipal Buildings in Canterbury Street were built as council offices for Gillingham Borough Council, they were opened by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir George Broadbridge, on 25 September 1937.
The Lord Mayor was received at Gillingham Railway Station by a guard of honour of boys of HMS Arethusa. Before the Second World War, air raid sirens were placed on the Municipal Buildings, the local Civil Defence headquarters were in a single-storey building, to the rear of the car park. In about 1953, beneath part of the car park, Gillingham Borough Control Centre was built undergroung; when Gillingham Borough Council merged with Rochester upon Medway to form the unitary Medway Authority in 1998, the buildings were still used as council offices and for meetings for several years afterwards. Medway Council moved into the former Lloyd's of London headquarters at Chatham Gun Wharf, the Municipal Buildings were considered surplus to requirements, they were sold off in 2008 under a contract. The town grew along the road from Brompton to the railway station; as such it was a linear development. Close by was the road along the shore line, linking The Strand, the tiny village of Gillingham Green. Communities developed along the top road- Watling street – turnpike linking Chatham with Dover.
All these communities merged into the town, called today Gillingham. Gillingham experiences an oceanic climate similar to all of the United Kingdom. Due to its southerly, marine position near the European continent the climate is among the warmest in the whole of England; the name Gillingham is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086. It is said to have been named after a warlord, Gyllingas—from the old English gyllan, meaning "to shout", he was a notable man in Kent history as he led his warriors into battle shouting. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Gillingham was a small hamlet, it was given to the half-brother of William I of England, Bishop of Bayeux, who rebuilt the parish church at Gillingham and constructed an Archbishop's Palace on land bordered by Grange Road, the ruins of which could still be seen in the last century. Gillingham itself, at the time, was a small hamlet, built around the parish church and surrounded by large farm-holdings, of which St. Mark's Parish formed part, being part of Brittain Farm.
William Adams mentioned Gillingham in his writings, saying: "... two English miles from Rochester and one mile from Chatham, where the King's ships do lie". Adams was baptised at Gillingham Parish Church on 24 September 1564; the Strand was once owned by the Davenport family in 1635, the Davenport family included a Mayor of Gillingham, pie makers and key holders of Gillingham. The Davenport family had a road named after them in 1920; the Davenport estate was in Kent. The estate was called The Davenport Manor; the Davenports lost the estate in 1889. The Davenport family were among the investors in the Chatham Dockyard. In medieval times the part of Gillingham known as Grange was a limb of the Cinque Ports and the maritime importance of the area continued until the late 1940s. Indeed, a large part of Chatham Dockyard lay within Gillingham: the dockyard started in Gillingham and, until the day it was closed in 1984, two-thirds of the modern-day dockyard lay within the boundaries of Gillingham; the dockyard was founded by Queen Elizabeth I on the site of the present gun wharf, the establishment being transferred to the present site about 1622.
In 1667 a Dutch fleet sailed up the River Medway and, having landed at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey and laying siege to the fort at Sheerness, invaded Gillingham in what became known as the raid on the Medway. The Dutch retreated, but the incident caused great humiliation to the Royal Navy; the Seven Years' War began in 1756 and the government gave orders for the defence of the dockyard. Over a mile long, they stretched across the neck of the dockyard peninsula, from Chatham Reach, south of the dockyard, across to Gillingham Reach on the opposite side. One of the redoubts on the Lines was at Amherst; the batteries faced away from the dockyard. The lines of defence are now part of the Great Lines Heritage Park and the Lower Lines Park. War with France began again in 1778, once more it was necessary to strengthen the defences. Fort Amherst was the first to be improved.
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
Formula 5000 was an open wheel, single seater auto-racing formula that ran in different series in various regions around the world from 1968 to 1982. It was intended as a low-cost series aimed at open-wheel racing cars that no longer fit into any particular formula. The'5000' denomination comes from the maximum 5.0 litre engine capacity allowed in the cars, although many cars ran with smaller engines. Manufacturers included McLaren, March, Lotus, Elfin and Chevron. In its declining years in North America Formula 5000 was modified into a closed wheel, but still single-seat sports car racing category. Formula 5000 was introduced in 1968 as a class within SCCA Formula A races, a series where single seaters from different origins were allowed to compete, but which came to be dominated by the cars equipped with production-based American V8s; the engines used were 5 litre, fuel injected Chevrolet engines with about 500 horsepower at 8000 rpm, although other makes were used. The concept was inspired by the success of the Can-Am Series, which featured unlimited formula sports cars fitted with powerful engines derived from American V8s.
F5000 enjoyed popularity in the early 1970s in the U. S. and featured drivers such as Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, James Hunt, Jody Scheckter, Brian Redman, David Hobbs, Tony Adamowicz, Sam Posey, Ian Ashley, John Cannon and Eppie Wietzes. Increasing costs and Lola domination meant the formula lost its appeal after 1975. Older cars continued to be used in the SCCA national races, but the most competitive teams reconverted their cars with sports car bodyworks, in the resurrected Can-Am championship, starting in 1977; the formula worked with a number of European drivers crossing the Atlantic to attend the SCCA-run championship, but when IMSA introduced the new GTP prototype regulations for the IMSA GT Championship in 1981, the old F5000 were now clumsy and slow compared to the new cars. In the UK, the arrival of the Cosworth DFV engine meant that many teams could now afford to build their own chassis around a good engine/transmission package, so Cooper and Brabham stopped the production of customer Formula 1 cars.
Smaller privateer teams and drivers that entered Britain's non-championship F1 events were left behind, the RAC adopted the American F5000 regulations. A European championship was first run in 1969 as the Guards Formula 5000 Championship; this was renamed to Guards European Formula 5000 Championship in 1970, to Rothmans European Formula 5000 Championship in 1971 and to ShellSport European Formula 5000 Championship in 1975. Unlike the American series, the European championship didn't attract many star names from Formula 1 and sports cars, was dominated by drivers that were seen in Formula 2 or at the back of F1's World Championship grids. Peter Gethin managed to launch his F1 career thanks to his F5000 championship titles. While it was based in the United Kingdom, the series managed to spread across Europe, with races held at many international circuits, including Monza and Zandvoort, attracted a significant number of continental drivers; the weak pound and the increasing cost of importing Chevrolet V8 engines caused some concern and engine regulations for European F5000 were revised to permit engines other than the 5.0 litre pushrod V8s - the DOHC Cosworth GA V6 (based on a unit used in Group 2 Capris was permitted to race at a capacity of 3500cc.
March 75A and Chevron B30 cars were successful with the V6, the March in particular being little more than a 751 Formula One car with minor modifications for the new engine. However, the same problem that befell US F5000 happened in Europe, in 1976 the European F5000 Championship evolved into the Shellsport Group 8 Championship; this was a British-based series for Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 5000 and Formula Atlantic cars, forming the basis of what would become the Aurora F1 Championship in 1978. The F1 Championship was open to Formula 1 and Formula 2 cars only, with Formula 5000 cars no longer eligible. Older F5000 cars continued to be used in the British Sprint Championship and were common in Formula Libre races well into the 1980s. In Australia and New Zealand, the Tasman Formula, defining cars eligible for the annual Tasman Series, was extended in 1970 to include Formula 5000 cars as well as the existing 2.5 litre cars. The Tasman Series ran during the Formula One off season in the European winter, in the 1960s it had attracted the attention of the greatest names in Grand Prix racing, from locals Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, to foreigners like Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Phil Hill, Piers Courage and Jochen Rindt.
However, by the 1970s Formula One had become more commercial and the Grand Prix stars no longer took part. The Tasman Series had become a competitive Australian/New Zealand local championship leaving the field to be dominated by the cream of "Down Under" drivers such as Frank Matich, Frank Gardner, Kevin Bartlett, Vern Schuppan, Graeme McRae, Graeme Lawrence, Warwick Brown, Johnnie Walker, John McCormack, Alan Jones, John Goss, Larry Perkins, John Bowe and Garrie Cooper racing against European and American drivers such as David Hobbs, Teddy Pilette, Mike Hailwood, Sam Posey, Richard Attwood and Peter Gethin; the four Australian Formula 5000 Tasman races continued as the Rothmans International Series from 1976 until 1979. Formula 5000 was the main component of Australian Formula 1 from 1971 to 1981 and this formula was the primary category contesting the Australian Drivers' Championship during those years a