News > 2010 1000cc Formula 3 Worldwide Seasonal Review

08/02/2011

 

1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association 2010 Seasonal Review

In future years 2010 will be seen to have been a pivotal year for 1000cc Formula three historic racing, the invitation to the 7th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique confirming to a wider world that the one litre cars were on the verge of a major resurgence. Strong fields continued to be seen both in the UK’s Peter Hanson series which ventured into Europe for the first time, as well as in Historic F3’s European Championship which drew increased support from the UK.

Monaco

Monaco was the major event, attracting a massive entry which was eventually whittled down to an invited field thirty two cars, a couple of the European regulars were missing, and some of the entrants were obviously attracted by the glamour of the event, not to be seen again during the season.

Tupper Robinson finished his weekend against the pit wall in practice and Jurg Tobler was eliminated by mechanical gremlins. Hein’s Brabham BT28 was on pole ahead of Derossi (Chevron), Gelmini (Matra) and Traber (Brabham). Heavy rain over night left the track damp and slippery, the grid lost Gelmini on the green flag lap with a blown engine, and the unfortunate Richard Hein to a terminal misfire. Traber made the best start while McMorran got away ahead of the slightly hesitant Derossi, these three were well matched for the whole race, Derossi passing Mcmorran when the Ulsterman’s gear box began to play up, the Frenchman closing right onto Traber’s tail, but being unable to find a way past the experienced Swiss. All through the field battles were taking place, and it was a credit to the standards of preparation that there were no further retirements.

It was generally agreed in the specialist press that the one litre F3’s had acquitted themselves brilliantly, and if there is any justice they will be invited back in 2012.  

European Championship and Peter Hanson Trophy

These two championships were well integrated for 2010, all of the Peter Hanson Trophy rounds counting towards the F3 Historic European Championship.

The European Championship started at Monza attracting an entry of just five; Nürburgring on mid-summers day was mist shrouded for the FJHRA's combined Junior and F3 race, 16 F3’s making the journey. Unfortunately the Nurburgring produced mechanical mayhem, and that together the prospect of just one race at Brands Hatch much reduced the European presence, although nineteen cars appeared. Oulton Park attracted thirteen starters, only Vincent Rivet and Roland Fischer travelling from Europe. A major effort by the 1000ccF3HRA and F3 Historic produced an excellent entry of twenty one for Spa, and they were rewarded with the wettest races of the year until the final round at Le Castellet where the twelve who travelled to the sunny south of France got even wetter!

Driver of the year had to be David Methley who swapped his Formula One March for a Merlyn Mk 14A and shook up the accepted order, taking double wins at Nürburgring and Oulton Park; running him closest was Roland Fischer and his Tecno, sharing the victories with Methley at Spa and Le Castellet. Paul McMorran had a superb run at Monaco in his Crossle, but his other outings were limited to Brands and Spa although he still garnered enough points to take third in the Peter Hanson. Francois Derossi’s season went pear shaped after his excellent second place at Monaco, the normally quick and reliable Chevron giving faithful mechanic Filoche endless grief. Stuart Tizzard and Jim Chapman were new to F3 this year and provided much entertainment both on and off track, Jim finished ahead of Stuart in the Peter Hanson Trophy, Stuart took the verdict in Europe with a fine third place overall.

Vincent Rivet had only three outings in 2010 but scored well each time out to take fourth in the European Championship; Swedish newcomer Leif Bosson in his Jeremy Bennett prepared Brabham BT28 took fifth in Europe and scored consistently in the Classic Racing car series, although engine problems at Oulton and low points at Spa dropped him down the Peter Hanson standings. Brabham BT21 runners Chris Holland and Steve Wilkinson both had good seasons, Wilkinson finishing the season ahead in both Peter Hanson and Europe, although had Chris scored at Oulton matters might have been different. Swiss Christophe Widmer joined the series at Monza and did a good job to take seventh in the European Championship at his first attempt; Maurice Slotine and his faithful Merlyn took eighth, mechanical problems at the Nürburgring kept him out of action until Spa.

Philippe Bonny and Michel Renevand had a season to forget in their Tecnos, at Monaco they both had good runs, although Michel received a time penalty for a start line infraction; thereafter it was mechanical mayhem all the way. Ferdinand Gustafson ventured south from Sweden three times; Monaco was hampered by mechanical problems, The Ring produced two good runs whilst an optimistic last lap dive up the inside of Paul McMorran in the first race cost him points at Spa. Geoff O’Nion was another who joined at Monaco with his Tecno and enjoyed himself so much he stayed for the rest of the season.    

Max Blees only made one appearance in F3 in 2010 but showed he was still well on the pace with two combative races at the Nurburgring; Robert Retzlaff had good runs at Monaco, The Ring and Spa gaining speed as the season progressed. After qualifying problems, the usually ultra competitive Jurg Tobler wasn’t seen again until Le Castellet where he took a fourth and fifth place; a fourth and fifth at Spa were indicative of Ian Bankhurst’s speed in his rare Alexis.

In total thirty three different drivers took part in the Peter Hanson and European rounds, all of whom contributed to the success of the series; sentimental highpoint was the sight of Bev Bond out in his old Gold Leaf Lotus 59 at Oulton Park, Jim Chapman very generously handed the car over to Bev with the instruction, ‘Go out and enjoy yourself’ although Jim’s fingers did remain firmly crossed!!

Klaus Bergs possibly takes the ‘Bad Luck’ trophy, being eliminated at Monaco on the grid through no fault of his own, and then collecting a piece of the scenery at Spa.

The 2011 season will be on us before we know it, with the excellent news being that Easter at Cadwell will be a Formula Three double header. As this is being written, the remainder of the UK calendar awaits confirmation, but one of the highlights of the season must be the prospect of a Swedish trip, to say nothing of another visit to Spa and then a season finale at Dijon.

As we splashed round Europe, One litre contacts were made with David Irwin and Mark Shillingburg in Colorado, Mark has the ex John Cardwell Brabham BT9, and we were able to provide Mark with original pictures of his car directly from John’s scrapbook. David has a 1967 De Sanctis (chassis 003) under restoration and would appreciate any early history, also under restoration is the Lotus 59 of John Arnold. Actively racing in Colorado are a Titan Mk 3 and two BT9s.

Andy Antipas still has his Titan in California where a Tecno and a Lotus 35 are also active. Allan James has the unique ex Bruce Eglington LeGrand Mk5 which was campaigned in Europe in 1967, the car is currently fitted with an SCA motor.

We cannot close this review without referring to the sad passing of Justin Haler on January 16th in South Africa; most of you will know that Justin, (an Autosport reporter in period) had been working on a book about the One Litre Formula Three, and had made two visits to the UK in 2010 to meet period drivers. The Association had the privilege of hosting a barbecue for Justin at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting in August, where a large number of the ‘old boys’ appeared, reflecting the high regard in which Justin was held.

 

 

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