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For the professional series sanctioned by IMSA, see Atlantic Championship.
2007 Formula Atlantic car

Formula Atlantic is a specification of open wheel racing car developed in the 1970s. It was used in professional racing through the IMSA Atlantic Championship until 2009 and is currently primarily used in amateur racing through Sports Car Club of America Formula Atlantic.

History[edit]

The history of Formula Atlantic begins with the SCCA Formula B class, created in 1965 for single-seat formula cars with engines not exceeding 1600cc in capacity. Prior to Formula Atlantic, professional Formula B races were held in the United States from 1965 to 1972, firstly with the SCCA's poorly supported Formula A, then as part of the SCCA Formula Continental Championship in 1968 (when they were largely overshadowed by the V8-powered Formula 5000 cars) and then as an independent series from 1969 to 1972.

Formula Atlantic as a class evolved in the United Kingdom in 1971 from the US Formula B rules, with 1600cc production-based twin-cam engines (initially Cosworth Mk.XIII based on Lotus-Ford Twin Cam and then Cosworth BDD, however other engines like Alfa Romeo were also eligible). Conceived by John Webb of Brands Hatch (who would later also develop the Sports 2000 class) as a category for national competitors with the performance near a Formula Two car but running costs at or below that of a contemporary Formula Three car. A single Yellow Pages championship ran in 1971-2, with a rival BP backed series appearing in 1973. 1974 saw the BP series changing sponsor to John Player, and the Yellow Pages series becoming backed by John Webb's MCD organisation and Southern Organs; in practice most top drivers competed in both series and there were no date clashes. Only one series ran in 1975-6, in the final year taking the title 'Indylantic and adopting Indianapolis-style single-car qualifying. But the formula was under threat from Formula 3 and no series ran in 1977-78. A BRSCC-organized club racing series returned in 1979 with initial backing from Hitachi and continued to 1983, with diminishing grids and few new cars appearing.

As a result of its similarity to Formula 2 and Formula 3 in terms of chassis regulations, Formula Atlantic typically used chassis closely related to these cars—with performance somewhere in between the two—so most of the manufacturers were familiar from those classes, particularly the likes of Brabham, Lotus, March, Chevron early on, with Ralt and then Reynard later. US manufacturer Swift came to displace the British imports and dominate in North America. Several smaller marques also appeared.

The first professional races run under Formula Atlantic rules in North America were conducted in 1974 by the CASC in Canada (now ASN Canada), drawing much attention and large fields due to its national CTV television coverage. IMSA in the United States took advantage of the large number of teams and organized their own series in 1976.

During these years, the series attracted guest drivers from Europe, including Formula One, particularly at the Trois-Rivières street race in Quebec, Canada. Guest drivers included James Hunt, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Riccardo Patrese, Patrick Depailler, Jacques Laffite, Didier Pironi and Vittorio Brambilla.

In 1977, the SCCA sanctioned the US events and in 1978 the CASC and SCCA series merged, and conducted the series jointly until 1983, when it ran as the Formula Mondial North American Cup and was won by Michael Andretti. The series could not sustain the success of earlier seasons and was cancelled for 1984. Formula Mondial was an international category introduced by the FIA in 1983 with the intention of replacing both Formula Atlantic and Formula Pacific, the latter being a variant of Formula Atlantic that had been introduced in a number of Pacific Basin countries in the late 1970s.

Current SCCA series[edit]

2011 SCCA National Championship Runoffs winner Michael Mallinen

SCCA Formula Atlantic cars are allowed wings and ground effects. They use either the Toyota 4AGE engine or the Cosworth BDD. Cars meeting Super Vee specifications were also allowed but are now rarely seen. Prior to 2006 these rules were also largely used in the professional series except that all cars had to run a Fuel Injected 4AGE. This meant that competitive amateur teams could also participate in professional races and that old pro series equipment could be raced at the amateur level. However, in 2006 the pro series introduced a spec chassis, the Swift Engineering 016.a and a new spec engine, the Mazda-Cosworth MZR. The result was that the cars used in the pro series were drastically different than the amateur cars. In 2009, to shore up small race fields, the pro series introduced a "C2 class" for amateur level cars, primarily the Swift 014.a, currently the dominant chassis amateur competition. However the C2 class saw few entries and was abandoned in the middle of the season.

The minimum weight of a Toyota or BDD powered Atlantic car is 1230 lbs. (558 kg) with driver.[1] The SCCA considers it its fastest club racing class.[2] Prior to gaining its own class, the Formula SCCA car raced in Formula Atlantic, where it was uncompetitive.[3]

As of 2011, the Swift 016.a with Mazda power has been accepted into SCCA Formula Atlantic, albeit with an intake restriction limiting engine power.

With the end of the IMSA and Champ Car sanctioned professional Atlantic Championship after the 2009 season, the promoters of the F2000 Championship Series promoted a new pro series in 2012 using SCCA rules and sanctioned by the SCCA. The series saw few entrants and folded after one season. However, due to increasing interest at the amateur level, on October 1, 2013, it was announced that the series would return in 2014 with a twelve race, six weekend race calendar.[4]

Tribute[edit]

In 2012 and 2014, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion historic automobile racing event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California had a tribute to Formula Atlantic as a part of its scheduled groups.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Introduction to SCCA Racing rules, North American Motorsports Pages, Retrieved 2010-01-02
  2. ^ Club Racing, Sports Car Club of America, Retrieved 2010-01-02
  3. ^ Formula SCCA goes national, Sports Car Club of America, December 12, 2006, Retrieved 2010-01-02
  4. ^ Atlantic Championship series expands for 2014, Racer, October 1, 2013, Retrieved 2013-10-02
  5. ^ "Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Friday notebook". Racer. August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_Atlantic — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

38 news items

 
Racer
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Connor Kearby won the SCCA nation-wide points championship in Formula Atlantic driving a Mazda-powered Swift. Following the conclusion of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour season, 27 nation-wide points champions have been crowned in in the SafeRacer ...
 
Elmira Star-Gazette
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:00:20 -0700

He won an SCCA Formula Atlantic race at the Glen in 1980, driving a March 76B that was earlier driven by James Hunt of the movie "Rush" fame to a third-place finish at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Levanduski, who also raced in Formula Vee in the early 1970s ...
 
Racer
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:18:45 -0700

... to try their hands at stock and open wheel cars – country singer Marty Robbins had half a dozen top-10 Winston Cup finishes in the 1970s, while Motley Crue's Vince Neil and Frankie Muniz were regulars in the American Racing Series and Formula ...

autosport.com

autosport.com
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 03:07:30 -0700

...this is Julian's fourth comeback. He didn't race between a full season in Formula 3000 in 1996 and two Formula Atlantic races in 1999. He was absent from the cockpit again until three sportscar drives, including a maiden Le Mans 24 Hours start ...
 
Racer
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:18:45 -0700

71 Swan Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda to a flag-to-flag victory in Formula Atlantic, ticking off lap after lap to the finish. In a mirror image of Saturday's race, Mallinen started in front of the field on Sunday and pulled away to lap the entire field ...
 
PaddockTalk
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:03:45 -0700

71 Swan Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda to a flag to flag victory in Formula Atlantic, ticking off lap after lap to the finish. Mallinen was actually one of two former Formula Atlantic National Champions from the state of Washington entered in the race ...
 
Racer
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Barfield replaced Brian Barnhart as chief steward in 2012 after serving as Race Director for ALMS 2008-'11. The former open wheel racer also served as chief steward of Formula Atlantic for Champ Car in 2006-'07. Like most chief stewards, Barfield took ...

Driving

Driving
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:13:20 -0700

In the Formula Atlantic race, Pitt Meadow's Larie Meeker's Formula Atlantic 1979 RALT FA RT1 placed seventh in the last race with a best lap time of 1:28.481. While the Canadians were racing at the famed Laguna Seca circuit, the Pebble Beach Concours ...
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