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1978 North American Formula Atlantic champion Howdy Holmes, seen here at Road America in 1979 in a March 79B.  Copyright Glenn Snyder 2011.  Used with permission.

Formula Atlantic

Formula Atlantic can trace its origins to the SCCA's 1600cc Formula B which began in 1965, utilising the widely available and cost-effective Lotus-Ford twin cam. The formula quickly spread to Canada and then to Britain in 1971, acquiring the name Formula Atlantic in the process. Canada moved to the British regulations and name in 1974, and Formula Atlantic became the major racing category in Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand during the 1970s. The SCCA adopted Formula Atlantic rules for 1975 but kept the FB name until 1979. Japan and Australia also adopted this rules for national championships but under the name Formula Pacific.

The worldwide success of Atlantic and Pacific led to a FIA-imposed Formula Mondial in 1983 which proved a fatal blow for the North American series. Its place was taken by a SCCA-sanctioned series which spread from the west coast of the US to become a national series. In 1990 it became Toyota Atlantic as the Toyota 4A-GE engine was mandated and in 1998 a spec chassis was introduced, the Swift 008.a. The chassis was replaced with the Swift 014.a for 2002 and then the package was changed to the Swift 016.a chassis and a Cosworth-Mazda engine in 2006. The series continued to be called the 'Atlantic Championship' right up to its cancellation after the 2009 season. Meanwhile the SCCA class has continued, allowing in the new cars from the Pro series as they became available and a new Pro championship was started by SCCA Pro Racing and ran for one season in 2012. That series ran again in 2014 and is expected to return in 2015, with the Swift 016s now entering their tenth season.

The grid below shows the results that have been collated so far.

Results coverage map (1965-1986)

  65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86
USA                                            
Canada                              
UK                                            
Ireland                                            
South Africa                                            
New Zealand                                            
Australia                                            
SE Asia                                            
Japan                                            

Key:

Formula Atlantic/Formula Pacific Formula B
Results due soon Results incomplete
Not organised as a series No events held
Similar formula (see notes below)

A series of races were held in Ireland to 1600cc rules in 1967 and this remained a class of Irish racing alongside F2 until the adoption of Formula Atlantic in 1974. Australian National Formula 2 was for 1600cc cars from 1969 onwards, firstly to F2 rules, then for twin-cams and later using single-cam engines such as the VW Golf. Races in South East Asia were generally limited to 1600cc from 1973 onwards until the Macau GP formally adopted Formula Pacific in 1977. After the 1979 season, South Africa moved to Mazda engines and continued with that local flavour of Atlantic until 1985.

All UK, Irish, North American, New Zealand and South African results have been compiled by Chris Townsend with the exception of three early US FB seasons: 1970 by Jim Thurman and 1969 and 1971 by Allen Brown. The Australian Formula Pacific results (1981-84) were also compiled by Chris, the Australian National F2 series for 1974 by Curt Bond and the Japanese Formula Pacific results by Michael Ferner. We are also grateful to Dominic St Jean of the Canadian website AutoCourse.ca for providing original results sheets.