Calvin Fish in his HFC Racing Ralt RT4/87 at Road America in 1987.  Copyright Mark Windecker 2014.  Used with permission.

ECAR Formula Atlantic 1987

After three seasons of low-key recovery, Formula Atlantic re-emerged as a significant American category in 1987. After his strong performance in 1986, British ex-F3 driver Calvin Fish continued in the ECAR championship and acquired backing from championship sponsor HFC, allowing him a proper testing programme. Also staying from the top runners of 1986 were Floridian veteran Steve Shelton and Michael Greenfield, son of Can-Am racer Peter Greenfield, and these three dominated the season. Steve Shelton was generally acknoweldged as the quickest driver in either ECAR or WCAR, winning four pole positions, three fastest laps and three new laps records but he only won one race. In mid-season, Shelton got to drive the new Swift DB4 at Watkins Glen but the prototype's suspension broke and Shelton retired. With the points system rewarding reliability, Fish took over the championship lead and held it to the end of the year. HFC sponsored him for a move up to ARS in 1988.

The 1987 Ralt was not well received and most teams gave up on the new sidepods and fitted 1986 sidepods. This weakness was good timing for the introduction of the new Swift DB4, designed by Dave Bruns, and the slender new car was immediately competitive. After several years of gentle evolution of the RT4 package, Ralt anounced that the RT4/88 would be based on the newer RT21/RT31 F2/F3 design.

The races

12 Apr 1987 > Road Atlanta

06 Jun 1987 > Mosport Park

05 Jul 1987 > Watkins Glen

18 Jul 1987 > Brainerd

01 Aug 1987 > Lime Rock

29 Aug 1987 > Road America

06 Sep 1987 > Mid-Ohio

11 Oct 1987 > Road Atlanta

01 Nov 1987 > Tamiami Park

08 Nov 1987 > St Petersburg

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