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Italian Formula 3 1976

Riccardo Patrese arrived in F3 in 1976 aboard Pino Trivellato's very effective new Chevron B34 to challenge established Italian F3 stars Gianfranco Brancatelli, Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi and Piercarlo Ghinzani, all of whom had opted for Bicester's latest March 763. With only the best five results counting, and with Patrese and Brancatelli also juggling bids for the European championship, three drivers arrived at the final Italian race with a chance of the title. Patrese led by a nose with three wins, a second and a third, from Ghinzani's two wins and three second places but Scuderia Everest's Brancatelli had only four results so far, three wins and a second, so could take the title if he won the race, regardless of where his rivals finished. Ghinzani had acquired a new Chevron B34 to replace the March written off at Mugello in testing but collided with Brancatelli on the opening lap and was out, leaving Brancatelli chasing leader Patrese. Knowing second place wasn't enough, Brancatelli did all he could, finally spinning off on the last lap and writing off his March. Patrese cruised to victory and his second F3 title of the season.

The races

03 Apr 1976 > Mugello

25 Apr 1976 > Varano

06 Jun 1976 > Magione

13 Jun 1976 > Gran Premio di Pergusa at Enna-Pergusa

20 Jun 1976 > Casale

27 Jun 1976 > Gran Premio della Lotteria at Monza

05 Sep 1976 > Casale

19 Sep 1976 > Coppa Bevilacqua at Imola

26 Sep 1976 > Trofeo Sachs at Monza

04 Oct 1976 > Gran Premio Campidoglio at Vallelunga

01 Nov 1976 > Trofeo Bolletta at Magione

1976 Campionato Italiano Formula 3 table

1Riccardo PatreseChevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor42 pts3 wins
2Piercarlo GhinzaniMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor36 pts2 wins
3Gianfranco BrancatelliMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor33 pts3 wins
4Fernando SpreaficoChevron B34 - Ford twin cam Novamotor23 pts1 win
5Gaudenzio MantovaRalt RT1/76 - Toyota Novamotor
March 763 - Toyota Novamotor
21 pts 
6Orazio Raga├»oloMarch 753 - Toyota Novamotor19 pts 
7Lamberto LeoniMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor18 pts 
8Alessandro Pesenti-RossiMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor9 pts 
9Oscar PedersoliRalt RT1/75 - Toyota Novamotor7 pts 
10=Giuseppe BossoniMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor6 pts 
10=Guido PardiniMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor6 pts 
10=Tarcisco RivaMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor6 pts 

Points table constricted from the results. The championship ran over eleven rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system with points only awarded to Italian licence holders. As in 1975, only the best five results counted.

Veteran Fernando Spreafico finally gave up his antique GRD for a new Chevron and won one race, a poorly supported race at Casale at the beginning of September which clashed with the European Championship round at Knutsdorp which both Patrese and Brancatelli attended. The other race winner was Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi who split his season between F2 and F3 before being distracted by an ill-judged move into F1 with a private Tyrrell.

After only one season in F3, Patrese was fast tracked into F2 with a Trivellato Chevron-BMW and would be snapped up by the Shadow F1 team before the spring was over. Scuderia Everest would also promote Brancatelli to F2 in a Ralt-Ferrari but for both Ghinzani and Spreafico, another season of F3 beckoned.