Mike Young at Mallory Park in August 1976 in his Modus M1.  Copyright Alan Cox 2010.  Used with permission.

British Formula 3 1976

Despite competition from a heavily-financed Formule Renault Europe series in 1975 and 1976, Formula 3 continued to grow in 1976, notably in Italy and Sweden and with the FIA's European Formula 3 series which was done properly in 1976 instead of being an afterthought as in 1975.

John Webb's MCD series had been dropped after 1974, leaving only the BARC series, sposored by BP, in 1975. For 1976, BP's rivals Shell backed a five-race BARC series at Silverstone and MCD also returned to organise a number of non-championship races with good prize money. Rupert Keegan won the more prestigious BP series having made a flying start in his ex-Brian Henton March 743 but then struggled mid-season when trying to replace the old March with a Hawke commissioned by his father and was caught by March works driver Bruno Giacomelli before snatching the title at the last race. The Italian however won the short ShellSport series comfortably. Geoff Lees and Stephen South emerged from the chasing pack as likely future stars.

Thanks to Giacomelli's March 763 and to Keegan's old 743, March dominated the two championships with 12 race wins, the other five falling to the Chevron B34s of Geoff Lees and mid-season convert Keegan. Of the five non-championship races, two very poorly supported races in May were won by Richard Hawkins in Dr Joseph Ehrlich's Ehrlich ES5 and by Brett Riley in a Modus M1 with a Triumph Dolomite engine. Counting podium finishes across all 22 races, March scored 33, Chevron 13, Modus 11 and Ralt 3. The others were split between Barrie Maskell in the 1974 Dastle with two and one each for Dick Parsons in Gary Anderson's updated 1975 Anson, Hawkins in the updated 1974 Ehrlich, Tiff Needell in a fine performance at the final Thruxton in the 1975 Safir and Claude Ciucci in Ian Williams' Supernova SF3 at a non-championship race.

The races

07 Mar 1976 > Thruxton (BP Round 1)

14 Mar 1976 > Silverstone (ShellSport Round 1)

27 Mar 1976 > Race of the North at Oulton Park

11 Apr 1976 > Silverstone (ShellSport Round 2)

19 Apr 1976 > Thruxton (BP Round 2)

25 Apr 1976 > Zolder (BP Round 3)

02 May 1976 > "The Hollies" Trophy Formula Three Race at Mallory Park

09 May 1976 > Thruxton (BP Round 4)

23 May 1976 > Brands Hatch (BP Round 5)

30 May 1976 > Formula 3 Race at Silverstone

06 Jun 1976 > Silverstone (BP Round 6)

20 Jun 1976 > Silverstone (ShellSport Round 3)

10 Jul 1976 > Oulton Park (BP Round 7)

17 Jul 1976 > Brands Hatch (BP Round 8)

15 Aug 1976 > Mallory Park (BP Round 9)

30 Aug 1976 > Silverstone (ShellSport Round 4)

12 Sep 1976 > Thruxton (BP Round 10)

18 Sep 1976 > Silverstone (ShellSport Round 5)

19 Sep 1976 > Snetterton (BP Round 11)

26 Sep 1976 > Griffin Golden Helmet at Mallory Park

24 Oct 1976 > Paul Nicholas Trophy at Brands Hatch

31 Oct 1976 > Thruxton (BP Round 12)

1976 BARC BP Super Visco F3 Championship table

1Rupert KeeganMarch 743 - Toyota Novamotor
Chevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor
74 pts6 wins
2Bruno GiacomelliMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor71 pts5 wins
3Geoff LeesChevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor31 pts1 win
4Stephen SouthMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor27 pts 
5Mike YoungModus M1 - Toyota Novamotor21 pts 

Previous: the 1975 season

Next: the 1977 season

This series ran over 12 rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system with an extra point awarded for fastest lap. Points tables from Autocourse 1976/77 p245.

1976 BRDC ShellSport F3 Championship table

1Bruno GiacomelliMarch 763 - Toyota Novamotor79 pts2 wins
2Rupert KeeganMarch 743 - Toyota Novamotor
Hawke - Toyota Novamotor
Chevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor
62 pts2 wins
3Geoff LeesChevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor42 pts1 win
4Mike YoungModus M1 - Toyota Novamotor36 pts 
5Ian FluxRalt RT1 - Toyota Novamotor29 pts 

Previous: the 1975 season

Next: the 1977 season

This series ran over five rounds and used a 20-15-12-10-8 points system. Points tables from Autocourse 1976/77 p244.

Novamotor's Toyota engine was now dominant with the Ford twin-cam having all but disppeared and the Ford Pinto proving ineffective. Holbay and Neil Brown both turned their attention to the Triumph Dolomite engine but it was not quite competitive with the Toyota. The BMW engine continued to be popular in Germany.