Martin Brundle in the Eddie Jordan Racing Ralt RT3/83 at the opening round of the 1983 series at Silverstone.  Copyright Alan Cox 2009.  Used with permission.

British Formula 3 1983

A clash of two future stars, Ayrton Senna da Silva and Martin Brundle, dominated the 1983 season. Senna had won the Thruxton race at the end of 1982 and extended that to a run of ten consecutive victories. Brundle never gave up and his moment finally came in the European Championship race at Silverstone where the Englishman romped to a morale-boosting victory and Senna crashed trying to keep up. Senna was rattled and crashed in practice at Cadwell Park and then crashed three times in the next few six races - each time when he was trying to take the lead from Brundle.

Brundle then beat Senna comprehensively at the penultimate round and took the championship lead by a single point. But at the last round, Senna's Dick Bennetts-prepared Ralt was untouchable, dominating practice and the race to clinch the title. Both drivers were snapped up by F1 teams for 1984, Brundle by Tyrrell and Senna by Toleman.

The races

06 Mar 1983 > Silverstone

13 Mar 1983 > Thruxton

20 Mar 1983 > Silverstone

27 Mar 1983 > Donington Park

04 Apr 1983 > Thruxton

24 Apr 1983 > Silverstone

02 May 1983 > Thruxton

08 May 1983 > Brands Hatch

30 May 1983 > Silverstone

12 Jun 1983 > Silverstone

19 Jun 1983 > Cadwell Park

03 Jul 1983 > Snetterton

16 Jul 1983 > Silverstone

24 Jul 1983 > Donington Park

06 Aug 1983 > Oulton Park

29 Aug 1983 > Silverstone

11 Sep 1983 > Oulton Park

18 Sep 1983 > Thruxton

02 Oct 1983 > Silverstone

23 Oct 1983 > Thruxton

12 Nov 1983 > Thruxton

Championship events shown in bold

1983 Marlboro British Formula 3 Championship table

1Ayrton SennaRalt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G132 pts12 wins
2Martin BrundleRalt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor123 pts6 wins
3Davy JonesRalt RT3/83 - VW Nicholson77 pts 
4Calvin FishRalt RT3/83 - VW Brabham67 pts1 win
5Allen BergRalt RT3/82 - Toyota 2T-G JQF
Ralt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
32 pts1 win
6Mario HyttenRalt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G
Sparton SE420 - VW Nicholson
23 pts 
7David LeslieMagnum 833 - Toyota 2T-G Robinson22 pts 
8Tony TrevorRalt RT3/82 - Toyota 2T-G Anglia9 pts 
9Johnny DumfriesRalt RT3/82 - VW Brabham
Ralt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
8 pts 
10Richard TrottRalt RT3/83 - Toyota 2T-G8 pts 

Previous: the 1982 season

Next: the 1984 season

Points table from Autosport 10 November 1983 p34.

Allen Berg's 'win' came in the European Championship race at Silverstone where the British runners had to use regulation Avon rubber to be eligible for British championship points. Brundle decided to challenge Senna for overall victory on Yokahama tyres. Berg only finished tenth. Fish's win only came after Senna and Brundle collided at Oulton Park.

Almost everyone used a Ralt RT3. The RT3/83 had been updated with reprofiled sidepods and altered suspension geometry and Ron Tauranac's cars had won 54 consecutive rounds of the British series by the end of 1983. Only David Leslie's unique Magnum 833 and Mario Hytten's unique Sparton SE420 managed top-5 finishes. The engine battle swung back in favour of the Toyota as both Brundle and Senna used the Japanese engine, and Jones and Fish the lighter VW.