US Formula B 1970
The 1969 champion Mike Eyerly stayed in FB for 1970 and this time completely dominated the season with eight wins and three second places from 13 races in Fred Opert's Chevron B17B. Allan Lader, in an Opert-run Brabham BT29 was equally far ahead of the rest with two wins to add to the five times that he finished second to Eyerly.
Third was Jacques Couture in the mysterious Lotus "69B" that does not appear in Lotus records and may be a F2-style upgrade to his Lotus 59B. He recorded two back-to-back wins in the summer but retired too often to be a contender for overall honours.
The Chevron B17B and Lotus 69B were almost one-offs in the series with most drivers opting for the proven Brabham BT29. Future SCCA boss Nick Craw was fourth in the series in another Opert BT29 and Matt Spitzley was fifth in his private version. Three of the seven SCCA Divisions (see right) were also won by BT29s.
19 Apr 1970 > Riverside
24 May 1970 > Edmonton
07 Jun 1970 > Seattle
14 Jun 1970 > Laguna Seca
28 Jun 1970 > Sears Point
05 Jul 1970 > Dallas International Motor Speedway
18 Jul 1970 > Road America
01 Aug 1970 > Mont-Tremblant
16 Aug 1970 > Brainerd
29 Aug 1970 > SCCA Formula B Race at Road America
07 Sep 1970 > Lime Rock
13 Sep 1970 > Mosport Park
27 Sep 1970 > Mid-Ohio
25 Oct 1970 > Sebring International Raceway
SCCA Continental Championship for Formula B/C events shown in bold
1970 SCCA Continental Championship for Formula B/C table
|1||Mike Eyerly||Chevron B17B - Ford twin cam||190 pts||8 wins|
|2||Allan Lader||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||144 pts||2 wins|
|3||Jacques Couture||Lotus 69B - Ford twin cam||74 pts||2 wins|
|4||Nick Craw||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||65 pts|
|5||Matt Spitzley||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||50 pts|
|6||Sandy Shepard||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||44 pts|
|7||Doug Brenner||Chevron B15B - Ford twin cam||34 pts|
|8||Randy Lewis||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||32 pts|
|9||Mike Hiss||Brabham BT15/29 - Ford twin cam||30 pts|
|10||Graham Baker||Brabham BT29 - Ford twin cam||28 pts|
Brian Nelson, visiting from Northern Ireland in the Crosslé 18F, won the other race the season finale at Sebring in October. A big non-championship event at Road America in August was also won by the unstoppable Eyerly.
Fred Opert regarded Eyerly as one of the best drivers he ever worked with but his career floundered when he went to the 1971 Tasman series with a badly-prepared Surtees TS8 F5000 car and ran out of finance. He only raced a few more times in FB.
The 1970 season saw a huge change in the use of engines. At the start of the season, the Vegantune engine was the dominant engine and was being supplied as standard by Brabham, March and others but during the course of the year, Brian Hart's engines completely took over and by the autumn, all the leading runners were using Harts. Both engines were of course variants on the Ford twin-cam engine, originally developed by Lotus. The trigger for the change was, as so often in Formula B, Fred Opert. Until Jan 1970, Opert had been the importer for Vegantune but he changed camps to Hart so all new Brabham and Chevron FBs would come fitted with Harts. The $3,195 new Hart 416B was rated at 180bhp, only slightly more than the 1969 Vegantune FLC but by June, Opert was referring to the older engine in his adverts as "Vaguelytuned". Such was the split from Vegantune that by the end of 1970 Opert was announcing that Vegantune engines he was taking in part exchange were too unreliable to be resold and were being broken up instead.