Gilles Villeneuve's March 76B leads the field at Trois Rivieres Sep 1976.  Copyright Allan De La Plante 2012.  Used with permission.

Canadian and IMSA Formula Atlantic 1976

After his breakthrough season in 1975, Gilles Villeneuve was invited to rejoin Kris Harrison's Ecurie Canada for 1976 where he would have a pair of March 76Bs in the colours of his faithful sponsor Skiroule Snowmobiles and an experienced ex-March race engineer in Ray Wardell. Villeneuve was completely dominant but there was drama mid-season when Skiroule went bankrupt but Harrison was able to find replacement finance from Gaston Parent and from Direct Film to complete the season.

In the shadow of the unstoppable Canadian, some new stars were forming. Bobby Rahal, Marty Loft and Price Cobb both won races in Doug Shierson Racing March 76Bs and Tom Klausler maintained some sort of a profile by winning at Mid-Ohio in his Lola T460. No Chevron won a race but the massed B34s of Bill Brack, Fred Opert Racing and Bill Scott Racing were well represented in podium finishes. The Lola T460 was a disappointment, only Klausler - who had brought Lola back into North American F/Atlantic in 1974 - managing any success. The revitalised Tui team managed five podium finishes and Ralt secured one.

The races

16 May 1976 > Edmonton

30 May 1976 > Westwood

13 Jun 1976 > Gimli

11 Jul 1976 > Mont-Tremblant

08 Aug 1976 > Halifax

22 Aug 1976 > Mosport Park

05 Sep 1976 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

Players CASC Formula Atlantic Championship events shown in bold

1976 Players CASC Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Gilles VilleneuveMarch 76B - Ford BDA Morris120 pts4 wins
2Bertil RoosLola T460 - Ford BDA Hart
Ralt RT1 - Ford BDA Hart
72 pts 
3Bill BrackChevron B34 - Ford BDA Hart67 pts 
4Price CobbMarch 76B - Ford BDA Race Shop66 pts 
5Tom KlauslerLola T460 - Ford BDA Traylor58 pts 
6Bobby RahalMarch 76B - Ford BDA McCoy57 pts1 win
7Howdy HolmesChevron B34 - Ford BDA BSR44 pts 
8Tom GloyLola T460 - Ford BDA Nicholson
Tui BH2 - Ford BDA Nicholson
39 pts 
9Marty LoftMarch 76B - Ford BDA Race Shop38 pts1 win
10Juan CochésaChevron B34 - Ford BDA Hart34 pts 

Previous: 1975

Next: 1977

IMSA Formula Atlantic 1976

In an effort to expand Formula Atlantic back into the US, where the original Formula B had started life, CASC liaised with IMSA to create a separate six-race series south of the border. The SCCA, the more obvious partner, remained stubbornly disinterested in Formula Atlantic. The calendars were co-ordinated to make sure there were no clashes which was helpful for Gilles Villeneuve, who dominated the IMSA series as thoroughly as he did the CASC series.

The races

11 Apr 1976 > Road Atlanta

02 May 1976 > Laguna Seca

09 May 1976 > Ontario Motor Speedway

29 Aug 1976 > Mid-Ohio

19 Sep 1976 > Road Atlanta

03 Oct 1976 > Laguna Seca

1976 IMSA Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Gilles VilleneuveMarch 76B - Ford BDA Morris80 pts4 wins
2=Elliot Forbes-RobinsonChevron B34 - Ford BDA Hart45 pts 
2=Price CobbMarch 76B - Ford BDA Race Shop45 pts1 win
4Bobby BrownMarch 76B - Ford BDA Hart41 pts 
5Tom KlauslerLola T460 - Ford BDA Nicholson38 pts1 win
6Johnny GerberChevron B34 - Ford BDA BSR22 pts 
7Bobby RahalMarch 76B - Ford BDA McCoy20 pts 
8Don BreidenbachMarch 76B - Ford BDA Nicholson18 pts 
9Héctor RebaqueLola T460 - Ford BDA Traylor16 pts 
10=Hugh "Wink" BancroftChevron B34 - Ford BDA Hart15 pts 

Previous: 1975

Next: 1977