OK, so I'm cheating with the picture.  Ted Prappas is seen here winning at Westwood in July 1986 in his Team Tui Ralt RT4/86, a long way west of the ECAR series.  Copyright Brent Martin 2016.  Used with permission.

ECAR Formula Atlantic 1986

After a successful debut season in 1985, ECAR grew to nine races in 1986 and attracted some important young talent. Canadian Scott Goodyear had been making his way up through the SCCA ranks, impressing in Trans-Am, but this was his first season of professional racing. Englishman Calvin Fish had been through the traditional British ladder of Formula Ford and Formula 3, but his timing had been unfortunate, arriving in F3 at the same time as Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle. Despite a win at Oulton Park, his F3 opportunites dried up and he moved to the US where some impressive drives in Vicki O'Connor's Pro Sports 2000 series in 1985 won him in a season in husband Bill's Formula Atlantic Ralt for 1986. Goodyear and Fish dominated ECAR in 1986: Goodyear winning six races to Fish's three, and Goodyear also took pole position five times. The Canadian attracted the attention of the CART teams and became Atlantic's first CART graduate since Michael Andretti in 1983. Fish stayed with the O'Connor's for another try at Atlantic in 1987.

The races

01 Jun 1986 > Road Atlanta

14 Jun 1986 > Montréal

06 Jul 1986 > Summit Point

27 Jul 1986 > Road America

03 Aug 1986 > St Louis International Raceway

16 Aug 1986 > Lime Rock

27 Sep 1986 > Mosport Park

12 Oct 1986 > Road Atlanta

16 Nov 1986 > St Petersburg

1986 ECAR Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Scott GoodyearRalt RT4/86 - Ford BDD139 pts6 wins
2Calvin FishRalt RT4/86 - Ford BDD114 pts3 wins
3Steve SheltonRalt RT4/85 - Ford BDD88 pts 
4=Paul DallenbachRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD82 pts 
4=James OppermannRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD82 pts 
6Michael GreenfieldRalt RT4/85 - Ford BDD58 pts 
7John TimkenRalt RT4/84 - Ford BDD56 pts 
8Peter GreenfieldRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD54 pts 
9Tommy GrunnahRalt RT4/86 - Ford BDD Willis49 pts 
10John LloydRalt RT4/86 - Ford BDD41 pts 

Of 189 race starts in the east, 156 were in Ralts, 27 in Marchs, four in Chevrons and two in Tigas. As the series became more professional, so the cars were getting newer: 67 starts were in cars built in 1986 (or purported to be), and a further 25 from 1985. The bulk of the Ralts were from 1981, 1982 or 1983. Apart from the two 1982/83 Tigas, the youngest non-Ralts were March 81As.

Class B was won by R Peter Gates in his March 81A with three wins and two second places from six starts. However, it was Cliff Ebben in another 81A that deserved much of the credit as he was fastest qualifier in all five of the races he contested, failed to start one but won the other four.