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.
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
|1||Scott Goodyear||Ralt RT4/86 - Ford BDD||139 pts||6 wins|
|2||Calvin Fish||Ralt RT4/86 - Ford BDD||114 pts||3 wins|
|3||Steve Shelton||Ralt RT4/85 - Ford BDD||88 pts|
|4=||Paul Dallenbach||Ralt RT4/83 - Ford BDD||82 pts|
|4=||James Oppermann||Ralt RT4/83 - Ford BDD||82 pts|
|6||Michael Greenfield||Ralt RT4/85 - Ford BDD||58 pts|
|7||John Timken||Ralt RT4/84 - Ford BDD||56 pts|
|8||Peter Greenfield||Ralt RT4/82 - Ford BDD||54 pts|
|9||Tommy Grunnah||Ralt RT4/86 - Ford BDD Willis||49 pts|
|10||John Lloyd||Ralt RT4/86 - Ford BDD||41 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.