OldRacingCars.com

Formula Atlantic Labatts Championship Series Race

Road America, 23 Jul 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Howdy Holmes March 78B [1] - Ford BDN Race Shop
#8 Douglas Shierson Racing
25 56m 05.36s
106.972 mph
2 Bill Brack March 78B [7] - Ford BDN Nicholson
#7 Bill Brack
25 56m 08.49s
3 Bobby Rahal Ralt RT1/78 [109] - Ford BDN Willis
#2 Pierre's Motors (see note 1)
25
4 Danny Sullivan March 78B - Ford BDN Stimola
#34 Chrismark Racing
25
5 Tom Gloy March 76B - Ford BDN Jennings
#38 Tom Gloy (see note 2)
25
6 Bertil Roos Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings
#24 Racetune
25
7 Keke Rosberg Chevron B45 [45-78-02] - Ford BDN Smith
#4 Juluis Schmidt, Canada [Fred Opert Racing]
(see note 3)
25
8 Bobby Brown March 78B [18] - Ford BDN
#79 Bobby Brown Racing
25
9 Chip Mead Ralt RT1/78 [106] - Ford BDN Willis
#31 Fastrack Operations
25
10 Robert J. Nelkin March 78B [8] - Ford BDN Stimola
#67 Palm Beach Gem Lab (see note 4)
24
11 Bruce Jensen Ralt RT1/78 [95] - Ford BDN
#41 [not on entry list]
24
12 Chris Gleason Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Morris
#75 C. K. Gleason
24
13 Rick Bell Ralt RT1/78 [127] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#78 Bell Racing
24
14 Peter Robinson Chevron B39 [39-77-07] - Ford BDN
#66 (#86?) [not on entry list] (see note 5)
24
15 John Bauer March 77B [28?] - Ford BDN
#73 John Bauer Racing (see note 6)
24
16 Jeff Smith Chevron B34 [34-76-15] - Ford BDN Smith
#50 Jeff Smith (see note 7)
24
17 Cliff Hansen March 78B [4] - Ford BDN Furnas
#62 Cliff Hansen Racing
24
18 Mike Follett Ralt RT1/78 [128] - Ford BDN
#21 Follett's Mountain Sports
23
19 Carl Liebich Lola T362 [HU18] - Ford BDN
#54 Liebrau Racing (see note 8)
23
20 Bob Earl Chevron B34 [34-76-34] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#19 Shea Racing [not on entry list]
(see note 9)
19 Accident
21 Frank Scott March 75B - Ford BDA
#74 F. Scott/Curtin Realty (see note 10)
19
22 Skeeter McKitterick Chevron B45 [45-78-03] - Ford BDN
#11 Shea Racing (see note 11)
18
23 Dale Lang March 78B [12] - Ford BDN
#99 [not on entry list]
13
24 Kevin Cogan Ralt RT1 - Ford BDN Willis
#33 Kevin Cogan
6 Engine
25 John Connolly Ralt RT1/76 [10] - Ford BDN
#71 Connolly Enterprises (see note 12)
5
26 Jeff Wood March 78B - Ford BDN Willis
#20 Wood Racing (see note 13)
2 Engine
27 Rick Koehler Excalibur EE2B [March 77B] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#51 Brooks Stevens Ecurie Excalibur
(see note 14)
1
28 John Mortensen March 78B [20?] - Ford BDN Race Shop
#9 Douglas Shierson Racing
0
UNK Price Cobb March 78B - Ford BDN Morris
#22 Ecurie Canada

DNS Ken Briggs March 78B - Ford BDN Morris
#30 Briggs Racing
Did not start
DNS Jerry Hansen March 78B [19] - Ford BDN
#44 (see note 15)
Did not start
  James Crawley Chevron B39 [39-77-06] - Ford BDN Smith
#5 Valvoline/Fred Opert Racing (see note 16)
On entry list
  Jean-Pierre Alamy March 77B [23] - Ford BDN
#13 Colin Hine Racing (see note 17)
On entry list
  Mike Rocke March 77B [29] - Ford BDN Nicholson
#15 Michael Rocke (see note 18)
On entry list
  Peter Neumahr Ralt RT1 - Ford BDN
#42 Atlantic Racing
On entry list
  Ralph Manaker March 76B [8?] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#63 R. M. Racing (see note 19)
On entry list
  Gilles Léger Ralt RT1/77 [79] - Ford BDN
#72 Gilles Leger (see note 20)
On entry list
  Ken Duclos Ralt RT1/78 [119] - Ford BDN Duclos
#84 New England Racing
On entry list
  Brad Abbott March 77B [6?] - Ford BDN Stimola
#98 Colin Hine Racing (see note 21)
On entry list

All cars are 1.6-litre F/Atl unless noted.

Qualifying
1 Bobby Rahal (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78 [109] - Ford BDN Willis 2m 13.836s
2 Danny Sullivan (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Stimola 2m 14.382s
3 Howdy Holmes (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B [1] - Ford BDN Race Shop 2m 14.733s
4 Jeff Wood (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Willis
5 Bertil Roos (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings
6 Tom Gloy (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B - Ford BDN Jennings
7 Kevin Cogan (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1 - Ford BDN Willis
8 Bill Brack (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B [7] - Ford BDN Nicholson
9 Cliff Hansen (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B [4] - Ford BDN Furnas
10 Keke Rosberg (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B45 [45-78-02] - Ford BDN Smith

Notes on the cars:

  1. Ralt RT1/78 [109] (Bobby Rahal): New to Pierre Phillips for Bobby Rahal to race in North American Formula Atlantic in 1978, supported by James Morgan. Sold to Ken Dunn in June 1979 and retained by him for the 1980 and 1981 seasons. CT
  2. March 76B (Tom Gloy): Rick Shea Racing Team ran a #11 March 76B in 1977 for Tom Gloy (Lafayette, CA) but the origins of the car are unclear. The current owner of the ex-Gloy car has history indicating it is the ex-Gloy car but Shea's recollection is that this car was Mortensen's which can be identified with confidence as 76B-7. Shea and Gloy retained the car for 1978, when it was run as #38 and had a front-mounted radiator. Gloy last raced it at Hamilton in August, after which it was advertised by Bud Rude in September, noting that it had a new monocoque. It was then sold, still yellow and with its front radiator, to Gary Fernandez for 1979, who painted it red. Fernandez crashed the car in April 1979, and it was repaired by Arnie Loyning, who ended up owning it, and raced it a couple of times. It was subsequently traded (for a Sports 2000) to Bob Lesnett (Berkeley, CA), owner of Pfieffer Ridge Racing, so would be the "77B" he raced in SCCA Nationals in 1982, and during his ownership the tub was rebuilt by Marc Bahner. An "ex-Gloy" March was later advertised by Pfeiffer Ridge Racing in Richmond, CA, in January 1984. Larry Savage has a car in 2019 that is said to be ex-Gloy and has the SCCA Log Book from when Gary Fernandez owned it in 1979. The car is now on a 77B tub, but a different 77B tub to the one recorded by the SCCA in 1979, and wears a replica "76B-9" chassis plate.
  3. Chevron B45 [45-78-02] (Keke Rosberg): New to Fred Opert Racing for Keke Rosberg to for race in North American Formula Atlantic in 1978, with backing from Excita. Raced by Bob Earl at Montréal in September when Rosberg drove an older B39. Retained by Opert for 1979, and driven by Marco Tolama. To Paul Fostini (SCCA New York Region) and used in NEDiv Formula Atlantic in 1981, scoring seven points that season. It was then sold to AJ "Buddy" Pugliese (New Rochelle, NY) in 1982, and used in Race Car Club of America (RCCA) races, the club formed by Pugliese in 1979 to promote the Club Ford format. In 1983, Pugliese started a new RCCA class called Formula American, for pre-ground-effect Formula Atlantic cars with their Cosworth engines limited to 9200 rpm but also allowing the use of the Chevrolet 60° V6 engine limited to 6500 rpm. The B45 was fitted with the V6 engine and Pugliese raced it through much of the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he loaned the car to Walter Nelson who crashed it and then took it to a fabricator at Dutchess County Airport for repairs, where it sat for some time after the fabricator's business closed. In February 2014, Pugliese sold the whole project to Ric Baribeault, who first had to locate the missing tub and then took it all to Bob Cavanaugh for restoration. The restoration progressed slowly and was stil incomplete in 2020 when Baribeault sold it to Cordell Secrest (Houston, TX). Secrest moved the project to the Danbury, CT, workshop of Mike Agnifilo (North Salem, NY), and it remained with him until he eventually acquired it partly in payment of storage fees. Agnifilo plans to rebuild the car to original specification.
  4. March 78B [8] (Robert J. Nelkin): New to RJ Nelkin (Roslyn, NY/Woodbury, NY) for the Labatts Formula Atlantic series and SCCA Nationals in 1978. Despite reports that Nalkin raced it at Palm Beach in February and had it as a spare car at Long Beach in April, its SCCA number indicates that it was first used at Charlette's Super-National in mid-April. Nelkin finished 16th in the Labatts series and finished fifth in NEDiv, scoring 22 points. Chris Townsend advises that the car went to Paul Corazzo (Wethersfield, CT) for 1979, so would be the March he raced in SCCA Nationals in 1979 and is presumably the "79B" he had as late as 1987. The car was next seen in January 2004 when it was advertised from Virginia, having been raced in US historic racing in 1996. The car was acquired by Daryl Taylor and returned to the UK, but at some point was involved in a workshop fire and the tub was destroyed. A new tub was fabricated, and the car was raced by Taylor raced a March 78B in HSCC events from 2007 to 2014, during which time it was also driven by Bruce Fullerton, Simon Taylor, Ashley Taylor, Martin Trott and Robert Wainwright. In 2021, it was sold to Martin Wood (Faversham, Kent), and for the 2022 season, he converted it to 782 F2 specification with a BMW engine.
  5. Chevron B39 [39-77-07] (Peter Robinson): New to Fred Opert Racing and raced in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship by Gregg Young as the team's #6 Valvoline entry using Opert's usual pale blue bodywork. Young damaged the car at Trois-Rivières and raced one of the team's Ramada-liveried B39s at the final race at Québec City. Retained by Fred Opert Racing for the 1978 New Zealand series, where Jacques Laffite had been its intended driver but it ended up being used as a spare car for Keke Rosberg, still in pale blue bodywork. Sold to Peter Robinson (Madison, Wisconsin) and raced in SCCA Nationals and in a couple of Labatts Championship Pro races in 1978. He scored 19 points in Central Division in 1978. He was not seen in 1979, but reappeared with the car in Southwest Division in 1980, now as a member of Lone Star Region, and qualified for the Runoffs. He converted the car to Formula C for 1981, and retained it until 1984 at least, when it was advertised from Austin, TX. Subsequent history unknown, but some time around 2003, the car was acquired by Jeff Mckay (Tacoma, WA) from the estate of a collector in Texas. Mckay sold the car in 2004 to John Bradshaw (Manchester). Bradshaw found the tub was creased so had a new tub made by ex-Chevron fabricator Dennis Aldred at Motorsport Components in Bolton. After running the car in the Chevron 40th anniversary event at Oulton Park in August 2005, Bradshaw sold it to Sandy Watson, who raced it in European Historic F2 and HSCC Derek Bell Trophy from 2006 to 2009. Then sold to Roland Wiltschegg (Austria) who raced it from 2010 to 2013.
  6. March 77B [28?] (John Bauer): New to Cliff Hansen (Laguna Beach, CA) in time for the race at Edmonton at the beginning of July. Hansen wrecked it in practice at St-Félicien and it was rebuilt on a new monocoque. Crashed again at Trois-Rivières. Sold to John Bauer (San Luis Obispo, CA) and raced in 1978 and at the Long Beach race in 1979. Advertised by Bauer in February 1980.
  7. Chevron B34 [34-76-15] (Jeff Smith): New to Gilles Léger (Lachute, Quebec) and raced in Canadian Formula Atlantic races in 1976. Unknown in 1977. Reappeared in 1978, raced by Jeff Smith (Vancouver, British Columbia) in the Labatts Formula Atlantic championship. To Gordon Munroe (Victoria, BC) for 1979, and raced in ICSCC events. Retained by Munroe for 1980 and 1981. Rex Thompson recalled in correspondence with Vince Howlett in 2008 that the Chevron went to "to a very nice guy in Nanaimo [BC]" who fitted a Mazda rotary engine. When he retired, he sold it to someone in Langley who crashed it heavily at Westwood. Thompson believed the tub was beyond repair. Subsequent history unknown.
  8. Lola T362 [HU18] (Carl Liebich): Described as "the 1976 prototype", this car was loaned by Lola to the Wella team for Ted Wentz to drive in the last few races of the 1975 British Formula Atlantic season after Wentz' regular car was wrecked in testing at Silverstone by Roy James. It was loaned to Tony Trimmer for the start of the 1976 season, now as a Lola T362, and Trimmer won the first two races, only for the car to be sold from under him to Bruach Racing for Mike King, who raced it in Indylantic and Shellsport Group 8 for the rest of that season. Somehow then to Carl Liebich (Plymouth, WI) as a spare car to his Lola T460. Exactly when it was used is not known. Crashed at some point, and sold, still unrepaired, to Cy Moreland (Trainer, PA). Still with Moreland in 2003. Later to Steve Maxted (UK), fitted with a Cosworth BDG and raced by him in HSCC F2 races from 2006 to 2011. To Mark Piercy for HSCC F2 from 2012 onwards.
  9. Chevron B34 [34-76-34] (Bob Earl): New to Fred Opert Racing and believed to be the car raced by Alan Jones at Trois-Rivières in early September. To Butch Owsley (Aptos, CA/San Jose, CA) and raced in the IMSA race at Laguna Seca in early October. Retained by Owsley for SCCA Nationals and Regionals in 1977. Then raced by Bob Earl (Novato, CA) at a couple of late-season SCCA Regionals. The car was bought by actor James Brolin and run for Earl to drive by Ron Tourte's Tourté Racing in 1978, then Earl raced it in Pro events and SCCA Nationals. Earl did not get the results he expected, and also raced Doug Dreager's March 76B in one race, and ended the season in one of Fred Opert's newer Chevron B39s. The B34 went to Mike Buckenham (Stockton, CA) for 1979 and he raced it in SCCA Nationals until 1982 at least. The car was then taken by Joe Ordoqui (Boeing, CA) in partial payment for his March 80A. Ordoqui recalls that the Chevron sat in his garage for a couple of years but he is not sure where it went. Subsequent history unknown.
  10. March 75B (Frank Scott): For 1976, Thomas and Theodore Sokoly acquired a March 75B from Doug Shierson Racing. The car was blue when they first acquired it, and they were told that it had been raced by a Canadian hire driver at Trois-Rivières, who had damaged the engine during practice. This would seem to be a reference to Marcel Talbot, as he was the only Canadian to drive for DSR at that race, and he failed to start the race. With Tom Sokoly (Mayville, WI) driving, and brother Ted as chief mechanic, they raced the March 75B in Formula Atlantic in 1976, including one IMSA round, two Players rounds, plus SCCA Nationals. Tom did not score any points in Central Division in 1976, but scored three points in 1977. For 1978, the car was sold to Frank Scott (Racine, WI), a local Assistant District Attorney. He scored only three points in CenDiv FB in 1978, and took part in the Labatts Championship Series race at Road America in July 1978. Advertised by Scott in March 1979 as a 75B/77B with a choice of BDD and BDN engines. Subsequent history unknown.
  11. Chevron B45 [45-78-03] (Skeeter McKitterick): New to Rick Shea Racing and in North American Formula Atlantic in 1978, with backing from Jethro Tull. Raced by Shea at the first round, and by Marcel Talbot, Skeeter McKitterick, Bob Earl and Tom Gloy at later races, Retained by Shea for 1979 and raced by Mark McCaig (Calgary, Alberta) in the Pro series. To Colin Tuckey (Calgary, Alberta) for 1980, and entered in the Pro series by FBM Racing. Retained by Tuckey for 1981. Later raced by David Farmer (Niagra Falls, Ontario) in 1983. The car ended up with another Chevron in a museum in Canada, until 1989, when they were spotted by Peter Hemming. The B45 was acquired by Ed Swart in February 1993, and prepared for historic racing. He raced the B45 from October 1993 with a BDA engine in the Formula Atlantic class, and after about five years ran it with a 2-litre BDG engine in F2 classes.
  12. Ralt RT1/76 [10] (John Connolly): New to Team Gunston for Roy Klomfass at the end of 1975 and used through the 1976 South African Formula Atlantic season in South Africa, during which time it was extensively modified. In early 1977 it was sold "to a guy in Los Angeles". This must have been Kevin Cogan (Torrance, CA, in southwestern Los Angeles County), who raced his newer RT1/76-33 in 1977 but kept chassis 10 as a spare car for the first part of 1977. It was borrowed by Pierre Phillips at Mosport Park in May for Juan Cochesa to race after the Venezuelan crashed his intended car in practice. Then very probably the car acquired from Brian Robertson by John Connolly (Brooklyn, NY) and raced by him at Trois-Rivières in September. The car is thought to have remained with Connolly until advertised by him in early 1982, but he also had a newer RT1/78 and a Ralt RT4. CT
  13. March 78B (Jeff Wood): Jeff Wood (Studio City, CA) had a pair of March 78Bs in 1978, entered by Great Plains Racing in Formula Atlantic in 1978 and he then raced one of them in New Zealand in December 1978 and January 1979. He started the 1979 season with one of the 78Bs at Long Beach, and then had a new 79B at either the second or third race. One of the 78Bs was sold to Greg Sun who ran it (as a 78-79B) in SCCA events in 1979. It was then acquired by Bob Schader and raced on through 1980 and early 1981, including appearances at the Long Beach and Road America Pro races in 1980 and at Long Beach again in 1981. Schader then moved into FSV and the 78B was sold to Dorsey Schroeder (Manchester, MO) and used extensively in SCCA in 1981 and 1982.
  14. Excalibur EE2B [March 77B] (Rick Koehler): Rick Koehler (Milwaukee, WI) raced an Excalibur EE2B in Formula Atlantic in 1978, with sponsorship from Brooks Stevens. The car was essentially a March 77B and was described as ex-Shierson and ex-Brack in adverts in late 1978 and 1979. It was leased to Joe Castellano for the Long Beach race in April 1979, and then sat unused until August 1980 when it was sold to David Locke (Cambridge City, IN). Locke fitted the car with 79B bodywork and Bobsy fenders so that it could be used in Can-Am racing, using an 1850cc Hart BDA engine and Hewland FT200 gearbox. In October 1981, Koehler ordered a Kevlar Cicale body for the car, and used it in this form in 1982 and 1983, but without success. He acquired a Hart 420R engine from Jim Trueman for 1984 and raced the car in Can-Am and then CAT until 1987. Chris Townsend advises that it was sold to Lee Johnson in Colorado in April 1988, and was still with Johnson in 2012.
  15. March 78B [19] (Jerry Hansen): Sold new to Jerry Hansen and used in SCCA Nationals, winning the 1978 Run-Offs. Sold to Ed Midgley for 1979 and used again only in Nationals. Updated to 79B specification for 1980 and raced by Midgley in the Pro championship until wrecked at Trois Rivieres. Midgley completed the season in a borrowed 78B. The damaged car sold to Carl Berggren and rebuilt. Later with Bruce Cambern.
  16. Chevron B39 [39-77-06] (James Crawley): New to Fred Opert Racing and raced in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship. Believed to be the car raced by Francisco Romero at the opening round. Believed to be the car intended for Didier Pironi at St-Félicien in August, but crashed in practice. Repaired and entered for Patrick Depailler at Trois-Rivières and Québec City as the team's #2 car. Retained by Fred Opert Racing for the 1978 New Zealand series, where it was the team's #2 entry raced by Bobby Rahal. Then raced by Jim Crawley in two North American races in early 1978. It is then likely to be one of two B39s retained by the Opert team later in 1978, and as such may be the car raced by Rosberg at the final race of the season. Opert again had two B39s for the 1979 season, one in red bodywork and one in orange. He advertised both these cars in December 1979, one in "original red gelcoat" and one "repainted orange", describing them as ex-Rosberg and ex-Rahal cars. Rahal only drove 77-06, and as that was originally blue, it cannot have been the "original red gelcoat" car in the advert so must have been the orange car. Subsequent history unknown, but in December 2005 "Joe" from Northern New Jersey was seeking information about chassis "39-77-06". He said he had contacted Fred Opert who had told him that it had been used by Rosberg in New Zealand, and by Jacques Lafitte, Patrick Depailler and James Crawley in the Canadian series. It had orange bodywork, again indicating that it had been Tolama's orange car. "Joe" advertised it for sale on the Autosport Forum in January 2006. A restoration then began that included a new monocoque by Prince Race Cars and the car was advertised on race-cars.com in dark blue bodywork. It was next seen when restored by The Progress Group (Placentia, CA) in 2011/12 with pale blue B39 bodywork and white Excita signwriting, and raced by Chris Cord at the Monterey Historics in 2013.
  17. March 77B [23] (Jean-Pierre Alamy): New to Marcel Talbot (Granby, Quebec) and run for him by Colin Hine Racing Team in Formula Atlantic in 1977, sponsored by Tamaco. Retained by Colin Hine Racing for 1978, and entered for Willy T. Ribbs at Long Beach, then for Jean-Pierre Alamy at two further races. Subsequent history unknown. 28 years later, a car with the chassis plate was advertised on race-cars.com from Indianapolis, IN, in 2006, when it was blue and had just been restored by restoration by McNamara Motorsports/Adkins Racing. It was next seen in Historic F2, where it was fitted with a BDG engine, and driven by Bo Warmenius from 2007 to 2014. Photographs indicate this is then the car used by Alain Girardet and Gislain Genecand between 2017 and 2019.
  18. March 77B [29] (Mike Rocke): New to Mike Rocke (Livermore, CA), who raced the car through 1977 and 1978 until a serious accident at Trois-Rivières which left Rocke very badly injured and destroyed the 77B.
  19. March 76B [8?] (Ralph Manaker): Doug Shierson Racing ran a red March 76B for Dale Lang (Wilton, CT) in 1976. The only red 76B in March build records was 76B-8, suggesting this was Lang's car. Lang retained this car for 1977 and then sold it to Ralph Manaker (Erieville, NY) who raced it in 1978. Advertised by Manaker as a 76-77B in October 1978.
  20. Ralt RT1/77 [79] (Gilles Léger): New to Gilles Léger (Lachute, Quebec), first appearing at Trois-Rivières in September 1977. Raced by Léger mainly in the Canadian rounds of the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship in 1978. Then used as a rental car by Léger for Marc Dancose to race at Quebec in June 1979 and Monique Proulx at Montréal in September. Sold to Bob Hoff (Long Beach, CA) for 1980, when it was run for him in the North American Formula Atlantic series by Gas Saleen Racing. CT
  21. March 77B [6?] (Brad Abbott): Brad Abbott (Messapequa, NY) raced a March 77B in SCCA Nationals and then the Pro series in 1977, run by Stimola Racing. He retained the car for 1978, but was seen less often that season. Subsequent history unknown.

Sources

The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.

North American Formula Atlantic race results have been compiled by Chris Townsend based on material in Formula and On Track, information drawn from Canadian newspapers and results sheets where available.

All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can help in any way with our research.