Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières, 3 Sep 1978
|1||Bill Brack||March 78B  - Ford BDN Nicholson
#7 Ecurie Canada
|2||Price Cobb||March 78B - Ford BDN Morris
#22 Ecurie Canada
|3||Didier Pironi||March 78B - Ford BDN Morris
#96 Ecurie Canada-Ramada Inns
|4||Bobby Rahal||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Willis
#2 Pierre's Motor Racing (see note 1)
|5||Ken Duclos||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Duclos
|6||Robert J. Nelkin||March 78B  - Ford BDN Stimola
#67 Hunter Mountain (see note 2)
|7||Rick Bell||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Cosworth
|8||Jean-Pierre Alamy||March 78B  - Ford BDN Hine
|9||Chip Mead||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Willis
#31 Pierre's Motor Racing
|10||Rick Koehler||Excalibur EE2B [March 77B] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#51 Brook Stevens (see note 3)
|11||John Connolly||Ralt RT1/76  - Ford BDN
#71 (see note 4)
|12||John Mortensen||March 78B [20?] - Ford BDN Race Shop
#9 Doug Shierson Racing
|13||Bertil Roos||Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings
#24 AME Racing
|14||Jeff Wood||March 78B - Ford BDN Willis
#20 Great Plains Racing (see note 5)
|15||Jeff Smith||Chevron B34 [34-76-15] - Ford BDN Smith
#50 Starr Racing (see note 6)
|16||Mike Follett||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Cosworth
|17||Dan Marvin||March 76B - Ford BDN Cosworth
#59 Norman Racing (see note 7)
|18||Cliff Hansen||March 78B  - Ford BDN Willis
#62 Charles Gladding
|19||Howdy Holmes||March 78B  - Ford BDN Race Shop
#8 Doug Shierson Racing
|20||Skeeter McKitterick||Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Jennings
#12 AME Racing
|21||Jon Norman||March 76B  - Ford BDN Cosworth
#58 Norman Racing (see note 8)
|22||Bob Earl||Chevron B34 [34-76-34] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#19 James Brolin (see note 9)
|23||Kevin Cogan||Ralt RT1 - Ford BDN Willis
#88 Ralt American
|24||Mike Rocke||March 77B  - Ford BDN Nicholson
#15 (see note 10)
|25||Danny Sullivan||March 78B - Ford BDN Stimola
#34 Bluebonnet Foods/Quaker State
|26||Chris Gleason||Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings
#75 Whalley BMW Sales
|DSQ||Arturo Merzario||Chevron B45 [45-78-04] - Ford BDN Smith
#5 Auberge des Gouverneurs/Fred Opert Racing
(see note 11)
|21||Overtaking under white flag|
|DNS||Riccardo Patrese||Chevron B39 [39-77-12?] - Ford BDN Smith
#6 Sheik/Fred Opert Racing (see note 12)
|Did not start
(Wet electrics on pace lap)
|DNS||Gilles Léger||Ralt RT1/77  - Ford BDN Cosworth
#72 (see note 13)
|Did not start|
|DNS||Giovanni Distasio||March 77B - Ford BDN Jennings
#46 Bluebonnet Foods/Quaker State
(see note 14)
|Did not start|
|DNS||Ralph Manaker||March 76B [8?] - Ford BDN Cosworth
#63 RM Racing (see note 15)
|Did not start|
|DNS||Sans Thompson||March 722/77B - Ford BDN
#36 Pierre's Motor Racing (see note 16)
|Did not start|
|DNS||Pierre Gadoury||Chevron B29 [29-75-08] - Ford BDN
#91 (see note 17)
|Did not start|
|T||Riccardo Patrese||Chevron B45 [45-78-02] - Ford BDN Smith
#4 Jean Coutu/Fred Opert Racing
(see note 18)
|(Only used in practice)|
|DNA||Len Campbell||March 74B  - Ford BDN
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||John Bauer||March 77B [28?] - Ford BDN
#73 (see note 19)
|Did not arrive|
All cars are 1.6-litre F/Atl unless noted.
|1||Bill Brack||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B  - Ford BDN Nicholson||1.28.643|
|2||Jeff Wood||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Willis||1.28.679|
|3||Howdy Holmes||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B  - Ford BDN Race Shop||1.28.789|
|4||Danny Sullivan||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Stimola||1.29.235|
|5||Bobby Rahal||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Willis||1.29.238|
|6||Cliff Hansen||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B  - Ford BDN Willis||1.29.337|
|7||Dan Marvin||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.29.347|
|8||Ken Duclos||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Duclos||1.29.382|
|9||Riccardo Patrese *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B39 [39-77-12?] - Ford BDN Smith||1.29.455|
|10||Kevin Cogan||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1 - Ford BDN Willis||1.29.574|
|11||Price Cobb||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Morris||1.29.771|
|12||Bertil Roos||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings||1.29.805|
|13||Didier Pironi||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B - Ford BDN Morris||1.29.993|
|14||Arturo Merzario||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B45 [45-78-04] - Ford BDN Smith||1.30.180|
|15||Jon Norman||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B  - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.30.565|
|16||Chip Mead||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Willis||1.30.877|
|17||Robert J. Nelkin||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B  - Ford BDN Stimola||1.30.941|
|18||Bob Earl||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B34 [34-76-34] - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.31.076|
|19||Mike Rocke||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 77B  - Ford BDN Nicholson||1.31.252|
|20||Mike Follett||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.32.270|
|21||Rick Bell||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.32.278|
|22||Gilles Léger *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/77  - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.32.406|
|23||John Mortensen||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B [20?] - Ford BDN Race Shop||1.32.520|
|24||Chris Gleason||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78 - Ford BDN Jennings||1.33.133|
|25||Jean-Pierre Alamy||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 78B  - Ford BDN Hine||1.33.137|
|26||Skeeter McKitterick||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/78  - Ford BDN Jennings||1.33.511|
|27||Jeff Smith||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B34 [34-76-15] - Ford BDN Smith||1.33.651|
|28||Rick Koehler||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Excalibur EE2B [March 77B] - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.33.929|
|29||Giovanni Distasio *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 77B - Ford BDN Jennings||1.34.301|
|30||Ralph Manaker *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B [8?] - Ford BDN Cosworth||1.34.173|
|31||Sans Thompson *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 722/77B - Ford BDN||1:34.973|
|32||John Connolly||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/76  - Ford BDN||1:37.697|
|33||Pierre Gadoury *||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B29 [29-75-08] - Ford BDN||1:38.065|
|* Did not start|
Notes on the cars:
- Ralt RT1/78  (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
- March 78B  (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.
- 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, Locke 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.
- Ralt RT1/76  (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
- 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.
- 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.
- March 76B (Dan Marvin): Dan Marvin (El Sobrante, CA) drove a #59 March 76B in 1977 as part of Jon Norman's Boxtrom-Berglen Norman Racing team. The car was built up using a tub that Norman had fabricated himself, using an unknown number of parts of unknown origin. It was, in effect, a new car. Marvin raced the car in both Pro Formula Atlantic and in SCCA Nationals in 1977 and 1978.
- March 76B  (Jon Norman): Tom Pumpelly (McLean, VA) raced a yellow #34 March 76B, entered by National Tire Wholesale. The only yellow 76B shown in March records was chassis 76B-3. Pumpelly raced the car until it was damaged in a collision with Bancroft at Mosport Park in August, after which it was acquired by Ecurie Canada whose regular driver Gilles Villeneuve had damaged both his cars. It is therefore believed to be the car driven by Villeneuve to win at Trois-Rivières and Road Atlanta in September but this is by no means certain. Then bought by John Lane who rented it back to Pumpelly for the SCCA Run-Offs at Road Atlanta, where Pumpelly crashed it again. Sold to John Norman (Oakland, CA) who raced it as part of a two-car team with Dan Marvin in 1977 and 1978. Norman then sold the car but later bought it back and restored it to Villeneuve's livery.
- 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.
- March 77B  (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.
- Chevron B45 [45-78-04] (Arturo Merzario): New to Fred Opert Racing for North American Formula Atlantic as a second car. Used as a spare by Keke Rosberg and as his race car at Lime Rock. Also raced by Eje Elgh and by Arturo Merzario at Trois-Rivières. Raced by Rosberg at Macau in November 1978. Advertised by Opert from ATS Engineering, where he had moved to become team manager, in March 1979 as a lightweight B45 with 1979 rear suspension and F2 fuel tanks. Then sold to Mike Peers and entered in the revived British series for Jim Crawford in 1979, winning five races and finishing second in the championship. Fitted with a BDX engine for 1980 and run by Plygrange Racing for Crawford in the F2 class of the Aurora series. Stayed with Plygrange for 1981 when raced by Vin Malkie (Northwich, Cheshire) in libre racing. Reappeared in 1983 when raced by Duncan Gray in the British Formula Atlantic series. It was entered by Peers himself in libre in 1984. Then to Steve Raine for Sprints, co-driven by Robin Boucher, and then hired to Bob Fearnley's RK Racing for Tiff Needell to drive in a pair of races in India in early 1985. Then reportedly to Stuart Ridge for 1986. To John Lloyd then to Simon Hadfield (Shepshed, Leicestershire) but damaged in an accident at Mallory Park. Restored with original Excita condoms bodywork and sold in 1998 to Jeff Wright, a Scotsman then living in Canada. Still with Wright (Wilmington, NC) in 2014 and raced regularly in vintage racing. By 2019, the car had moved to Scotland and was owned by George Coghill (Halkirk, Highland) and was prepared by Steve Worrad for sprints.
- Chevron B39 [39-77-12?] (Riccardo Patrese): New to Fred Opert Racing and raced in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship. This car was new for Keke Rosberg to race at Trois-Rivières in September 1977. It was retained by Opert for 1978, and raced by Eje Elgh at the opening two rounds as his #5 Sheik Condoms entry before his new Chevron B45 was available. The B39 is then thought to be the #5 car raced by Divina Galica at Hamilton in August 1978. As Opert's other B39s all seem to have been sold off, this is probably the #6 Opert entry for Riccardo Patrese at Trois-Rivières, the #4 Excita B39 driven by Keke Rosberg at Montréal on 24 September, and then later the pink #5 Chevron raced by Marco Tolama for Opert at Road America in July 1979 after preferring it to his regular B45 and Opert's new March 79B. Then probably the #4 entry for Doug Titus at Montréal later that season, where he did not start. Subsequent history unknown, but this is likely to be the red "ex-Rosberg" B39 advertised by Opert in December 1979 and in February 1982.
- Ralt RT1/77  (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
- March 77B (Giovanni Distasio): To Ecurie Canada for Richard Spenard to drive in the Labatts Formula Atlantic series in 1977, supported by Direct Film. The car was white, and ran as #96. The two Ecurie Canada cars, both now described as "ex-Villeneuve", went to Bertil Roos and Chris Gleason for 1978. Roos and Gleason are understood to have run together, and it is believed that Gleason had Spenard's usual car. After three races, Gleason acquired a new 1978 Ralt RT1, and the only other time the 77B was used was at Hamilton in August. Then sold to Giovanni Distasio (Edgewater, NJ) to replace his March 75B, and raced by him at Trois-Rivières and Montréal in September. Retained for 1979. Advertised by DiStasio in January 1980. Subsequent history unknown.
- 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.
- March 722/77B (Sans Thompson): Tom Crowther (Kentfield, CA, later Novato, CA) raced a March in Formula B/Atlantic from 1974 to 1976 and this is believed to have been the same March 722 throughout. At first the car was entered by "Pollard Racing, a division of Donald Pollard Associates". By the start of 1975, it had Falconer bodywork, but later that season it had acquired 75B bodywork, and was entered as a 75B at the 1975 Run-Offs and at a single Pro appearance in late 1976. Crowther ran the "75B" regularly through 1977, winning the Portland National in September. It was then sold via Pierre Phillips to Nick Lingren and was driven by Sans Thompson at Trois-Rivières in 1978. In February 1979, Pierre Phillips Racing was advertising the "ex-Crowther March" as a rolling chassis. Subsequent history unknown.
- Chevron B29 [29-75-08] (Pierre Gadoury): Unknown in 1975, 1976 and 1977, but almost certainly a Fred Opert Racing car in 1975. To Pierre Gadoury (Saint-Lambert, Quebec) for 1978 but failed to start at its two appearances, at Trois-Rivières and Montréal. It went to Frank Vella (Detroit, Michigan) for 1979, when it was still in Opert blue and with Valvoline decals on the side. Then to Andy Falbo (Detroit, MI) in 1980. Falbo sold it to somebody in Florida who was planning to fit a Mazda engine. Later acquired as a project via race-cars.com in 2004 by Bill Murray (Durham) and brought back to the UK. After Murray died in 2013, the car passed to his son-in-law David Beatty.
- Chevron B45 [45-78-02] (Riccardo Patrese): 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.
- 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help in any way with our research.