Gunnar Nilsson in Ted Moore's Rapid Movements Ltd Chevron B29 at Oulton Park in October 1975.  Copyright Alan Cox 2010.  Used with permission.

British Formula Atlantic 1975

Two ill-fated drivers dominated the Atlantic headlines in 1975, Tony Brise and Gunnar Nilsson. Brise dominated the first three months of the season, winning eight of the nine races in the two championships and developing an unassailable lead in the John Player series. He joined the Hill GP team in May and was due to become team leader for 1976 before a plane crash brought his short career to a tragic end. Nilsson spent 1975 in Formula 3, winning the British title comfortably in his works March 753. He then moved to Atlantic late in the year and won the last five races of the season. Cancer would cut short his career after two seasons in F1 with Lotus.

Although Brise appeared to be running away with the John Player title, Jim Crawford kept finishing second, and a win at Mallory Park in August ensured that he was still within sight of Brise right up until his Chevron retired at the last race. A string of second places was good enough to win the Southern Organs title for Ted Wentz as neither Brise nor Nilsson competed in enough races.

The strong revival of Formula 3 during 1975 would have a significant impact on Formula Atlantic which lost both its main sponsors at the end of the year.

The races

02 Mar 1975 > Brands Hatch

09 Mar 1975 > Mallory Park

16 Mar 1975 > Brands Hatch

30 Mar 1975 > Snetterton

13 Apr 1975 > Silverstone

20 Apr 1975 > Brands Hatch

04 May 1975 > Silverstone

18 May 1975 > Brands Hatch

26 May 1975 > Oulton Park

15 Jun 1975 > Mallory Park

29 Jun 1975 > Snetterton

13 Jul 1975 > Brands Hatch

19 Jul 1975 > Silverstone

03 Aug 1975 > Silverstone

10 Aug 1975 > Snetterton

24 Aug 1975 > Mallory Park

14 Sep 1975 > Brands Hatch

21 Sep 1975 > Brands Hatch

04 Oct 1975 > Oulton Park

12 Oct 1975 > Thruxton

19 Oct 1975 > Brands Hatch

1975 John Player British Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Tony BriseModus M3 - Ford BDA Nicholson150 pts6 wins
2Jim CrawfordChevron B29 - Ford BDA Hart125 pts2 wins
3Cyd WilliamsBrabham BT40 - Ford BDA Swindon59 pts 
4Richard MorganChevron B29 - Ford BDA Nicholson
Wheatcroft R18 - Ford BDA Nicholson
58 pts2 wins
5=Ted WentzLola T360 - Ford BDA Swindon53 pts1 win
5=Peter WardleSurtees TS15 - Ford BDA Swindon53 pts 

Previous: the 1974 season

Next: the 1976 season

This series ran over 12 races and used a 20-15-12 points system. The other race was won by Nilsson in the Chevron B29. Points table from the John Player Motorsport Yearbook 1976 p161.

1975 Southern Organs British Formula Atlantic Championship table

1=Ted WentzLola T360 - Ford BDA Swindon42 pts1 win
2=Gunnar NilssonChevron B29 - Ford BDA Swindon36 pts4 wins
3=Tony BriseModus M3 - Ford BDA Nicholson31 pts3 wins
4=Richard MorganChevron B29 - Ford BDA Nicholson
Wheatcroft R18 - Ford BDA Nicholson
29 pts1 win
5=Val MusettiMarch 73B/74B - Ford BDA18 pts 

Previous: the 1974 season

Next: the 1976 season

This series was run over nine rounds and used a 9-6-4 points system. Tony Brise only appeared in four of the nine races, winning three and finishing third in the other. Gunnar Nilsson only joined the series in late September, but dominated the last four rounds, winning all four and taking three pole positions in the Rapid Movements Chevron B29. But it was Ted Wentz, with a solitary win but five second places who took the title.