Tony Trimmer in the Melcester Racing McLaren M23 at Oulton Park in March 1978.  Copyright Alan Cox.  Used with permission.

Aurora AFX Championship 1978

The new British Formula 1 championship sponsored by Aurora AFX replaced the Shellsport Group 8 series for the 1978 season. The F5000 and Formula Atlantic cars that had been filling out Shellsport grids were evicted, and the expectation was that teams that had struggled to qualify in World Championship F1 would move to the British championship. The first few races were deeply disappointing, with few top drivers and fewer fully professional teams, but the fourth race, a thriller at Mallory Park, dramatically changed the tone and the series went on to be a huge success.

Tony Trimmer easily won the title in Melchester Racing's McLaren M23 when RAM Racing's brand new March 781s took too long to develop. Bob Evans was second in the championship in John Cooper's team, which acquired a pair of Hesketh 308Es during the season.

The races

24 Mar 1978 > Oulton Park

27 Mar 1978 > Brands Hatch

16 Apr 1978 > Snetterton

01 May 1978 > Mallory Park

15 May 1978 > Zandvoort

21 May 1978 > Donington Park

29 May 1978 > Thruxton

24 Jun 1978 > Oulton Park

30 Jul 1978 > Mallory Park

28 Aug 1978 > Brands Hatch

10 Sep 1978 > Thruxton

24 Sep 1978 > Snetterton

1978 Aurora AFX Championship table

1Tony Trimmer(F1) McLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V8149 pts5 wins
2Bob Evans(F1) Surtees TS19 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) Hesketh 308E - Cosworth DFV V8
93 pts1 win
3Emilio de Villota(F1) McLaren M23 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) McLaren M25 - Cosworth DFV V8
86 pts 
4Guy Edwards(F1) March 75A/761 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) March 781 - Cosworth DFV V8
78 pts2 wins
5Geoff Lees(F1) Ensign N175 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) Hesketh 308E - Cosworth DFV V8
(F2) Chevron B42 - Hart 420R
69 pts1 win
6Bruce Allison(F1) March 75A/761 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) March 781 - Cosworth DFV V8
63 pts1 win
7Val Musetti(F1) March 752/761 - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) Ensign N177 - Cosworth DFV V8
62 pts 
8John Cooper(F1) Hesketh 308C - Cosworth DFV V8
(F1) Hesketh 308E - Cosworth DFV V8
45 pts 
9Mike Wilds(F2) Ralt RT1 - Ford BDG43 pts 
10DesirĂ© Wilson(F1) Ensign N175 - Cosworth DFV V834 pts 

Previous: the 1977 Shellsport G8 season

Next: the 1979 season

The championship was held over 12 rounds using a 20-15-12-10-8 points system, with 2 points for fastest lap. Points table from Autocourse 1978/79 p254.