European Formula 3 1977

The European series continued to grow in importance, and was again a battle between an Italian and a Swede, Piercarlo Ghinzani edging out Anders Olofsson for the title. Ghinzani began 1977 in the high-profile AFMP Euroracing team, AFMP standing for front man and March sales director Sandro Angeleri, wealthy sports car racer Martino Finotto, March Engineering, and Italian team manager Giampaolo Pavanello. Ghinzani established a strong lead in the championship with three wins, but his season was put at risk by the collapse of AFMP mid-season, as a result of Angeleri's unorthodox approach to the team's funding coming to the attention of the police. Pavanello and Finotto salvaged the Italian end of the Euroracing operation and rescued Ghinzani's March 773, giving him the chance to hold off Olofsson to win the title. The Swede was a surprise front runner after two mediocre seasons, and running with a tiny team and no sponsorship on his Ralt RT1/77, but he won three races and also the high-profile support races at the British and Swedish Grands Prix.

For the constructors, the 1977 season was again a three-way battle between Chevron, March and Ralt. Chevron started the season in a strong position, but two of the Bolton constructor's main customers moved to Ralts during the year. March had the largest fleet and ended up with the title, but the Bicester company's season was so nearly ruined by the AFMP fiasco. Ralt ended the season in the strongest position, and the Weybridge product looked to be the car to have for 1978.

The races

20 Mar 1977 > Coupe de Printemps at Paul Ricard

27 Mar 1977 > Goodyear-ADAC-300-km-Rennen at Nürburgring

11 Apr 1977 > Easter Races at Zandvoort

24 Apr 1977 > Grote Prijs van Zolder

08 May 1977 > Preis von Knittelfeld at Österreichring

29 May 1977 > Trofeo Autosprint at Imola

12 Jun 1977 > Gran Premio di Pergusa at Enna-Pergusa

26 Jun 1977 > Gran Premio della Lotteria at Monza

24 Jul 1977 > Trophée d'Arras at Croix-en-Ternois

07 Aug 1977 > Kvällspostens Newsrace at Knutstorp

21 Aug 1977 > ADAC-Hessen-Preis at Kassel-Calden

27 Aug 1977 > Donington Park

18 Sep 1977 > Trofeo Villa de Madrid at Jarama

09 Oct 1977 > Gran Premio Campidoglio at Vallelunga

1977 European Formula 3 Championship table

1Piercarlo GhinzaniMarch 773 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor58 pts3 wins
2Anders OlofssonRalt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor46 pts3 wins
3Nelson PiquetMarch 773 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
33 pts2 wins
4Beppe GabbianiChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor26 pts1 win
5Oscar PedersoliRalt RT1/75 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor24 pts2 wins
6Piero NecchiChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
22 pts 
7Elio de AngelisChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
18 pts1 win
8David KennedyMarch 773 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Argo JM1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
17 pts 
9=Derek DalyChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor13 pts1 win
9=John NielsenRalt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor13 pts 
11Bertram SchäferRalt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor11 pts 
12=Brett RileyMarch 773 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor9 pts1 win
12=Eje ElghChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor9 pts 
14Ulf SvenssonRalt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor8 pts 
15Marcello RoseiMarch 773 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor5 pts 

Previous: the 1976 season

Next: the 1978 season

This series ran over 14 rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system. Points tables from Autocourse 1977/78 p233.

The three-way constructors' battle saw Ralt win eight races, to March's four and Chevron's two. Measuring podium finishes, Ralt had 19, March 12, Chevron nine, with newcomers Argo next on two. In terms of share of the grid, Ralt had 37% of the starters, March 27%, Chevron 20%, and Argo 4%. Hawke and Maco led the rest, each with 2.5%, followed by Brabham, Toj, Lola, GRD and Modus.