European Formula 3 1978
Once again a Swede came so close to the European Formula 3 title. After Conny Andersson had missed the title on a tie break in 1976, and Anders Olofsson finished second in 1977, Olofsson battled with Dutchman Jan Lammers for the 1978 title and again lost out on a tie break. Lammers won the first round of the series at Zandvoort, his home track where he was a driving instructor, but Olofsson won the next two races at the N?rburgring and the ?sterreichring to take the championship lead. He held that lead until Magny Cours in July, where he rented a new Martini MK21B instead of his old-year-old Ralt RT1/77, and finished well down the field as Lammers won in his Ralt RT1/78. Olofsson won again at Knutstorp and Kassel-Calden, but Lammers had the momentum now, with a run of nine races in which he finished first or second eight times. The two ended tied on points, and Lammers won thanks to five second places against four for Olofsson.
Three other drivers impressed in 1978: Parisian Patrick Gaillard had an excellent season in a Chevron B43 and was unlucky to be knocked out when leading the Monaco race; wealthy Italian Teo Fabi could invest in qualifying rubber for his March 783 during the tyre war in F3 between Goodyear and M&H; and Michael Bleekemolen who was backed by F&S Properties into one of the works Chevron B43s before becoming distracted by a chance to drive the ATS in F1. Alain Prost raised eyebrows when he won the Jarama race in a Martini MK21B, the Renault engine of which was inexplicably more powerful at this race than at any other. Autosport noted in its report that "there were no facilities to check the Renault's air restrictor for size of vacuum".
Ralt was the leading constructor in 1978, but only narrowly from Chevron who won the Italian series, and March. The French Martini had some success, even if the Jarama performance is discounted, and Jo Marquart's Argo JM1 showed potential. Lola's latest offering, the T670, was a flop.
27 Mar 1978 > Easter Races at Zandvoort
02 Apr 1978 > Goodyear-ADAC-300-km-Rennen at Nürburgring
16 Apr 1978 > Preis von Knittelfeld at Österreichring
23 Apr 1978 > Grote Prijs van Zolder
14 May 1978 > Trofeo Autosprint at Imola
28 May 1978 > Nürburgring F3
04 Jun 1978 > Trophée de Bourgogne at Dijon-Prenois
25 Jun 1978 > Gran Premio della Lotteria at Monza
02 Jul 1978 > Gran Premio di Pergusa at Enna-Pergusa
16 Jul 1978 > Grand Prix de la Ville de Nevers at Magny Cours
06 Aug 1978 > Kvällspostens Newsrace at Knutstorp
13 Aug 1978 > Kanonloppet Karlskoga
26 Aug 1978 > Donington Park
03 Sep 1978 > ADAC-Hessen-Preis at Kassel-Calden
17 Sep 1978 > Trofeo Villa de Madrid at Jarama
08 Oct 1978 > Gran Premio Campidoglio at Vallelunga
1978 European Formula 3 Championship table
|1||Jan Lammers||Ralt RT1/78 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||71 pts|
|2||Anders Olofsson||Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor|
Martini MK21B - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
|3||Patrick Gaillard||Chevron B43 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||49 pts|
|4||Teo Fabi||March 783 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||45 pts|
|5||Michael Bleekemolen||Chevron B43 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||30 pts|
|6=||David Kennedy||Argo JM1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||13 pts|
|6=||Derek Warwick||Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||13 pts|
|8=||Alain Prost||Martini MK21B - Renault 20TS Dudot||10 pts|
|8=||Guido Pardini||Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||10 pts|
|10=||Arie Luyendijk||Lola T670 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor|
Ralt RT1/78 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
|10=||Daniele Albertin||Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||9 pts|
|10=||Roberto Campominosi||Ralt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||9 pts|
|13||Tommy 'Slim' Borgudd||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||7 pts|
|14||Eddy Bianchi||March 783 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||6 pts|
|15||Bobby Rahal||Wolf-Dallara WD1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||5 pts|
This series ran over 14 rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system. Points tables from Autocourse 1978/79 pp250-253.
Between the constructors, Ralt retained its lead. Rom Tauranac's RT1s won the most races, with nine wins out of 16, followed by March and Chevron on three each, and Martini on one. Ralts also had more than half of the podium finishes, with 26 out of 48, then Chevron on 10, two for Argo, and one each for Martini and Wolf-Dallara. Ralt also had the lion's share of the grid, now up to 44% of starters compared with 1977, followed by March down sharply on 18%, Chevron down slightly to 17%, Argo up a fraction to 6% and Martini on 4.5%. Maco were next most numerous, then Wolf-Dallara, Derichs and Lola. The Brabhams, GRDs and Moduses were almost all gone.