Italian Formula 3 1976
Riccardo Patrese arrived in F3 in 1976 aboard Pino Trivellato's very effective new Chevron B34 to challenge established Italian F3 stars Gianfranco Brancatelli, Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi and Piercarlo Ghinzani, all of whom had opted for Bicester's latest March 763. With only the best five results counting, and with Patrese and Brancatelli also juggling bids for the European championship, three drivers arrived at the final Italian race with a chance of the title. Patrese led by a nose with three wins, a second and a third, from Ghinzani's two wins and three second places but Scuderia Everest's Brancatelli had only four results so far, three wins and a second, so could take the title if he won the race, regardless of where his rivals finished. Ghinzani had acquired a new Chevron B34 to replace the March written off at Mugello in testing but collided with Brancatelli on the opening lap and was out, leaving Brancatelli chasing leader Patrese. Knowing second place wasn't enough, Brancatelli did all he could, finally spinning off on the last lap and writing off his March. Patrese cruised to victory and his second F3 title of the season.
03 Apr 1976 > Mugello
25 Apr 1976 > Varano
06 Jun 1976 > Magione
13 Jun 1976 > Gran Premio di Pergusa at Enna-Pergusa
20 Jun 1976 > Casale
27 Jun 1976 > Gran Premio della Lotteria at Monza
05 Sep 1976 > Casale
19 Sep 1976 > Coppa Bevilacqua at Imola
26 Sep 1976 > Trofeo Sachs at Monza
04 Oct 1976 > Gran Premio Campidoglio at Vallelunga
01 Nov 1976 > Trofeo Bolletta at Magione
1976 Campionato Italiano Formula 3 table
|1||Riccardo Patrese||Chevron B34 - Toyota Novamotor||42 pts||3 wins|
|2||Piercarlo Ghinzani||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||36 pts||2 wins|
|3||Gianfranco Brancatelli||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||33 pts||3 wins|
|4||Fernando Spreafico||Chevron B34 - Ford twin cam Novamotor||23 pts||1 win|
|5||Gaudenzio Mantova||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota Novamotor|
March 763 - Toyota Novamotor
|6||Orazio Ragaïolo||March 753 - Toyota Novamotor||19 pts|
|7||Lamberto Leoni||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||18 pts|
|8||Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||9 pts|
|9||Oscar Pedersoli||Ralt RT1/75 - Toyota Novamotor||7 pts|
|10=||Tarcisco Riva||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||6 pts|
|10=||Giuseppe Bossoni||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||6 pts|
|10=||Guido Pardini||March 763 - Toyota Novamotor||6 pts|
Points table constructed from the results. The championship ran over eleven rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system with points only awarded to Italian licence holders. As in 1975, only the best five results counted.
Veteran Fernando Spreafico finally gave up his antique GRD for a new Chevron and won one race, a poorly supported race at Casale at the beginning of September which clashed with the European Championship round at Knutsdorp which both Patrese and Brancatelli attended. The other race winner was Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi who split his season between F2 and F3 before being distracted by an ill-judged move into F1 with a private Tyrrell.
After only one season in F3, Patrese was fast tracked into F2 with a Trivellato Chevron-BMW and would be snapped up by the Shadow F1 team before the spring was over. Scuderia Everest would also promote Brancatelli to F2 in a Ralt-Ferrari but for both Ghinzani and Spreafico, another season of F3 beckoned.