David Hobbs' brand new Surtees TS5A at Dallas in 1970. Copyright David Hutson 2006. Used with permission.

SCCA Continental Championship Formula A 1970

Eagle did not build a new F5000 car for 1970, so the leading cars were expected to be the Trojan-built McLaren M10B and the Surtees TS5A, both updated versions of the cars that had dominated the second half of 1969. Despite a bragging war between the two companies Trojan outsold Surtees in the US by only four cars to three. Lotus had also sold four of their new Lotus 70, and Lola's US agent Carl Haas had sold eight of the new monocoque Lola T190 in time for the start of the season.

John Cannon, driving the Hogan-Starr McLaren M10B, dominated the first race, but he missed Edmonton in order to try to qualify for the Indy 500, leaving Ron Grable to win in his Lola T190. Cannon won at Seattle but a good choice of tyres gave Grable the win at Laguna Seca. Grable led from pole at Sears Point as well, but when he engine failed, Gus Hutchison took over to register the first of two straight wins in his F1 Brabham BT26. Cannon won at Road America to reestablish his championship lead, only for George Follmer to force the Lotus 70 into the picture by dominating Mont Tremblant in his Boss Ford-engined car. It was David Hobbs' turn to excel next, the Surtees TS5A driver winning at Donnybrook and Lime Rock, although Cannon's regular podium placings were giving him a commanding championship lead. The season was capped with a brand new car, the Penske-entered Lola T192 of Mark Donohue, winning at Mosport and at Sebring, sandwiching Follmer's second win in the Lotus-Ford. Cannon took the title by some distance, but McLaren, Surtees, Lola, Lotus and Brabham had all won races in a remarkably competitive season.

The races

19 Apr 1970 > Riverside Grand Prix

24 May 1970 > Edmonton Continental Formula A Race

07 Jun 1970 > Seattle Grand Prix

14 Jun 1970 > Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca

28 Jun 1970 > Continental 49'er at Sears Point

05 Jul 1970 > Dallas Grand Prix at Dallas International Motor Speedway

18 Jul 1970 > Road America Grand Prix

01 Aug 1970 > Le Circuit Continental at Mont-Tremblant

16 Aug 1970 > Minnesota Grand Prix at Brainerd

07 Sep 1970 > Lime Rock Grand Prix

13 Sep 1970 > Mosport Continental at Mosport Park

27 Sep 1970 > Mid-Ohio Grand Prix

25 Oct 1970 > Sebring International Raceway

1970 SCCA Continental Championship Formula A table

1John CannonMcLaren M10B - Chev V8129 pts3 wins
2Gus HutchisonBrabham BT26A - Cosworth DFV V891 pts2 wins
3David HobbsSurtees TS5A - Chev V886 pts2 wins
4Eppie WietzesMcLaren M10B - Chev V881 pts 
5Ron GrableLola T190 - Chev V872 pts2 wins
6George FollmerLotus 70 - Chev V871 pts2 wins
7John GunnSurtees TS5A - Chev V866 pts 
8Mark DonohueLola T192 - Chev V852 pts2 wins
9Dick SmothersLotus 70 - Chev V840 pts 
10Bill BrackLotus 70 - Chev V836 pts 
11John MartinSurtees TS5A - Chev V834 pts 
12Dave JordanEagle Mk 5 - Chev V829 pts 
13George WintersteenLotus 70 - Chev V828 pts 
14Rex RamseyEagle Mk 5 - Chev V827 pts 
15=Fred BakerMcLaren M10A - Chev V826 pts 
15=Spence StoddardLola T190 - Chev V826 pts 
17Eric HagaLola T190 - Chev V822 pts 
18Hiroshi FushidaEagle Mk 5 - Chev V820 pts 
19Dow "Jack" Byers IILola T190 - Chev V818 pts 
20Michael BrockmanLola T190 - Chev V816 pts 
21Mike GothLola T190 - Chev V815 pts 
22Gregg YoungMcLaren M10B - Chev V813 pts 
23Chuck ParsonsLola T190 - Chev V812 pts 
24David OxtonLotus 70 - Chev V810 pts 
25Horst KrollLola T142 - Chev V88 pts 
26Rich GallowayLola T190 - Chev V86 pts 
27=Lyle ForsgrenForsgrini Mk 14B - Chev V84 pts 
27=Kurt ReinoldMcKee Mk 12 - Chev V84 pts 
29Jim PaulLeGrand Mk 11P - Chev V83 pts 
30=Glenn BrownMcLaren M1B/FA - Chev V82 pts 
30=John SaucierLola T142 - Chev V82 pts 
32=Pete ShermanLola T142 - Chev V81 pt 
32=Bob StanfordMcKee Mk 7 - Chev V81 pt 
32=Gerard RaneyEagle Mk 5 - Chev V81 pt 
32=Crockey PetersonCoyote - Chev V81 pt 

The points table is derived from Wolfgang Klopfer's excellent Formula A and Formula 5000 in America p35.

The total prize money for the championship increased by 50% to $370,000, the main reason for the increase being $5,000 per event from L&M, plus a $40,000 end-of-season points fund provided by the cigarette company. L&M also invested $70,000 into local promotion of the 14 races to build up spectator numbers, and would take over title sponsorship of the series for 1971. Cannon earned $47,000, compared with Adamowicz' $27,000 in 1969. However, the tobacco advertising cash being diverted from the now banned medium of TV did not work out well for everyone. At the insistence of L&M's Jack Southard, the FB cars were jettisoned as a support series for 1971. Rival tobacco company Players, who did not get involved in the US market, sponsored a new Formula B series in Canada, but the SCCA's L&M deal prevented the US FB series being allowed to find a tobacco sponsor of their own. Winston's approach was turned down, and SCCA Pro FB was dead within two years.