South West Division SCCA Formula A 1966

Formula A racing flourished briefly in South West Division in 1966 with two cars appearing, Jack Saunders' Lotus 21 and Bill Frank's De Tomaso. Saunders' car was presumably an ex-Formula 1 car, quite likely the ex-Mecom chassis 935 as Saunders regularly drove for Mecom Racing Team during 1964 and 1965.

Bill Frank's car also had a strong Mecom connection as Frank was the Firestone race tire Manager for Mecom and purchased his car from the team to run as a privateer. It was fitted with a 3-litre Ford V8. Mecom is known to have had three De Tomasos in 1964, a Formula Junior with Holbay engine, a Formula Senior car with a 1300cc Alfa Romeo engine and the cast monocoque ex-F1 car with a 256 ci or 289 ci Ford.  This last car was ordered by Mecom in 1963 as an Indy project and initially fitted with a 4.2-litre Ford Fairlane engine and is the most likely of the three to have become Frank's Formula A car.

Final standings

1. Jack Saunders Lotus 21 San Jacinto 18 pts
2. Bill Frank De Tomaso - [Ford V8] San Jacinto 9 pts

1966 Schedule

26 Mar 1966Seguin AirfieldAlamo Region
18 Jun 1966Green Valley RacewayTexas Region
02 Jul 1966Galveston Airport (Scholes Field)San Jacinto Region
23 Jul 1966Ryan FieldCentral Louisiana Region
07 Aug 1966Austin Raceway ParkLone Star Region
01 Oct 1966Mansfield AirportRed River Region

A considerable number of the scheduled SCCA Nationals in Southwest Division did not go ahead leaving just these six. Four were held on airfields with just one dedicated facility, Green Valley Raceway, and the street races that were held as part of Austin's annual Aqua Festival.

Southwest Division sources

Coverage of SWDiv was much slimmer in Competition Press & Autoweek than for other Divisions. To make the historian's life even more difficult, a couple of the Regions that organised National events do not appear to have had their own newsletters for much of this period: Alamo Region in Texas and Central Louisiana Region in Louisiana. The known Regional publications are:

  • Deltagram (Delta Region)
  • Journal (San Jacinto Region)
  • Lone Star Draft (Lone Star Region) - from 1979
  • Roundup (Texas Region)
  • Spinout (Southwest Louisiana Region) - from 1978
  • Border Bulletin (South Texas Border Region)

For much of the 1960s, the most important publication for this area was Southwest Racing News, published from 1963 onwards by Bill Gay from Dallas and running on until at least 1974. We are exceedingly keen to acquire copies of any of these.

We are also keen to get scans of entry lists from all SCCA Nationals and Regionals in this Division.