US Formula B 1965

Formula B started slowly in its first season, with nearly all the activity being in the Pacific Coast Division and the North East Division.

Alson Brizard, Earl Jones and Lothar Motschenbacher were quickest on the West Coast; Brizard in a Cooper-Alfa that appears to have been a converted FJ car, Jones in a Brabham, probably a BT2 but possibly a new BT14, and Motschenbacher in a Lotus 22. In the East, the points table was dominated by Gaston Andrey in an "Alfa Romeo", almost certainly a Lotus chassis mated to a 1600cc Alfa GTA engine. Alan Gottleib and Candido DeMota were his closest competitors in Lotus cars, ahead of George Alderman in his Cooper-Alfa. The only other FB racing at Divisional level were the one-man classes of Bob McQueen in South East Division and Stu McMillen in Central.

As well as the SCCA races, two significant professional races were held for FA and FB, at Continental Divide in May and at Juarez on the Mexican border in November. Jones was second to Hap Sharp's ex-Intercontinental car at Continental Divide with Motschenbacher second in class, and Karl Knapp won Juarez in the new LeGrand Mk 3B. The Formula Racing Association (Burbank, CA) promoted these two races and their Los Angeles Chapter also held a race at Hanford and two at Ascot. LeGrand development driver Bruce Eglinton won Hanford in another LeGrand.

The leading contenders gathered at Daytona in November for the Runoffs and it was Earl Jones who won using Eglinton's LeGrand from pole-sitter McMillen in his Lotus 27, Gottleib's Lotus 22 and McQueen in his Formcar-Porsche, a converted Formula Vee car built in Florida.

American Road Race of Champions

1. Earl Jones LeGrand Mk 3B 38 laps 81.859 mph
2. Stew McMillen Lotus 27 38 laps  
3. Alan Gottleib Lotus 22 37 laps  
4. Bob McQueen Formcar-Porsche 37 laps  
5. Boyd Groberg Lotus 36 laps  

The SCCA had reorganised its classes of events for 1965 with the old Divisionals races now becoming 'Nationals' and counting towards each Division titles. There were 261 events organised by the SCCA in 1965 of which 52 were the new Nationals. There were another eleven events classed as National/Open (mostly the USRRC) plus seven Internationals. Lower down, there were 120 Regionals, counting towards club titles, 64 drivers' schools and six hillclimbs. The final event was the annual Runoffs.

At each event, races were split into classes: A Production through to H Production; C Sports/Racing to H Sports/Racing; Formula V; Formula A, Formula B and Formula C; and Sedan A to Sedan D.

There was a huge difference between FA, FB and FC class sizes in 1965. The SCCA published figures up that showed only eight FA cars and 140 FBs started the 52 National races plus the ARRC. The situation in Regionals was quite different, with 43 FA starts and 165 FB starts in 119 Regional races. This compared with 305 and 431 FCs respectively and 606 and 1230 Formula Vees respectively.

1964 - a recap

Before Formula A, Formula B and Formula C had been created, the SCCA ran three classes for single seaters: Formula Vee, Formula Junior and Formule Libre. Few cars appeared in Libre and the 1964 SCCA National Races winners were as follows:

  • Marlboro 12 Apr: no FL class
  • Virginia 19 Apr: no FL class
  • Cumberland 17 May: no FL class
  • Bridgehampton 31 May: George Alderman (Cooper-Alfa)
  • Mid-Ohio 14 Jun: Alderman
  • Road America 21 Jun: Hap Sharp (Cooper T53-Climax)
  • Lake Garnett 4-5 Jul: no FL class
  • Lynndale Farms 2 Aug: no FL class
  • Watkins Glen 22-23 Aug: no FL class
  • Thompson 7 Sep: Candido DaMota (Lotus 20)
  • Lime Rock 31 Oct: DaMota

National Points Standings

  1. Candido DaMota 24 pts
  2. McLane Tilton 21 pts
  3. John Field 19 pts

Tilton (Lotus) was second in libre to Alderman at Bridgehampton with Field (Cooper) third. DaMota was second to Alderman at Mid-Ohio but as only three libre cars finished, he was not awarded points. Titon (#98 Lotus-Alfa) was again second at Thompson, this time to DaMota, with Phil Case (Lotus-Climax) third. At Lime Rock, Sy Kyback (Lotus) was second and Jordan King (Lotus-Ford) third.

Note that, with the exception of Hap Sharp's ex-F1 Cooper-Climax at Road America, the only Formule Libre competitors were in the SCCA Northeast Division. George Alderman was responsible for more than one of these cars. As well as his reliable Cooper-Alfa, he also fitted an aluminium Buick V8 to an old Formula 2 Cooper in 1963 and gave the drive to Stutz Plaisted. It debuted at a Lime Rock Divisional on 28 Sep 1963 but Plaisted was unable to keep it on the track enough of the time and finished third in the Libre class behind Alderman and Gaston Andrey's Lotus.