Pacific Coast SCCA Formula B 1965

In its final year before being split into the Southern Pacific and Northern Pacific Divisions, the Pacific Coast Division hosted a highly competitive Formula B field. Unfortunately, they rarely met, the large distances tending to keep the top drivers to events in their region.

Al Brizard from northern California, in his "six-year-old" ex-works/ex-Steve McQueen Cooper-Alfa, led the points table and also won the inaugural Pacific Coast Regional Championship Runoffs at Vaca Valley in November. Earl Jones from southern California driving the ex-Hap Sharp Brabham BT2 equalled him on points and won the Cal Club's Riverside National on 25-26 Sep from Mike Fisher's ex-Pierre Philips Lotus 27, but totalled the Brabham at the Juarez Grand Prix in November. Fisher usually stuck to Regional events in Oregon, enjoying his duels with Pete Lovely's ex-F1 Cooper-Ferrari.

But not all the top FB drivers on the West Coast were competing in SCCA Nationals. The Formula Racing Association also had a short series of 'pro' races at Santa Barbara and Hanford in addition to a SCCA-backed race in Mexico and a large number of Regional Races. Competing in these were LeGrand development driver Bruce Eglinton (South Pasadena, CA) who won at Hanford in September; Karl Knapp (Pasadena, CA) winning the Grand Primo de Juarez in a LeGrand; Charlie Adams (Hermosa Beach, CA), third at Juarez in a Brabham; and Ron Herrera (Los Angeles, CA), second to Brizard in the Pacific Coast Regional Championship at Vacaville. Herrera had previously won the Formula Junior class in the 1963 Pacific Coast Championship at Del Mar in his ex-Dave Morgan Lotus 22 and also finished second in the 1964 Runoffs in FJ. Another Pro race was held at Laguna Seca on 9 May, won by Jones from Lothar Motschenbacher.

Final standings

1= Alson Brizard Cooper-Alfa SF 27 pts
1= Earl Jones Brabham [BT2] CSCC 27 pts
3. Lothar Motschenbacher Lotus 22 CSCC 24 pts
4. Boyd Groberg Lotus Utah 15 pts
5. Mike Fisher Lotus 27 Ore 9 pts
6. Larry Albedi BMC Mk III SF 6 pts
7. Bill Watkins Elva-Alfa CSCC 6 pts

1965 Schedule

20 Mar 1965Tucson AirfieldArizona Border Region
18 Apr 1965RiversideCal Club Region
25 Apr 1965Phoenix International RacewayArizona Region
12 Jun 1965StocktonSan Francisco Region
26 Jun 1965SeattleNorthwest Region
10 Jul 1965Midvale AirportUtah Region
24 Jul 1965Willow SpringsCal Club Region
07 Aug 1965Candlestick ParkSan Francisco Region
21 Aug 1965Oregon International RacewayOregon Region
11 Sep 1965VacavilleSan Francisco Region
25 Sep 1965RiversideCal Club Region

This would be the Pacific Coast Division's last season as it would be split into Northern and Southern Divisons for 1966. The two most powerful Californian clubs, Cal Club in Los Angeles and SFR in San Francisco had pushed hard for a split the previous season when they realised that they would only be allowed 12 Nationals (the new name for Divisionals) per season and argued that would not be enough big meetings for them to break even. Also the distances between the three main centres (LA, SF and Oregon) were too great. The split was resisted in late 1964 by the Divisional Board but was forced through the following year.

Also in late 1965 Cal Club withdrew their approval for the FRA's Pro events, effectively banning SCCA drivers from competing in them. They had done the same to ICSCC events in April 1963 but the ICSCC had proved able to survive.