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MidWest Division SCCA Formula B 1970

Having been won by a Formula Ford in 1969, Midwest Division started the new season with three competitive FB cars and every chance of an exciting title battle. Jim Gutfreund probably had the most potent car, a Brabham BT29, and led the Division at the end of July but his BRM twin cam blew up, putting him out for the season. Also struggling with reliability was Colorado's Warren Flickinger who took second place at the MAR opener but whose only other point-scoring finish in the Division was another second place in his home race at Continental Divide - beaten both times by out-of-Division drivers - again in the mystery Chevron that we haven't been able to identify.

This left the door open for St Clair's Dennis Wilson, driving an ex-Group 44 LeGrand MK6B in his first season of single-seater racing. Group 44 had been due to field two Mk6Bs in 1969 but the deal had fallen through and Wilson picked up one of the HRE-powered cars in time for the opening race of the MWDiv season. Despite a suspension breakage leaving him with a car on his head at that race, he won the Olathe National and with other cars breaking even more often than his LeGrand, a third place in the final round was enough to take the title.

Although Formula Ford had breathed life into MWDiv Formula B in 1968, the success of the newer formula choked FB in 1970. Out-of-division racers seeking a route to the Runoffs ensured good fields at the Nationals but at Regional level, few FBs appeared. At the final St Louis Regional of the 1970 season, seven Formula Fords entered but not a single FB or FC.

Final standings

1. Dennis Wilson LeGrand (Mk 6B) St Louis 13 pts
2. Warren Flickinger Chevron Colorado 12 pts
3. Jim Gutfreund Brabham BT29 Des Moines Valley 10 pts *
4. Tom McEntire LeGrand Kansas City 6 pts
5. Ann Purcker COOP/Lotus 51 Kansas City 4 pts
6. Bob Schutt Brabham BT18 St Louis 4 pts
7. Richard Kibling Lotus 51 Kansas City 3 pts

* Indicates total includes points earned out of home divisions.

1970 Schedule

24 May 1970Mid-America RacewaySouthern Illinois Region
21 Jun 1970Mid-America RacewaySt Louis Region
19 Jul 1970Olathe AirfieldKansas City Region
02 Aug 1970Continental DivideColorado Region
16 Aug 1970Lake AftonWichita Region
27 Sep 1970Mid-America RacewaySt Louis Region

Midwest Division sources

Although Competition Press was more concerned with west coast and east coast events, the major midwest events were covered reasonably well. However, we know little of the goings-on away from these events and are are keen to acquire or borrow 1960s, 1970s and 1980s copies of SCCA regional publications from this Division. The key ones are:

  • Checkpoint (Kansas City Region)
  • Course Record (Arkansas Region)
  • The Echo (Southern Illinois Region)
  • Exhaust Notes (Nebraska) - full archive available at nrsccahistory.com.
  • Gasket Gazette (Oklahoma Region)
  • Neokla Observer (NE Oklahoma Region), renamed Sports Car Observer in 1980
  • The Offside Undo (Kansas Region)
  • Redline (Colorado Region)
  • Steerin’ Column (Mid-South Region)
  • Wheelspin (St. Louis Region)
  • Witches Wail (Wichita Region)

We are also keen to get scans of entry lists from SCCA Nationals for this division.