OldRacingCars.com

New Zealand Formula Pacific Race

Wigram, 29 Jan 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Keke Rosberg Chevron B39 [39-77-08] - Ford BDA Titan
#1 Fred Opert Racing (see note 1)
22 26m 24.0s
2 Larry Perkins Ralt RT1 [91] - Ford BDA Swindon
#3 Scuderia Veloce
22 26m 26.0s
3 David Oxton Chevron B34 [34-76-OX] - Ford BDA Hooker
#18 Vacation Hotels
22 26m 38.2s
4 Bobby Rahal Chevron B39 [39-77-06] - Ford BDA Morris
#2 Fred Opert Racing (see note 2)
22 26m 45.0s
5 Steve Millen Chevron B42 [42-78-01] - Ford BDA Hart
#19 Martini Team Schollum
22 26m 53.3s
6 Ian Grob March 77B [763 M38] - Ford BDA Swindon
#5 Sphere Drake Racing
22 27m 06.4s
7 Ross Stone Cuda JR3 - Ford BDA Nicholson
#22
22 27m 18.9s
8 Ken Smith March 76B [20] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#11 La Valise Travel (see note 3)
22 27m 30.6s
9 Robbie Francevic Modus M3 [022(B)/054] - Ford BDA
#17
22 27m 31.8s
10 Eric Morgan Chevron B29 [29-75-30] - Ford BDA BMS
#15 (see note 4)
21
11 Hugh Owen Ralt RT1 [73] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#20
21
12 Peter Larner Dolphin ['3'] - Ford BDA England
#65 Paul England Pty. Ltd
21
13 Danny Sullivan March 77B [30] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#4 (see note 5)
17 Oil pressure
14 Andrew Miedecke March 763/76B - Ford BDA Dewhurst
#8
10 Front suspension
15 Richard Melville March 76B [14] - Ford BDA Hooker
#10 (see note 6)
8 Engine
16 Dave McMillan Ralt RT1 [36] - Ford BDA Hart
#0 Team McMillan (see note 7)
1 Engine
DNS Pierre Dieudonné Ehrlich RP3 - Ford BDA Nicholson
#7
Did not start
(Engine)
T Keke Rosberg Chevron B39 [39-77-07] - Ford BDA Titan
#1 (see note 8)
(Only used in practice)
DNA Brett Riley March 77B ["763-U3"] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#9 (see note 9)
Did not arrive
DNA Graeme Crawford Birrana 273 [273-010] - Ford BDA England
#66 Paul England Pty. Ltd
Did not arrive
DNA Steve Emson Modus M3 [047-F3] - Ford BDA Nicholson
Did not arrive
DNA Reg Cook March 742 ["U1"] - Ford BDA CMR
#99
Did not arrive
DNA Norm Lankshear Chevron B34 [34-76-19] - Ford BDA Hart
#16 FCDC Fielding
Did not arrive
DNA Dave Saunders March 722 [1] - Ford BDA
(see note 10)
Did not arrive
DNA Howard Wood Lyncar 009 [009] - Ford BDA
Did not arrive

All cars are 1.6-litre F/Pac unless noted.

Qualifying
1 Larry Perkins (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1 [91] - Ford BDA Swindon 1.10.6
2 Dave McMillan (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1 [36] - Ford BDA Hart 1.10.8
3 David Oxton (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B34 [34-76-OX] - Ford BDA Hooker 1.11.2
4 Keke Rosberg (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B39 [39-77-08] - Ford BDA Titan 1.11.4
5 Andrew Miedecke (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 763/76B - Ford BDA Dewhurst 1.11.4
6 Steve Millen (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B42 [42-78-01] - Ford BDA Hart 1.11.7
7 Bobby Rahal (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B39 [39-77-06] - Ford BDA Morris 1.12.0
8 Danny Sullivan (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 77B [30] - Ford BDA Nicholson 1.12.0
9 Ross Stone (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Cuda JR3 - Ford BDA Nicholson 1.12.0
10 Richard Melville (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 76B [14] - Ford BDA Hooker 1.12.0
11 Ken Smith (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 76B [20] - Ford BDA Nicholson 1.12.3
12 Ian Grob (F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 77B [763 M38] - Ford BDA Swindon 1.13.0
13 Eric Morgan (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B29 [29-75-30] - Ford BDA BMS 1.13.1
14 Pierre Dieudonné * (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Ehrlich RP3 - Ford BDA Nicholson 1.13.5
15 Hugh Owen (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1 [73] - Ford BDA Nicholson 1.14.0
16 Peter Larner (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Dolphin ['3'] - Ford BDA England 1.15.6
17 Robbie Francevic (F/Pac) 1.6-litre Modus M3 [022(B)/054] - Ford BDA 1.16.2
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. Chevron B39 [39-77-08] (Keke Rosberg): New to Fred Opert Racing and used in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship. One of two cars run by the team for Keke Rosberg, this one having narrower track. Retained by Fred Opert Racing for the 1978 New Zealand series, where it was Bobby Rahal's main race car. Then believed to be the car raced by Divina Galica at Long Beach in early 1978. Sold to Dean Lundreen (Franklin, MN) and raced in SCCA Nationals. He scored 13 points in 1978, 15 points in 1979, and continued to race the car in 1980 and 1981. Advertised by Lundgreen in April 1982 and February 1983. Sold to Mike Rand later in 1983, then sold on to Joe Ostrowski (Trenton, NJ) who owned it from 1984 to 1986 at least. Subsequent history unknown, but this car sold through race-cars.com from New York in 2004. In 2016, Martin Lauber commented that he had owned "B39/08" since 2012 at least.
  2. Chevron B39 [39-77-06] (Bobby Rahal): New to Fred Opert Racing and raced in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship. Believed to be the car raced by Francisco Romero at the opening round. Believed to be the car intended for Didier Pironi at St-Félicien in August, but crashed in practice. Repaired and entered for Patrick Depailler at Trois-Rivières and Québec City as the team's #2 car. Retained by Fred Opert Racing for the 1978 New Zealand series, where it was the team's #2 entry raced by Bobby Rahal. Then raced by Jim Crawley in two North American races in early 1978. Subsequent history unknown, but "77-06" was advertised on the Autosport Forum in January 2006 by "Joe" from northern New Jersey. At the Monterey Historics in 2013, this car with this chassis number was driven by Chris Cord. It was driven by Bill Cord at Monterey in 2014 in pale blue Excita livery.
  3. March 76B [20] (Ken Smith): Sold via Doug Shierson to Ken Smith (New Zealand) and debuts in early 1977 New Zealand races. Retained to 1981 then sold to Warren Binning. Returned to Smith in 1982 and retained to at least 2003.
  4. Chevron B29 [29-75-30] (Eric Morgan): Built as a works development car, and tested by Brian Redman. Then run for Hans Binder in F2 under the Obermoser/Team Warsteiner Eurorace banner for Hans Binder to drive in Formula 2 with a Rosche BMW engine, when it was reported to be chassis 32. Brian Redman drove it in the 1976 New Zealand Internationals, still with its 2-litre BMW engine, this time as part of the Fred Opert team. Sold in New Zealand to David Oxton, fitted with a Formula Pacific BDA engine and raced in the New Zealand Formula Pacific series in January 1977. Then to Eric Morgan for Gold Star and International races from 1977 to 1981. Sold to Chris Read for 1982. Later history with the car indicates that it was sold by Read to Kenny Smith in 1991, then to Brian Sampson in 1992, then Peter Whelan in 2000, and Miles Jackson in 2008.
  5. March 77B [30] (Danny Sullivan): Entered by March for Danny Sullivan in the 1978 New Zealand International series. Sold to Colin Giltrap and entered by him for Dave McMillan at Baypark Mar 1978 then for Larry Perkins in the 1978/79 series. Raced by Desiré Wilson in the Jan/Feb 1980 series then John Smith in Jan 1981. Sold to Ray Hanger (Australia) and used in the 1981 AF1 and Pacific series. Also raced at Shah Alam in October 1981.
  6. March 76B [14] (Richard Melville): Chassis number observed on Richard Melville’s car by Dave McKinney at Baypark, 2 Jan 1977, and published NZMA 28 Jan 77 p5 and described as ex Brambilla. Brambilla's 1976 Trois Rivières car according to Motoring News 10 Feb 77, so a Doug Shierson Racing team car in 1976. As Shierson ran up to four drivers, plus a spare car, at some American and Canadian races, we cannot yet identify users in North America. [However, it does seem we can eliminate Cobb, using 76B [4]. Chassis number observed on Melville’s car by McKinney at Baypark, 2 Jan 1978, and published NZMA 20 Jan 78 p4. Dave McKinney advises sold to Unipart for Tiff Needell to use in 1979 Macau GP. Observed on Sonny Rajah’s car by Dave McKinney at Malaysian GP, 1980 and published NZMA 16 Jun 80 p15, so presumably sold to Rajah.
  7. Ralt RT1 [36] (Dave McMillan): Consigned by Ralt to Ralt American in summer 1976. Run by Dave McMillan in New Zealand Gold Star series, late 1976. Chassis number observed on Dave McMillan's car by Dave McKinney at Baypark, 2 Jan 1977, and published NZMA 28 Jan 77 p5. Described there as ex Kevin Cogan, so one of the four RT1s [chassis 30; 33; 34; 36] shown in Ralt build records [reproduced Autosport 1977] sent to Brian Robertson for Formula Atlantic series in 1976. Since 30 is known to be the car of Bertil Roos, and 33 that of Craig Hill, we can assume that Cogan indeed used 36 [except at the last race of the year when he is known to use Hill's RT1-33], and 34 was that of Richard Spenard - a car originally intended for McMillan's use in North America, until his sponsorship fell through. Retained by McMillan until at least 1980, and used in both North America and New Zealand. McMillan says took his own car to Canada NZMA 29 Jul 77 p5. NZMA report of the race at Halifax says car used in NZ. Chassis number given for McMillan's car at Bay Park, 2 Jan 1978 [NZMA 20 Jan 78 p4].
  8. Chevron B39 [39-77-07] (Keke Rosberg): New to Fred Opert Racing and raced in the Labatts Formula Atlantic Championship by Gregg Young as the team's #6 Valvoline entry. Retained by Fred Opert Racing for the 1978 New Zealand series, where it was Bobby Rahal's T car. Sold to Peter Robinson (Madison, Wisconsin) and raced in SCCA Nationals and in a couple of Labatts Championship Pro races in 1978. He scored 19 points in Central Division in 1978. He was not seen in 1979, but reappeared with the car in Southwest Division in 1980, now as a member of Lone Star Region, and qualified for the Runoffs. He converted the car to Formula C for 1981, and retained it until 1984 at least, when it was advertised from Austin, TX. Subsequent history unknown, but some time around 2003, the car was acquired by Jeff Mckay (Tacoma, WA) from the estate of a collector in Texas. Mckay sold the car in 2004 to John Bradshaw (Manchester). A car with this chassis number later owned by Sandy Watson, and raced by him in European Historic F2 and HSCC Derek Bell Trophy from 2006 to 2009. Then raced by Roland Wiltschegg (Austria) from 2010 to 2013.
  9. March 77B ["763-U3"] (Brett Riley): Brett Riley took delivery of a March 77B in December 1977 that is believed to have carried the chassis number 763-U3 when it arrived in New Zealand. Riley raced it in Formula Pacific in 1978, 1979 and 1980 before selling it to Tom Donovan who progressively modified it and ran it in hillclimbs as well as F/Pacific up to 1983. He then won the 1984 and 1985 NZ hillclimb championships running a 1800cc Cosworth engine in the car. It was sold to Stuart McChesney in 1985 and again used in hillclimbs. It then went to Kenny Smith around 1987 and then to John Mackinlay (Christchurch) around 1993 who restored it and raced it in historic racing 1994-1996. It passed to Garry Cliff (Magnum Motors, Christchurch) in Nov 1996 then Peter Finlay in Australia in Aug 1998 then Kevin Miller in May 1999. Retained May 2003.
  10. March 722 [1] (Dave Saunders): The prototype March 722 was sold to Sports Motors Manchester for Gerry Birrell to race in Formula 2 in 1972. At the end of the season, the car was sold to New Zealander Kenny Smith, and fitted with a 1930cc Cosworth FVC engine for the 1973 Tasman series. He also used it at the April 1973 Singapore Grand Prix using a 1600cc Hart Ford twin-cam. Frank Radisich bought it and bolted on the Repco Holden engine and rear end from his McLaren M10B, but this was wholely unsuccessful, and Radisich later tried a Mazda engine instead, also updating it to 1976 nose and sidepods, but again with no success. In late 1977, it reappeared with Dave Saunders who had fitted a Cosworth BDA engine for Formula Pacific, but the reliability problems persisted. According to Graham Vercoe, it was later raced by Dennis Dunbar with the Mazda engine, then by Charlie Conway with the BDA. David McKinney reported that it then went to Adrian Whapman, who was advertising it in 1994. Subsequent history unknown.

Sources

The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.

The New Zealand race results have been provided by Chris Townsend based on material in Autosport and Motoring News reports in the UK, Motoraction in New Zealand plus the information supplied by a wide range of contributors.

All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can help in any way with our research.