Sprinting is one of the main disciplines of speed events, a sister to hillclimbing and related to slaloms and to the forms of autocross that became popular in the SCCA. Hillclimbs are generally uphill and longer than Sprints, but this is not necessarily true, and some of the shorter hillclimbs that took place in France during this period would look like Sprints to a British spectator. Sprinting should not be confused with 'Sprint car racing' in the USA, a form of oval dirt track racing.
During the period being examined here, Sprints in Britain were dominated by Formula 5000 cars in the early 1970s, with former F1 cars being used successfully in the mid-1970s before F2 cars took a leading role towards the end of the decade. In the 1980s, custom-built Pilbeams took over, using enlarged F2 Hart and BMW engines and then ex-F1 Cosworth DFL engines.
Of the 105 rounds held in the 1970s, 57 were won by F5000 or related cars, 27 by F2 or related cars, 13 by ex-F1 cars, seven by 1600cc class cars, and one by a Lola T70 sports racing car.
Of the 106 held in the 1980s, 65 were won by F2 cars including 22 by Pilbeams; 31 by ex-F1 or related cars such as Pilbeams, a Lyncar and the Tech-Craft March; five by ex-F5000 or related cars; three by Clubmans-style sports racing cars and two by 1600cc class cars.
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