Historic Formula 3 dates back to the racing in the late ’60s.
At that time these 1 litre open wheelers were dubbed ‘screamers’ due to their high revving engines, and were much favoured for their close racing and large grids. It was also where prospective F1 drivers discovered if they were ‘the right stuff’. James Hunt and Emerson Fittipaldi being two stars that rose from the ranks. F1 manufacturers plied their trade in the category t0o – examples being Lotus, Brabham, Cooper and March – and it’s still a gripping spectacle for race-goers today.
For the opening laps at Donington at the weekend, the three front runners were the top qualifiers – Ian Bankhurst/Alexis HF802, Steve Seaman/Brabham BT21, Simon Armer/March 703 and with Paul Waine/De Sanctis 69 joining in the fun.
In the mid-field current Historic F1 Champion Greg Thorton/Cooper T52, demonstrated the importance of determination as he tricycled round the sharper curves. In the closing stages Paul Waine had a spin and subsequently retired on the penultimate lap. With Ian Bankhurst having retired a few laps earlier, that left Steve Seaman to win with a margin of nearly 30 seconds over second placed Simon Armer.
In the return event – the first of Sunday’s races it was a Brabham BT21 1-2-3 with Ian Forward taking first place, Steve Seaman second and Jim Blockley third. Ian Bankhurst again suffered from gremlins and retired on lap 6, although he should have gained consolation from setting the fastest lap time in the category of both days.
Pictures: Chris McEvoy