Formula Pacific

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Formula Pacific was a motor racing category which was used in the Pacific Basin area from 1977 to 1982. It specified a single-seat, open-wheeler chassis powered by a production-based four-cylinder engine of under 1600cc capacity.[1] The formula was based on Formula Atlantic, with provision made for the use of Japanese engines.The category was superseded in 1983 by Formula Mondial, which was devised by the FIA to replace both Formula Atlantic and Formula Pacific.

Introduction[edit]

The Formula Pacific category was created at a meeting of representatives from Pacific Basin countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan) in 1976.[2] The formula was based on Formula Atlantic, with provision made for the use of Japanese engines.[2] The first races to be held under the new formula were staged in New Zealand in January 1977.[2]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand staged its first Formula Pacific races in January 1977 [2] having abandoned Formula 5000 and moved to the new formula in that year.[3] The category continued there until Formula Mondial was introduced in 1983.[4]

Australia[edit]

Formula Pacific was adopted as part of Australian Formula 1 alongside the 5-litre Formula 5000 class in 1979 and it became the sole component of Australian Formula 1 in 1982. Formula Mondial was adopted as the new Australian Formula 1 in 1983 however cars complying with Formula Pacific would continue to compete alongside the new cars until the end of that year.[5]

Japan[edit]

The Japan Automobile Federation ran a Formula Pacific championship from 1978 to 1982.[6]

Macau[edit]

Theodore Racing's Formula Pacific race car at the Macau Grand Prix Museum.

The Macau Grand Prix used Formula Pacific regulations from 1977 [7] until Formula 3 rules were adopted for the 1983 event.[8] Winners of the race include eventual F1 drivers Riccardo Patrese and Roberto Moreno.

List of Formula Pacific series winners[edit]

Southeast Asian Series
Year Driver Car
1976 % New Zealand Graeme Lawrence March-Ford
1977 New Zealand Steve Millen Chevron-Ford
New Zealand International Series
1977 Finland Keke Rosberg Chevron-Ford
1978 Finland Keke Rosberg Chevron-Ford
1979 Italy Teo Fabi March-Ford
1980 New Zealand Dave McMillan Ralt-Ford
1981 New Zealand David Oxton Ralt-Ford
1982 Brazil Roberto Moreno Ralt-Ford
1983 Canada Allen Berg Ralt-Ford
1984 New Zealand Ken Smith Ralt-Ford
1985 United States Ross Cheever Ralt-Ford
1986 United States Jeff MacPherson Ralt-Ford
1987 New Zealand Mike Thackwell Ralt-Ford
1988 New Zealand Paul Radisich Ralt-Ford
1989 United States Dean Hall Ralt-Ford
1990 New Zealand Ken Smith Swift-Ford
1991 New Zealand Craig Baird Swift-Toyota
1992 New Zealand Craig Baird Reynard-Toyota
1993 New Zealand Craig Baird Reynard-Toyota
New Zealand Gold Star
1977 New Zealand Dave McMillan Ralt-Ford
1978 New Zealand Ross Stone Cuda-Ford
1979 New Zealand Dave McMillan Ralt-Ford
1980 New Zealand Dave McMillan Ralt-Ford
1981 New Zealand David Oxton Ralt-Ford
1982 New Zealand David Oxton Ralt-Ford
1983 not held
1984 New Zealand Ken Smith Ralt-Ford
1985 New Zealand Ken Smith Ralt-Ford
1986 not held
1987 New Zealand Ken Smith Ralt-Ford
1988 New Zealand Paul Radisich Ralt-Ford
1989 United States Dean Hall Ralt-Ford
1990 New Zealand Ken Smith Swift-Ford
1991 New Zealand Craig Baird Swift-Toyota
1992 New Zealand Craig Baird Reynard-Toyota
1993 New Zealand Craig Baird Reynard-Toyota
All-Japan Championship
1978 Japan Masahiro Hasemi Chevron-Nissan
1979 Japan Takao Wada March-Nissan
1980 Japan Masahiro Hasemi Chevron-Nissan
1981 Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino March-Nissan
1982 Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino Ralt-Nissan
South Pacific Championship
1981 New Zealand David Oxton Ralt-Ford
1982 Brazil Roberto Moreno Ralt-Ford
National Panasonic Series [9]
1981 [9] Australia Bruce Allison [9] Ralt-Ford
1982 [10] Australia Charlie O'Brien [10] Ralt RT4 [10]
Australian Drivers' Championship (Gold Star)
1982 Australia Alfredo Costanzo Tiga-Ford
1983 + Australia Alfredo Costanzo Tiga-Ford
1984 + Australia John Bowe Ralt-Ford
1985 + Australia John Bowe Ralt-Ford
1986 + Australia Graham Watson Ralt-Ford
FISA Formula Mondial World Cup
1983 Australia Charlie O'Brien Ralt-Ford
Indian Formula Pacific Series
1984 United Kingdom Jim Crawford Chevron-Ford
1985 United Kingdom Jim Crawford Chevron-Ford
1986 India Vicky Chandhok Chevron-Ford

% : The 1976 series was open to Formula Atlantic cars.[11]

+ : From 1983 to 1986 the Australian Drivers' Championship was contested by cars complying with Formula Mondial regulations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Survival of the Swiftest, 1980 Australian Grand Prix Program, page 23
  2. ^ a b c d Graham Howard, A backward look at Formula Pacific, 1982 Australian Grand Prix Program, page 51
  3. ^ New Zealand Formula Pacific series races Retrieved on 23 January 2010
  4. ^ Formula Mondial - Southern Pacific Zone, Australian Motor Racing Year 1983/94, pages 232-233
  5. ^ CAMS Manual of Motor Sport 1983, page 273
  6. ^ JAF Formula Pacific Series Races Retrieved on 23 January 2010
  7. ^ Grand Prix Macau > MGP Archive > Chronology > Decades of History - The 70s Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 23 January 2010
  8. ^ Grand Prix Macau > MGP Archive > Chronology > Decades of History - The 80s Retrieved on 23 January 2010
  9. ^ a b c The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 24 August 1981, page 21
  10. ^ a b c Bev Wright, O'Brien All the Way, Racing Car News, October 1982, pages 41 to 43
  11. ^ Lawrence's Rothmans title, Autosport, 6 January 1977, page 5