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Paul Tracy in British/European F3?


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#1 Shatterstar

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 13:13

Everyone here has been of so much help to me with my research into Paul Tracy's early career and I wondered if I might not ask for a little more assistance...

In Paul Tracy's biography, Never too Fast: The Paul Tracy Story, by Paul Ferriss, Tracy's father, Tony, had the following to say:

"In a three-year period, he'd gone from Formula Ford to Formula 2000, Formula Atlantic, and Formula Three [in Europe]."

It's that last one, F3, that I'm interested in. I haven't been able to find reference to Tracy in F3 anywhere other than from this quote from his father. It would have been in 1987 (the rest of his career has been accounted for). I would -- assume -- that it was English F3, but... The book lists a chronology of Tracy's career and it too makes no mention of F3. Could this have been a misquote from Tracy's dad or is there something to it?

Could anyone else shed any light on this?

Thanks!

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#2 rdmotorsport

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 18:11

Everyone here has been of so much help to me with my research into Paul Tracy's early career and I wondered if I might not ask for a little more assistance...

In Paul Tracy's biography, Never too Fast: The Paul Tracy Story, by Paul Ferriss, Tracy's father, Tony, had the following to say:

"In a three-year period, he'd gone from Formula Ford to Formula 2000, Formula Atlantic, and Formula Three [in Europe]."

It's that last one, F3, that I'm interested in. I haven't been able to find reference to Tracy in F3 anywhere other than from this quote from his father. It would have been in 1987 (the rest of his career has been accounted for). I would -- assume -- that it was English F3, but... The book lists a chronology of Tracy's career and it too makes no mention of F3. Could this have been a misquote from Tracy's dad or is there something to it?

Could anyone else shed any light on this?

Thanks!



I cannot remember Paul Tracy entering a Euro or British F3 race, I did negotiate with him ,well to be exact his father regarding a F3000 drive with Gj Motorsport but that was in the early nineties, his father also faxed me details of Pauls younger brother who was quite an up and coming star at the time ,I wonder what happened to him?

I could be wrong and if so someone with superior memory and knowledge on this subject will I am sure supply you with better information

Rodney Dodson.


#3 mapguy

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:30

I cannot remember Paul Tracy entering a Euro or British F3 race, I did negotiate with him ,well to be exact his father regarding a F3000 drive with Gj Motorsport but that was in the early nineties, his father also faxed me details of Pauls younger brother who was quite an up and coming star at the time ,I wonder what happened to him?

I could be wrong and if so someone with superior memory and knowledge on this subject will I am sure supply you with better information

Rodney Dodson.


PT never did F3. AFAIK I have never heard of PT having a younger brother. But knowing Tony Tracy.....


#4 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 07:37

Were the not a single seater class in the US in the '80ies which was named / called 'F3', though not being run according to the same regulations as the European version?

Is it possible that Tracy did one of those races as a one-off?

Deep down in my memory I have an idea that the 'F3' championship was won by a guy who was either 59 or 60, on Road Atlanta somewhat towards the early '80ies.

:cool:

#5 RA Historian

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 16:18

Were the not a single seater class in the US in the '80ies which was named / called 'F3', though not being run according to the same regulations as the European version?

Now that you mention it I do recall such a series. It was run in 2000, though, much later than when Tracy would have been interested. It was short lived, just one year, and with a limited schedule. Very small fields, as few as six cars, IIRC. I believe that all chassis were the same and they were all powered by Bertils VW engines. I saw one event, at San Diego in Nov. 2000, which had maybe 10 or 12 cars in it, simply because a few cars from the Mexican F-3 series hopped across the border. Did not cause even as much as a ripple on the US racing waters and quietly went away after that San Diego finale.

That is the only one that I can recall that actually got off the ground, although periodically there was the odd announcement of a "US F-3 Series". But, again as I recall and my memory may be faulty, only the 2000 series ever happened, and it was a flop.

Speaking of the Mexican F-3 series, I saw one such race in the US, at Phoenix in March, 1991, as a support race for the USGP. Mostly Mexican regulars, but a handful of Americans had rides that day. Is it possible that Tracy was one of those? I don't recall his being in the race, but again, that was almost 20 years ago and I will not swear as to the accuracy of my memory without looking it up, and offhand, I have no idea, save digging out an old On Track, where to find such info. And right now I don't know which box in which storage closet has those issues of OT in it.

Tom

#6 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 17:51

Thanks RA Historian,

But that is not the one I was thinking of, though your post have me re-remember that one as well, the series I am thinking of may have been F-Atlantic, and I am pretty sure that we are somewhere between 1980 and 1984, so that will not match Tracy's possible F3 race either, I was just thinking that the series may still have been around in 1987.

Sort of OT, but was F-Mazda not called F3 at one time in the US, or was F-Mazda run in F3 chassis cars? Were there not some Swift's being run 'like F3'?

I think that the confusion about Tracy in part stem from the number of different classes, which have at one time or another been called 'F3', and that most likely Tracy never did run a F3.

:cool:

#7 Shatterstar

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 17:55

Thanks everyone. Like I had said, I couldn't find mention of Tracy and F3 anywhere, but I found the quote from his father odd. The book was written many years after these events would have occured, so it is likely that Tony simply forgot or mis-spoke.

Thanks again to everyone who responded.

#8 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 18:40

I am still intriqued.

On Tracy's website it says this for 1987:

Also raced in the SCCA Endurance Series, Mosport’s 24-hour race and the British Grandstand Series.


My bold.

What was the British Grandstand Series?

:cool:

#9 alansart

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 18:43

I am still intriqued.

On Tracy's website it says this for 1987:



My bold.

What was the British Grandstand Series?

:cool:


A stand alone series of 4 or 5 races in the winter for FF2000. I think most, or all, were at Brands Hatch. It was a chance for teams to test new talent for the following year.

Grandstand meant that highlights were shown on UK's Saturday lunchtime Sports TV show.

Edited by alansart, 18 October 2009 - 18:45.


#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 18:50

More details about Tracy's involvement in it in Shatterstar's earlier thread:

BBC Grandstand FF2000

#11 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 19:06

Okay so now for my tin foil hat idea.

The FF2000 that Tracy ran was a Swift DB3.

Could it be that Tracy Senior remember that, and equate the '3' with a F3?

:cool:

#12 Shatterstar

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 19:13

Not likely. I have a hard time believing Tracy's dad would remember chassis types.

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 19:38

...it is likely that Tony simply forgot or mis-spoke

It would not have been the first time he mis-spoke :lol:


#14 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 19:59

Speaking of the Mexican F-3 series, I saw one such race in the US, at Phoenix in March, 1991, as a support race for the USGP. Mostly Mexican regulars, but a handful of Americans had rides that day. Is it possible that Tracy was one of those? I don't recall his being in the race, but again, that was almost 20 years ago and I will not swear as to the accuracy of my memory without looking it up, and offhand, I have no idea, save digging out an old On Track, where to find such info. And right now I don't know which box in which storage closet has those issues of OT in it.

Tom

I was there too, don't recall Tracy in it. Adrian Fernandez was.
I wonder if Paul Tracy's little accident in Ralph Firman's road car in Attleborough town centre is in the book?


#15 Shatterstar

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 20:48

The book isn't very good, really. Paul, himself, was never interviewed for it. It's based on third party accounts of his career (up to 2001). It glosses over most of his pre-Indycar/Champcar days (except for his single CanAm race, likely because the author was able to interview Horst Kroll). Not surprising, but disappointing nevertheless.

No mention of Tracy crashing Firman's car, though there was was funny story about him getting pulled over in, I believe, Germany while under age and without a proper licence. He showed the cop his Karting licence. :smoking:

#16 RA Historian

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 00:01

Thanks RA Historian,

But that is not the one I was thinking of, though your post have me re-remember that one as well, the series I am thinking of may have been F-Atlantic, and I am pretty sure that we are somewhere between 1980 and 1984, so that will not match Tracy's possible F3 race either, I was just thinking that the series may still have been around in 1987.

For a couple years around 1982-83 Formula Atlantic in North America was called "Formula Mondiale", but that was soon dropped. Confusion there?

Sort of OT, but was F-Mazda not called F3 at one time in the US, or was F-Mazda run in F3 chassis cars? Were there not some Swift's being run 'like F3'?

Not that I ever heard.

I think that the confusion about Tracy in part stem from the number of different classes, which have at one time or another been called 'F3', and that most likely Tracy never did run a F3.

:cool:

My thoughts in red

Tom

#17 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 01:00

Tracy never drove F3.

He just always drove whatever like it was F3.



#18 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 05:37

For sure Paul Tracy did not race the Mexican F3 at Phoenix. Bobby Carville, Lynn St.James, Elton Julian, Howie Idelson, Byron Payne were the Americans I remember. The most famous driver entered did not drive; Tom Sneva. Ya, that Tom Sneva! The mechanics put the pistons in backwards in his motor and blew it up before first practice. That is what he told me when I saw him in the paddock.

#19 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 15:50

Reading all of the BBC Grandstand thread, it seems that Paul Tracy "intended" to run a full F3 season in Britain in 1987. In his Bios for early Vancouver Indy race (1990, 1991) there is no mention of F3, He ran three seasons in ARS (AmericanRacing Series which becane Indy Lights) before 1990. That would be 1987/8/9 and probably would not have given him time to run a British season. In 1986 he was still in high school.

The North American formula that he was running in was FF2000 when he went to the UK for the BBC series.

I am only quoting what I have read!

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#20 Shatterstar

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 16:37

Reading all of the BBC Grandstand thread, it seems that Paul Tracy "intended" to run a full F3 season in Britain in 1987. In his Bios for early Vancouver Indy race (1990, 1991) there is no mention of F3, He ran three seasons in ARS (AmericanRacing Series which becane Indy Lights) before 1990. That would be 1987/8/9 and probably would not have given him time to run a British season. In 1986 he was still in high school.

The North American formula that he was running in was FF2000 when he went to the UK for the BBC series.

I am only quoting what I have read!


Tracy drove in a LOT of series in the early parts of his career.

In 1986 alone he contested races in:
F2000 (Canada)
F1600 Race of Champions (UK)
F2000 (UK)
Rothmans Porsche CUP (Canada)
BBC Grandstand Series (UK)


In '87 he drove races in:
F2000 (Canada)
Formula Atlantic (US)
Rothmans Porsche CUP (Canada)
GM Player's Motorsports East
Formula Pacific (technically, January of 88)

He didn't start driving ARS until 88 and he won the title in 1990. Prior to this ARS days, PT would rarely complete an entire season in any one discipline (F2000 was about it.... He did but three races is Atlantics, for example). Tracy would drive a handful of races in different cars in different formulas to get him the maximum exposure and experience.

While it appears he didn't step foot in an F3 car, he certainly could have found time in 87 or 88 to have partially competed in the series.

Edited by Shatterstar, 19 October 2009 - 19:55.


#21 Shatterstar

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 16:48

Forgot... he also did a lone CanAm race in 86.

#22 # 0

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 19:34

Someone remind me who was #55 in the 1987 British F3 Championship...

#23 RA Historian

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 20:38

Forgot... he also did a lone CanAm race in 86.

.....and won it!

#24 Chris Townsend

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 21:38

Someone remind me who was #55 in the 1987 British F3 Championship...


Tim Sugden, Colin Bennett Racing Ralt RT30.