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Swiss Formula 3 Championships


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#1 Michael Ferner

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 13:49

In the process of updating my F 3 data base until the end of 2001, I noticed Motorsport aktuell stopped reporting about the Swiss Championship in the late nineties. That's annoying, but not tragic since I still have excellent information from other sources, notably the official point tables from the ACS up to 2000, but the peculiar nature of this championship leaves me with a few unfortunate gaps, and I wonder whether someone out there in TNF land can help me?

Most irritatingly, I miss the second place finisher of the 1998 Goldpokalrennen at Hockenheim, July 11 or 12. Also, number of laps and/or finishing time(s) would be much appreciated!

Apart from some more minor placings, the following top 6 finishing positions are also still missing:

1999 June 20, Dijon: 4th place
2000 October 1, Slalom at Bière (cheers! ): 4th, 5th and 6th place
2001 May 27, Salzburg: 6th place
2001 June 23, Dijon: 5th and 6th place
2001 June 24, Dijon: 4th, 5th and 6th place
2001 July 7, Hockenheim: 4th, 5th and 6th place
2001 September 9, Gurnigel hill climb: 4th and 5th place
2001 September 16, La Berra hill climb: 5th and 6th place
2001 September 30, Bière slalom: 4th, 5th and 6th place


Step forward, helpful soul! :clap:

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#2 The Mountaineer

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 09:29

In most cases I can help you. But for Salzburg and Bière I'll have to dig deeper.

 

Hockenheim 11.08.1998   2. Michel Frey Dallara-Fiat 393

 

Dijon 20.06.1999   4. Matthias Denger Ralt 93C Alfa

 

Bière 1.10.2000   4. Andreas Bähler Dallara 394 Opel,  5. Marcel (?) Heimberg Dallara 399-Opel,  6. Hansruedi Debrunner Dallara 397-Opel

 

Dijon 23.06. 2001   5. Urs Rüttimann Dallara 396 Opel,  6. Willi Sträuli Dallara 395 Fiat

 

Dijon 24.06.2001   4. Andreas Bähler Dallara 396-Opel,  5. Urs Rüttimann Dallara 396 Opel,  6. Jürg Felix Dallara 393 Fiat

 

Hockenheim 07.07.2001   4. Urs Rüttimann Dallara 396 Opel,  5. Andreas Bähler Dallara 396 Opel,  6. Tobias Blättler Ralt RT36 Fiat

 

Gurnigel 09.09.2001   4. Jürg Felix Dallara 393 Fiat,  5. Bruno Huber Ralt 93C Alfa

 

La Berra 16.09.2001   5. Peter Marugg Dallara 394 Opel,   6. Bruno Huber Ralt 93C Alfa

 

PS: Do you know the "Rennsport Schweiz" range of annuals? First edition 1984, now in its 35th year. There aren't complete results, so it's not the perfect tool, but all the information above comes from there. If you are interested, go for www.rennsport-schweiz.ch 



#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 10:58

Fab-u-lous! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Many thanks, Urs - I was hoping you'd see this :)

#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 16:44

Urs, if it's not too much, and if you have the info available, could you post the rest of the results of Bière 2000 - according to what I have, Schrepfer should be 7th, Salamin 8th, 9th or 10th, and Strickler outside of the top ten. The relevant issue of "Rennsport Schweiz" is vergriffen, and anyway I have the official results of all championship rounds except for Bière, but only the top six in points. If I had the Bière results, I could calculate the points table myself, or perhaps the book has a final points listing? Any help would be much appciated!

Meanwhile, while we're waiting for another philanthropist to come to the rescue (1998 Goldpokal laps/times, 2001 Salzburg and Bière results, oh, and I'm also missing the laps/times of 2001 Varano, and the times of 1999 & 2000 Bière!), I'll regale you with assorted statistics :) Be back in a jiffy...

#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 19:19

Due to unforeseen circumstances, here's just a quick upload of the not yet updated table of all 224 drivers competing in 24 years of the Swiss F 3 Championships, 1978 to 20001. I'll be back with the updated list, and a few notes when I have a little more tie.

F3-CH1.jpg

#6 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 19:58

So, here now the new version, updated with the latest info from Urs. If you happen to compare the two versions, you'll notice I "anticipated" a few of his additions, like Hockenheim 1998 - there was really no one except Michel Frey who could have finished second in a Swiss F 3 championship field that day. Also, from the published point standings, it was pretty clear who it was who finished fourth or fifth in some of those 2001 races, but I couldn't determine who did it in which race. A big thank you again to our favourite mountaineer!! :clap: :clap:

I also corrected a slight data mistake in my original worksheet, and also deleted Heribert Aeby from the table because, on reflection, it seems he competed in the Formula Libre class, not F 3. This may be as good a time as any to explain that the table reflects only results in the Swiss championship, not necessarily the actual race finishes. There were a few occasions when F 3 cars that did not conform to the special Swiss regulations (which usually included control tyres, a cut-off date for manufacture of the car and/or engine electronics etc.) were allowed to compete, but ignored in the results - like Aeby at Anzère in 1998, for example. Also, only drivers with a Swiss competition licence were allowed to score points, regardless of their actual nationality. This explains why Norberto Fontana is on the list, but some results of Swiss drivers such as Marcel Wettstein or Bernard Leisi are missing, because they were competing with a German or French licence, respectively. In a very few cases, it was not possible to establish whether a driver was eligible to score or not, and these results are still included, if suspect.

A few words to explain the contents of the table: ranked by SPS* and then (in brackets) by the total points scored (in the column at the extreme right), each driver is listed with the number of championship finishes in the top ten positions (columns C1 to C0), then the accumulated SPS, and then the number of race finishes in the first nine (columns R1 to R9), the total number of scores and the accumulated net, then total championship points. Why no number of tenth place finishes, you ask? Because the Swiss award one championship point to every finisher from tenth onwards, and as a result the record of tenth place finishers is rather incomplete! Also, the difference between net and total points is so big in many cases because of the Swiss peculiarity of not only restricting the maximum number of point scores per year, but also stipulating a minimum of scores, usually three but up to six at times.


* SPS = Standard Percentage Score, as explained in a seperate thread a few months ago. This, in my opinion at least, provides a much more balanced ranking than any other, like total points scored (which would see drivers who never finished even near the top ten ranked ahead of race winners) or quality-then-quantity of race finishes, or even championship positions. The *real* value of SPS, however, will come to light in subsequent posts about car and engine performances over the years.



F3-CH2.png

#7 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 20:23

And, while we're at it, the name "Swiss Formula 3 Championship" is actually not quite correct, because it was the Schweizerische Automobilmeisterschaft für Rennwagen, Championnat Suisse Automobile des Voitures de Course - the Swiss Racing Car Championships, dating back to 1926 when a certain Hermann Kracht of Zürich won the first such title, in a Type 35 Bugatti. That year, seperate Championships for Touring, Sports and Racing Cars in each of the acknowledged international capacity classes were to be awarded, but in the Racing Car category only Kracht recorded the stipulated minimum number of results (already then, a Swiss speciality!) by winning the Engelberg (May 30), Eaumorte (Jun 13), Walzenhausen (Jun 27) and Klausen (Aug 8) hill climbs in the 2000 cc Class E. The same year, there were five champions each in the Touring and Sports Car categories! Another Bugatti driver, Josef Merz of Zürich won the 1927 Racing Car title, and while the Champion in 1928 is not very clear (it may have been August Scheibler of Laupen near Berne on a Fiat), the 1929 winner was yet another Bugatti driver, Hans Stuber of Berne.

For a time in the thirties, the seperate category championships were discontinued, and only two overall titles were awarded for "expert" and "amateur" drivers, respectively. By 1938, the Racing Car Championship was back in the form of a "Gold Medal of the ACS" with Max Christen of Zürich the winner in his 2-litre Maserati, who repeated the following year as the Champion proper. More importantly, however, 1939 saw the introduction of the (in)famous Leistungsprinzip as the scoring method for the Swiss Championships for all categories, which was only discarded completely following the 1979 season (in 1977 already for the Sports and Racing Car categories). Some of you may remember the thread in which I applied this scoring method to the 1970 World Championship Formula One season, with the result that Jochen Rindt ended up in 12th place instead of being Champion - it was THAT wacky!! :drunk:

As eccentric and convoluted as it may appear for us today, it was actually and quite probably not the very worst solution for the particularity of a small country with a sense of individuality and freedom that may be unique in Europe, and certainly was for its time! In Switzerland, everybody who wishes to compete is welcome to do so, no matter whether in his road-going Mini or 2CV, or last year's Formula One Ferrari! A multitude of categories, classes and divisions takes care of the various performance levels of all entries, and some form of comparison of the results simply had to be found to arrive at only three National Champions per year for Racing, Sports and Touring Cars, respectively (a fourth title for "Grand Touring" cars was added in 1957, renamed "Special Cars" in 1970 when the Touring Cars became "Stock Cars").

The Leistungsprinzip, actually invented by the Swiss Motorcycle Federation a few years earlier, was the pride and joy of the ACS, who regarded it as the only "fair" way to award championships, though in reality it probably rewarded plodder quality over excellence, and transpiration over inspiration. Mostly, however, it favoured the guy who was lucky in picking the class he was going to compete in: a low car count and a relative lack of talent amongst one's class mates was the best ticket for championship success. Another weak point was the frequency of ties at the head of the table, like in that 1939 Racing Car Championship: only Max Christen and Bernard Blancpain of Fribourg in his 1.5-litre Maserati scored the necessary four results that year, and with both having won their class four times, the better average speed (!) of Christen in his bigger Maser at the Bremgarten race proved decisive.

One of the nice things about the Swiss Racing Car Championships was the number of exotic cars competing, and after the war gap the title went twice to Emmanuel de Graffenried of Frbourg in his Formula One Maserati (1949 & '50), then twice to Rudolf Fischer of Zürich in his Formula Two Ferrari (1951 & '52). In 1954, Willy Daetwyler of Zürich won on a big supercharged 4.5-litre Alfa Romeo, then Hansjörg Gilomen of Lengnau near Biel took two in his little 1100 cc Cooper (1954 & '55) before Albert Leuenberger of Lausanne took his turn in a 1200 cc Cisitalia (1956). Harry Zweifel of Glarus (halfway between Zürich and Liechtenstein) took four in a row (1957 - '60) in various F 2 and F 1 Coopers, then Karl Foitek of Zürich a couple in a Formula Junior Lotus (1961 & '62). Charles Vögele of Neftenbach near Winterthur in an Intercontinental Brabham (1963) and André Périat of Porrentruy near the French border in a Junior Cooper (1964) marked time before the "arrival" of Walter Habegger of Herzogenbuchsee/Oberönz near Solothurn as a three-time Champion (1965 - '67) in Brabham and Lotus F 2 cars - Habegger had been runner-up six times before that (including three years in a row tied on points with Champion Zweifel!!), and finished in the top 3 every year bar one from 1956 till '68!

Formula 3 drivers Jürg Dubler of Dielsdorf near Zürich (Brabham, 1968) and Roland Salomon of Frauenkappelen near Berne (Tecno, 1969) paved the way for the seventies and Xavier Perrot of Zürich in his F 2 March (1970 & '71) and Jo Vonlanthen of Frauenfeld near Konstanz in an F 3 Tecno (1972), before Salomon came back in an F 2 March/BMW 732 himself for a couple of da capos (1973 & '74). Markus Hotz of Sulgen near Konstanz took his brand new March/BMW 752 to the championship in 1975, then a new nom de course appeared on the scene and dominated the 1976 season in a Formula Atlantic Modus: "Ruby", who turned out to be none other but the recently and very publicly retired (and now secretly unretired) Roland Salomon! In 1977, it was the turn again of Markus Hotz in another brand new March/BMW 772, but the seeds for the future had already been sown with the introduction of a class of its own for the two-litre Formula 3 cars, which hitherto had been lumped together with the Atlantics, Super Vees and what-have-you.

That year, Rolf Egger of Fribourg in a Ralt/Toyota RT1 won five of the 12 championship rounds in the new class, took two seconds, three thirds and a fourth to wind up second in the points chase to Hotz, who had virtually no opposition in taking ten wins in the F 2 class - only Fredy Amweg in his home-built Formula 2 special made it into the top ten in points, a very distant ninth. By contrast, four other F 3 drivers joined Egger in the top ten, with Fritz Straumann in his semi-works Chevron/Toyota B38 in fourth with three wins, two seconds and two thirds, as well as other race winners Dieter Wälti (5th in a March/Toyota 743-77) and Louis Maulini (8th in a Ralt/Toyota RT1). The other two wins fell to Fridolin Wettstein and Armin Conrad, both in Ralt/Toyota RT1s, while Heinz Loosli was tenth in points in his March/Toyota 753-77 on the strength of seven top eight finishes, including a third. Other top 3 finishers were Ruggero Grüt (March/Toyota 743), Hasi Kaufmann (Chevron/BMW B38), Luciano Arnold (March/Toyota 763-77), Laurent Ferrier (Lola/BMW T670) and Bruno Huber (Argo/Toyota JM1).

Edited by Michael Ferner, 05 February 2019 - 23:56.


#8 The Mountaineer

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 18:01

Hello Michael

 

I am deeply impressed by your knowledge about the Swiss F3 Championship and Swiss Championships in general, and I am happy to add a few missing details.

 

27.05.2001  Salzburg:  6th Hansruedi Debrunner Dallara 397 Opel

 

30.09.2001  Bière:  4. Debrunner Dallara 397 Opel 2'31.93,  5.Fabian Gysin Ralt RT34 Alfa  2'32.51,  6. Dominique Salamin Dallara 393 Opel  2'34.79

 

And a few first name for your charts:

 

Michel Rizzo

Gaston Zen-Ruffinen

Georges Aymon

Alain Gilliéron

Philippe Ossola

Daniel Perroud

Richard Vogel (not sure)

Teddy Voellmy

Ruggero Grüt is in reality Ruggero Gruet (French pronounciation)

"Albin" is Albino Fontana (no connection with Norberto)

 

I don't think Wenzelburger ever had a Swiss licence, and there are also doubts for Heinzelmann (D), Scherle (D), Ferrier (F) and "Albin" (MC).

 

And I can't imagine Caprez and Amweg in F3 cars (until the contrary is proven).

 

Keep on your excellent work!
Urs



#9 Michael Ferner

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 16:26

Somthing to do with having to rely on a Swiss magazine for racing news for so long.  ;)

But really, I learned to love the sometimes somewhat quirky Swiss racing scene by that, and in the meantime have made an effort to learn more by delving into historic Automobile Revue issues. It's great fun, actually!


Thank you for the additional info, and the first names. I had a feeling about "Grüt" being wrong, but thanks for confirming. Also thanks for confirming that Albin is Albino Fontana - that had been bugging me for years! It seemed so obvious, but I never found any firm connection. Gaston Zen-Ruffinen I'd found in the meantime, and I also found out that there we two drivers with the family name Aymon, both from Ayent so probably related: according to this (https://www.ayent-an...s_2_minutes.pdf) Georges Aymon drove mainly a Lola sports car, while the driver of the F 3 Brabham was Fernand Aymon.

I share your doubts about Wenzelsburger, but Heinzelmann was listed in a copy I have of the "Offizielle Rangliste/Resultats Officiels" of the ACS in 1982, as was Scherle in 2000 (but not in 1999!) and Albin in 1979, '80, '81 and '83. Not really sure about Ferrier, that was during the time of the "Leistungsprinzip", hence his presence in the results did not affect other drivers, irrespective of the origin of his licence. I take your word, then.

Ruedi Caprez drove a Ralt at the 1978 Goldpokalrennen, finishing tenth (see Motorsport aktuell 30/78, p8). Amweg didn't drive F 3, as far as I can tell - I only mentioned him as the best placed F 2 driver besides Hotz in 1977.

#10 ensign14

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 17:32

Is Gaston Zen-Ruffien related to FIFA magnate Michel?



#11 nexfast

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 22:27

 

I don't think Wenzelburger ever had a Swiss licence, and there are also doubts for Heinzelmann (D), Scherle (D), Ferrier (F) and "Albin" (MC).

 

 

 

Don't know about the others but isn't this Laurent Ferrier the watchhmaker from Geneva who also drove in the Le Mans 24 hours and was born in Neuchâtel in 1946?



#12 The Mountaineer

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 08:07

Yes, it's the same Laurent Ferrier. He sometimes used a French, sometimes a Swiss licence, but I can't tell you which one in what year.

 

The same also applies to Heinzelmann. He is/was German, but he lived and worked in Switzerland. He started racing with a German licence, but I don't know when he switched.

 

"Albin" briefly raced a Lotus Elan in 1967 with Swiss licence, then he made his comeback many years after in F3 as a Monegasque, but probably only in his first year. That allowed him - and some others as well - to step around the mandatory ACS "Ausbildungskurs".

 

Sorry for the wrong Aymon. I didn't know about Fernand. And I don't know anything about Zen-Ruffinen's family.



#13 Michael Ferner

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 22:26

After struggling to complete my 2001 results, I happened upon a site (www.resultatscotes.ch) which contained (almost) complete results from 2002 onwards, so I decided to go for the whole bit and create a table for the entire run of the Swiss F 3 Championships, 1978 to 2006. A very few top six finishes are still missing (three), but since the last two years contained some very poor fields (with seven events paying only half points because of fewer than six starters), that's a bit academic anyhow. The championship finally went out on a whimper, when the last ever event, the La Berra hill climb in 2006, saw only one finisher, which was quite likely also the only starter! Dear old Hansruedi Debrunner was the last man standing, after finally taking that elusive first win only four weeks earlier in a field of four at Les Rangiers, easily the most prestigious hill climb in Switzerland - just no longer for Formula 3, as in 2006 there were even three times as many F 3000 cars present!! At La Berra, Debrunner finished a lacklustre 17th overall, behind several Formula Renaults, a Ford Escort, a couple Opel Kadetts and Honda Civics each plus an Audi 50!!!

F3-CH3.png

#14 The Mountaineer

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:25

Thank you for mentioning the resultatscotes.ch website. I didn't know about it. There is another one which might help in some cases: www.autosport-ranglisten.ch