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1966 European Formula 3 International Challenge

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#1 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 16:13

Time to do the end of year PC cleaning - and since I didn't want to add another topic to the forum's main thread, I ended up here on the historical research


Anyway, originally, my goal was to write a text about this interesting race, but since my focus shifted to coverage of races in LAT-AM during the 60s and 70s, in addition to writing about the Formula Junior, I ended up shelving this project. I donĀ“t want it to colect dust anymore, so I share with anyone who wants to go ahead with it.

So, I leave a starting point here if anyone wants to write and research about the International Challenge. This race was very unique, because it was one of the rare occasions in the 60s that drivers did not race for teams, but rather, for National Motorsport Federations (almost like a mini-World Cup for cars). So, instead of teams like Matra and a dozen private entries, as was common in F3 at the time, we see names like RAC de Belgique, FFSA or RAC of Great Britain on the entry list.


The race was held at Brands Hatch and the winner was Chris Irwin, in a Brabham BT18. Info about it can be found in both Autosport and MotorSport Magazines (plus some extra data in The Fastlane website).



Link to some stuff: https://drive.google...JBbxyGNX1sHLssu







#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 17:01

Two previews and race report from Autocar:









#3 68targa

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 21:11

I remember attending this rather chilly and at times wet event, however I thoroughly enjoyed it.   There was a brilliant entry and although most were on their way up the ladder with fame yet to come (I've counted ten future GP drivers)  these were all names that were very familiar at the time and worth watching.  Hard to believe that it is 57 years ago.


Here are a few photos I took of the day which might be of interest to others. (If the colour on some of them seems a bit odd it's because I left a colour filter on the lens and didn't notice :blush: )




Early in Heat two with Beltoise (Matra MS5) leading Courage (Lotus 41), Irwin (Brabham BT8), Jaussaud (Matra MS5) and Beckwith (Brabham BT18).




Piers Courage having a moment on top of Dan Gurney.




#1 Jacky Ickx (Matra MS5) and #16 Andrea de Adamich (Brabham BT18)




Hughes de Frielandt hitting the chalk bank at the bottom of Paddock Hill bend as mentioned in the Autosport report above.



Picko Troberg and Brabham BT18 on lap 29 (of 35).

#4 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 02:09

Ye boys, as I said. This was a very unique event, which can certainly generates a very peculiar text nowadays (for example, making links with the early GPs of the 1900's, when the brands represented the countries, or even making a link with the A1GP).



P.S. Loved the photos 68targa. Not finding good photos was one of the reasons why I forget this text. If only I had had such beautiful images a few months ago...  :well:

#5 68targa

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 13:23

Thanks for your comments.  It is interesting to see Andrea de Adamich in a Chequered Flag Brabham BT18 which he had to borrow after his Lola broke in practice.  Although Chris Irwin won the final Beltoise was unlucky since he drove really well, winning his heat from Irwin and then leading the final for a few laps until fuel feed issues slowed him and he slipped to 4th.


Here is one more photo showing Beltoise leading at the end of the first lap of the final with Chris Williams, Piers Courage and Chris Irwin following. The race was quite long for formula 3 being 35 laps on the GP circuit and lasted and hour. Even the Monaco F3 race only lasted 40 mins or so.



#6 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 10:57

This event wasn't unique, in fact from memory it was held every year for quite some time. I think I can recall the Swiss team winning twice, once in Hockenheim.


Thinking about it, it was even repeated by EFDA for Formula Opel/GM Lotus cars in the eighties and nineties, running for (close to) a full decade! EFDA even had the cars repainted in national colours!

Edited by Michael Ferner, 05 December 2023 - 12:20.