March

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World Championship Career
Year Engine Driver Race Start Won Pod Class Best 1+2 Pole Front Best Lap Pts Pos
1970 Ford CA Amon, MG Andretti, AF Cevert, H Hahne, BR Peterson, J Servoz-Gavin, J Siffert, J Stewart 13 60 1 8 30 1 0 3 8 1 1 48 3
1971 Ford J Barber, M Beuttler, GGG Galli, JPJP Jarier, M Jean, AN Lauda, JML Love, F Mazet, HJW Pescarolo, BR Peterson, A Soler-Roig 11 41 0 5 16 2 0 0 0 5 1 34 4
Alfa Romeo AL de Adamich, GGG Galli, BR Peterson 9 11 0 0 4 11 0 0 0 12 0 0 -
1972 Ford J Barber, M Beuttler, AN Lauda, JC Pace, HJW Pescarolo, BR Peterson, R Stommelen 12 62 0 1 39 3 0 0 1 3 0 15 6
1973 Ford M Beuttler, J Hunt, JPJP Jarier, HJW Pescarolo, D Purley, R Williamson, RTL Wisell 15 38 0 2 17 2 0 0 0 4 2 14 5
1974 Ford V Brambilla, H Ganley, J Hunt, HJ Stuck, M Wilds, RTL Wisell 15 28 0 0 13 4 0 0 0 5 0 6 9
1975 Ford V Brambilla, MN Donohue, MG Lombardi, HJ Stuck 14 31 1 1 12 1 0 1 1 1 1 7.5 8
1976 Ford V Brambilla, MG Lombardi, AF Merzario, BR Peterson, HJ Stuck 16 53 1 1 19 1 0 1 2 1 1 19 7
1977 Ford M Bleekemolen, B de Dryver, JG Hayje, B Henton, M Kozarowitzky, RB Lunger, AF Merzario, PMGPSS Nève, AD Ribeiro, I Scheckter, HJ Stuck, A Sutcliffe 16 41 0 0 18 7 0 0 0 14 0 0 -
1981 Ford DP Daly, E Salazar 9 9 0 0 4 7 0 0 0 17 0 0 -
1982 Ford RGD Boesel, R Keegan, J Mass, E de Villota 13 22 0 0 11 7 0 0 0 17 0 0 -
1987 Ford IF Capelli 16 15 0 0 6 6 0 0 0 18 0 1 13
1988 Judd IF Capelli, M Gugelmin 16 31 0 2 17 2 0 0 0 3 0 22 6
1989 Judd IF Capelli, M Gugelmin 16 31 0 1 7 3 0 0 0 4 1 4 12
1992 Ilmor PA Belmondo, J Lammers, E Naspetti, K Wendlinger 16 26 0 0 15 4 0 0 0 7 0 3 9
Total 198 499 3 21 228 1 0 5 12 1 7
Race Circuit Date
First race South African Grand Prix Kyalami March 7, 1970 Race results
Last race Australian Grand Prix Adelaide November 8, 1992 Race results
Profile

The idea of a group of enthusiasts banding together to set up a Formula One team at the same time as selling customer cars, employing the reigning World Champion and taking pole position at their first race seems ludicrous. That, however, is exactly what March did.

The four founding members were former FIA president Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. Herd was a highly regarded young designer who had worked at McLaren and designed the stillborn Cosworth four-wheel-drive car. They got together in 1969 and moved into a small factory in Bicester.

Jackie Stewart had just won the World Championship in a Matra. The French company was determined to use its own V12 engines in 1970, though, and neither Stewart nor Ken Tyrrell wanted that. Instead, they were faced with the prospect of finding an alternative chassis.

Enter March. Jumping at the opportunity to grab the reigning World Champion after attempts to lure Jochen Rindt from Lotus had failed, they ended up fielding a works team as well as selling customer cars in Formula One. There were four March 701s on the grid in South Africa.

They also built customer cars for Formula Two, Formula Three and Formula 5000. The works drivers were Chris Amon and Jo Siffert, with backing coming from STP, and a spare car provided for Mario Andretti in selected grands prix.

The 701s were built hurriedly, but that did not stop Amon from winning first time out at the Silverstone International Trophy. Stewart then won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and started from pole at Kyalami, with Amon alongside. Jack Brabham's BT33 won the race convincingly, however, while Amon retired and Stewart finished third. Stewart won in Spain, but the heavy 701 was soon struggling, especially against the new Lotus 72.

Stewart left at the end of the year to drive the first Tyrrell. March signed promising young Swede Ronnie Peterson and Herd came up with the distinctive 711, featuring the famous "dinner plate" front wing. Peterson was highly competitive with the car and, although Stewart was the dominant force for Tyrrell, Ronnie placed second no fewer than six times and ended the season as championship runner-up.

Herd then embarked on the innovative 721X, which featured a gearbox mounted between the engine and the axle in the interests of improved handling. March took no notice when an inexperienced Niki Lauda told them the car was hopeless.

Peterson needed considerably longer to come to the same conclusion. March then scrabbled together a replacement 721G, based on its Formula Two car. The "G" designation was an in-house joke, standing for Guinness Book of Records, a reflection on how quickly it was thrown together!

March lost Peterson to Lotus for 1973, and, always under both financial and customer time pressure, adopted the policy of fielding beefed-up Formula Two cars in grands prix, generally with pay drivers at the wheel. Although Stewart had won that second race in Spain in 1970, the first "works" victory did not come until 1975 in Austria, when Vittorio Brambilla, "The Monza Gorilla", won a rain-shortened race. He then threw both arms into the air and shunted on the slowing down lap.

Peterson returned in 1976 and won the Italian Grand Prix in the 761 before leaving for Tyrrell. March disappeared from the Formula One scene at the end of the following season, returning a decade later with backing from the Japanese Leyton House concern of Akira Akagi, who was later prosecuted in Japan for massive fraud.

Ivan Capelli showed flashes of brilliance with Adrian Newey's 881 and CG901 designs, coming second in Portugal in 1988 and second again in France in 1990, this time having led until just before the end of the grand prix. However, March disappeared again, this time for good, at the end of 1992, a year in which it had struggled against a severe shortage of money.

Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books

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Jun 29, 2012

A March six-wheeler heads out on to the hill

Jul 9, 1989

Mauricio Gugelmin lands in the middle of the first corner after hitting the back of Thierry Boutsen's car

Jan 23, 1977

Jody Scheckter retires from the race with his brother Ian's stricken car in the background

Aug 29, 1976

Ronnie Peterson leads John Watson and James Hunt early in the race

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