THOROUGHBRED GP CARS: 1980 - 1981
Enzo Osella, a former sportscar
driver, entered his team in Formula One in 1979 after a successful year in Formula Two
with the FA2/79 that was driven by Eddie Cheever. The FA1B was the successor to that first
FA1(= FormulA 1)A car. The FA1B was lighter and featured a conventional monocoque
stiffened with carbon fiber. It was first raced in the 1980 Italian Grand Prix and then
used for the 1981 season.
The FA1B was a typical wing car that was not particularly successful, a feature it shared with all F1 Osellas. Most notable drivers were Eddie Cheever in 1980 and Jean-Pierre Jarier in 1981. The car was powered by the usual Cosworth DFV coupled to a Hewland FGB gearbox.
Wilson Fittipaldi, brother of
Emerson, had a dream: creating a Brazilian built Formula One car. With Emerson
establishing the Fittipaldi name in racing (although Wilson was also talented) he got the
chance to realize his dream. Thanks to the backing a large Brazilian Sugar conglomerate
(Copersugar) he was able to produce his first Grand Prix car in 1974, and he raced it
himself in the 1975 season.
In 1976 brother Emerson joined the team full-time and replaced Wilson as the leading driver. Although points were scored on a regular basis, success was limited. The cars were produced in Brazil but were actually Cosworth-Hewland kit-cars joined to Embrear (a Brazilian airplane manufacturer) produced chassis.
At the end of the 1979 season
the Fittipaldi team merged with the Wolf outfit and car production was transferred to
Reading in England. Starting the 1980 season reworked Wolf WR7/8s were entered as
Fittipaldi F7s which were replaced by the F8 in mid-season.
The F8 was the start of the swan song for Fittipaldi as sponsor budget grew limited and results got worse. Keke Rosberg scored a fifth with the F8 in Italy in 1980 as the car's best result. Emerson Fittipaldi left F1 at the end of the 1980 season.
In 1981 the F8 was reworked and entered as the F8C, raced by Keke Rosberg and Chico Serra. No points were scored that season. In 1982 the car was again revised and called F8D. Chico Serra scored one point with it in the Belgian GP and that was the last world championship point for the Fittipaldi team. The last Fittipaldi F1 car was the F9 in 1982 that was raced six times.
This F8C is now owned and driven by Michael Bleekemolen, a well-known Dutch racing car driver turned businessman who owns several indoor karting facilities.
Used sources in this tour and additional links:
"A-Z of Formula Racing Cars 1945-1990" by David Hodges, published by Bay View Books Ltd, ISBN 1 901432 17 3. A very good book offering an overview of nearly all produced F1, F2, F3 and Formula Junior cars and their history. Very much recommended!
FIA Cup for Thoroughbred Grand Prix Cars: the rules and regulations for this class by the FIA.
Grand Prix Cars; site by D. David. The presence of Grand Prix history on the Internet leaves a lot to be desired; if you're looking for historic Grand Prix info, this will be the site you'll most often come across. It's a nice site, but very incomplete. Still well worth a visit.
tgp-f1.com: the official Thoroughbred Grand Prix Cars site with lots of info about this series and pictures of all participating cars.
Thoroughbred Grand Prix Cars: an excellent enthusiasts site by Czech
Jiri Inneman. This site offers lots of pictures and racing results from the TGP Cup going
as far back as 1995. Unfortunately the results of the 1996 Zandvoort race, where most of
the photos in this tour were taken, are missing.
Finish the tour by clicking the arrows pointing right....