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1978 March 783 Toyota: BACK TO ITS DUTCH ROOTS

1978 March 783 Toyota: BACK TO ITS DUTCH ROOTS

The European F3 championship actually started in Holland, back in 1978 and at that very first race at Zandvoort future Italian Formula One driver Teo Fabi took a podium finish in third driving a March 783 powered by a Toyota Novamotor.

Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd founded March in 1969. A single F3 car, the March 693, was built in 1969 and driven by Ronnie Peterson. March also ran F1, F2 and F3 works teams and although they never managed to build an outright Formula One winner, the company produced a string of highly competitive F2 and F3 cars.

March built 11 chassis of its 783 F3 car and Fabi’s car was equipped with a 2-litre Toyota engine, prepared by Novamotor from Italy. The engine was based on Toyota’s 1600 cc engine and the F3 variant was developed by the Pedrazzani brothers’ Novamotor operation by increasing bore and stroke to 1997 cc, accompagnied by a Bosch/Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection. As a result the power increased from 125 to 170 bhp.

Formula One drivers who once drove the March 783 included Chico Serra, Tiff Needell, and Nigel Mansell, but it was Teo Fabi who scored three wins and finished fourth in the inaugural European Formula 3 Championship. Fabi raced in Formula One from 1982 to 1987 scoring three pole positions and one third place in his final season for the new Benetton team. He was more successful in the United States, racing in CanAm for actor Paul Newman and later on winning races in Indycar. Before retiring in the States in 1994 he won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.

During the TABAC Classic GP Assen this 1978 March 783 Toyota Novamotor F3 returns to the country where it celebrated its first European F3 Championship podium success. The car is raced by Italian Davide Leone in the AVD Historic Formula 3 Interseries.

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