Teams from the past: March Engineering

10-04-2020 17:00
by Editorial Team
F1 News
Teams from the past: March Engineering

In the rich history of Formula 1 it is mainly the world champions and the success teams that stand out. Ferrari, Mercedes, Benetton, Williams and so on there are still a handful of teams to name. Of course there are also teams that were less successful and that have fallen a bit into oblivion. One of them is March Engineering, a team that participated between 1970 and 1992.

No stranger

March Engineering may not be one of the success teams in Formula 1, but it is not a completely unknown name in motorsport in general. The British team has participated in various disciplines, including the Formula 2, Formula 3, IndyCar and IMSA GTP championships. Here they also achieved good results, but let's focus on Formula 1.

March Engineering was founded in 1969 by four people, one name of which is very prominent: Max Mosley, the former FIA president. The other three founders were Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. The first letters of mainly their surnames were sequenced in front of the team name and that is where the basis of 'March' lies.

Unique construction

What made March Engineering as a team led by these four people very interesting was that each of these people had their own specialisation. Mosley, for example, was the man responsible for the commercial side where Coaker was mainly active in the factory as the person who oversaw everything. Herd was the point of contact for the design and Rees was the manager of the team.

With that expertise in various fields, you'd think it would form a good basis for a successful Formula 1 team, but unfortunately that wasn't quite the case. Besides making cars for their own team, they also wanted to deal with cars for external teams. After all, not every team has and had the possibility to build a car entirely by themselves.

Promising start

However, the beginning of their adventure in Formula 1 seemed promising. In 1970 they drove with drivers Chris Amon and Jo Siffert and at the end of the season they finished third in the constructors' championship. The beginning of a great future? No, unfortunately that was also their best Formula 1 performance ever.

It was only in 1971 that they came a little close with a fourth place in the constructors' championship, only to finish sixth a year later. In 1973 they finished fifth again. In 1988 they finished sixth in the constructors' championship under Leyton House March Racing Team. In the years between they have been absent for a few years and the years they competed they didn't get very far.

Towards the end of the 80's the team got into financial problems, so selling the team was the best option. With that the March Formula 1 team was sold, but in the background they remained active in motorsport. The focus shifted to the IndyCar, where they teamed up with Porsche and Alfa Romeo.

Under the name Leyton House March Racing Team and Leyton House Racing the team participated in Formula 1 in the years '87 up to and including '91. Afterwards the team continued as March F1. The year 1992 was the last time the team participated, but it wasn't succesful with just three points scored.

Return to Formula 1?

In 1993 March wanted to participate in F1, but unfortunately it never got off the ground. This was also because in the background all kinds of complex payment structures were rigged to sell parts of the March group. The candle extinguished, but in 2009 the name surfaced again. Andrew Fitton, as the new owner of March, wanted to return to Formula 1 in that year.

They had already submitted their paperwork to the FIA, but unfortunately that didn't get off the ground either. Since that brief revival of the classic brand it has remained quiet until now. Whether the well-known name from the past will ever return, just like Brabham - which also had the intention to return - is still to be seen.

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