Formula One World Championship
The number of Formula One races has been increased to seventeen with the addition of a race in Japan, a revival of interest in Formula One in the Far East since the last Championship race in 1977. The scene on the Iberian Peninsular has been rationalised with the races in Portugal and Spain being on consecutive weekends, the Autodrome at Estoril and the new Autodrome at Jerez being only a few hours apart by road.
With such a full calendar of events there has been no provision made for the European Grand Prix, a short-lived “joker” in the pack used to appease offended parties after typical FISA/FOCA “negotiations”. This means that Brands Hatch, the New Nurburging, the rebuilt circuit of Zolder and the sad little Dijon-Prenois circuit remain no-appeased, but they should not despair as in Formula One anything can happen.
Formula One races are open to selected drivers and teams, using either turbocharged or supercharged 1500cc cars or atmospheric 3500cc cars, though the un-turbocharged cars will compete for their own awards.
World Sportscar Championship
To make the sports-prototype scene adequately complicated, to ensure a lack of general interest, there are now two types of events, the standardized 1000km races which involve two drivers to a car and regular refuelling stops, and “sprint” events over 360 km, while Le Mans remains aloof with its traditional 24 hr race. All races will score points for the Drivers Championship and Teams Championship. Note that it is again “Teams” and not “Makes”. Not all the events in the above list are guaranteed, as some have still to get their circuits passed by FISA inspectors.
Intercontinental Formula 3000 Championship
When Formula 3000 was launched a number of events were scheduled to be run in conjunction with World Championship Formula One races, in order to give contestants encouragement and sponsorship exposure. During 1986 this did happen, but few people noticed it as the F3000 paddock was usually hidden away in a remote corner, and if you happened to be in the bar you could easily miss the actual race as the timing often coincided with some important off-track Formula One happening. Encouragement and exposure by FISA/FOCA was virtually non-existent, and this year F3000 is totally on its own, only using one Formula One circuit. The South American races are on the list again, but only provisionally and subject to ratification by June.
European Touring Car Championship
Last year the ETCC series, which should have been a simple matter of international saloon car racing, degenerated into a sea of protests, counter-protests, investigations, amended results and general mistrust through the top runners. The end result was a virtual loss of interest by the world outside. Lets hope the 1987 series run more smoothly, for it is a pity that such an interesting series should be spoiled. The variety of countries and circuits visited by the saloon car “circus” is first class and full of interest.
FIA Historic Championship
When the FIA dream up a championing you can guarantee it will be complicated to the point of becoming incomprehensible, or confusing at best. In international “old car” racing there are three activities the FIA championship, the FISA Trophy and the GT Cup. Some of the above events are for one category, some for two, and others for three. It looks like we end up with a row of “old car” European Champions.
European Mountain Hill-Climb Championship
Anyone who visits all the rounds of the Mountain Hill-Climb Championship will certainly see Europe, including Iberian Peninsula and the other side of Iron Curtain.