Ayrton Senna, Martin Brundle, Tommy Byrne, Stefan Johansson, Gerhard Berger, Emanuele Pirro, Gabriele Tarquini, Ronnie Peterson… the list goes on. The link between them all? They all used a Ralt RT3 during the formative stages of their careers. Whether it launched them to giddy Formula 1 heights, Le Mans successes, tin-top shenanigans or wherever, over its six-year lifespan the RT3 created more motor racing stars than any other junior-formula car.
And the technical team behind it wasn’t half bad either, it being the brainchild of Ron Tauranac, the genius designer and engineer who helped launch Brabham into the stratosphere before turning his attentions to offerings more humble. And it so nearly never even came into existence.
We can thank Bernie Ecclestone that it did. When the future tsar of F1 opted to buy out the Brabham Formula 1 team in 1972, its former chief Tauranac found himself with time on his hands. After some fleeting work with Williams and an F5000 project, he went back to Australia with the intention to retire, but all that did was relight an old flame.