The formula that gave the world Gilles Villeneuve has been put on ice after four decades of continuous history. The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, a direct descendent of the Formula Atlantic category that grew out of Formula B in 1974, has been cancelled for 2010. Series owner Ben Johnston said it would go into “hiatus until global [economic] conditions improve”.
Elliott Forbes-Robinson, who was a contemporary of Villeneuve’s in the mid-1970s, said: “Everyone raced in Atlantic back then – Gilles, Keke, and Bobby Rahal. The cars were fantastic and the racing always close.”
Villeneuve was picked up by McLaren on the recommendation of James Hunt after the Englishman was beaten by him on a guest appearance at the Trois-Rivieres event in 1976.