EXPERIENCE, cool determination and budget generous enough to run one of only two proper ground effects chassis — although not necessarily in that order — have given Emilio de VilIota a commanding lead in the 1980 Aurora AFX British Formula One Championship.
However, the title chase has not been an easy one for the RAM Racing Williams FW07 pilot. and it is largely due to consistency that he has edged atop a stern three-man battle. Frequently he has followed in the wheeltracks of team-mate Eliseo Salazar and as the season wore on the Clowes Racing Arrows A1G of Guy Edwards posed an increasing threat (leading the August Bank Holiday race at Brands Hatch).
For the former Embassy Hill Grand Prix contender it has been a trying season, with constant handling problems induced by the latest crop of standard Goodyear G50 tyres — these are substantially harder than last year’s supposedly similar canvasses, and have affected none more so than the Arrows. A major revision of weight distribution and aerodynamics brought the car back to competitiveness, only for Edwards’ championship hopes to disintegrate along with a Ford-Cosworth at Brands Hatch.
In contrast, the Williams have had little trouble in attaining grip, and with Salazar third in the table behind Edwards, both RAM drivers are hopeful of progressing to the Grand Prix arena next year. So, too, is the other star of the series. Theodore Racing Wolf WR3 driver Kevin Cogan, the American Formula Atlantic graduate has been dogged by engine failures, but his press-on attitude should put him in good stead when he drives a RAM Williams FW07B in the approaching two North American GPs. — P R B