FORMULA 2: The glory years, 1967–84
By Chris Witty
Photographs by Jutta Fausel
Foreword by Jacky Ickx
Publication date: 10 August 2017 (this book has been delayed owing to the amount of research involved)
This sumptuous book, a feast of nostalgia, celebrates the wonderful era of the European Formula 2 Championship, 1967–84, on the 50th anniversary of its beginnings. Formula 2 pitted emerging heroes against the greats of the day and virtually all the top Formula 1 drivers – names like Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Bruce McLaren in 1967 – battled with young chargers in races that thrilled huge crowds at the best European circuits, from the Nürburgring to Brands Hatch. In bringing the glory days of Formula 2 back to life in this book, passionate author Chris Witty has interviewed many of the surviving protagonists to present a colourful and evocative retrospective, supported by the work of Jutta Fausel, who photographed Formula 2 races throughout this period.
- Pirth of the European Formula 2 Championship in 1967, when Jacky Ickx (the writer of the book’s foreword) became the first champion, driving a Tyrrell-entered Matra.
- French Matra cars propelled the next two champions, Jean-Pierre Beltoise (1968) and Johnny Servoz-Gavin (1969), both Frenchmen.
- Of all the manufacturers of Formula 2 cars, March achieved the most success, Ronnie Peterson (1971) becoming the first of six champions to win in these British-built cars.
- A fine all-British year, 1972, saw ex-motorcycle ‘great’ Mike Hailwood win the championship in a Surtees car.
- French champions in five consecutive years: Jean-Pierre Jarier (1973), Patrick Depailler (1974), Jacques Laffite (1975), Jean-Pierre Jabouille (1976) and René Arnoux (1977) dominated their era and all but Jarier went on to become Grand Prix winners.
- Toleman and Ralt cars – also made in Britain – emerged in the final years of the championship, which saw three more British champions: Brian Henton (1980), Geoff Lees (1981) and Jonathan Palmer (1983).
- The other champions were Clay Regazzoni (1970), Bruno Giacomelli (1978), Marc Surer (1979), Corrado Fabi (1980) and Mike Thackwell (1984)
Book specification as follows:
- UK price: £75.00
- ISBN: 978-1-910505-19-9
- Format: 280x235mm
- Page extent: 448pp
- Illustration: 500 photographs, including colour
- Word count: 100,000
Chris Witty was a motor racing journalist for much of the period covered by this book, first with Motoring News, then Autosport, and Formula 2 was the focus of his reporting. From 1980 he moved into public relations and marketing, first with the Toleman Group during the period in which it raced in Formula 2 and ran Ayrton Senna in its Formula 1 team. Following a spell with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, he set up his own consultancy business, Chris Witty Associates, to handle marketing, sponsorship and media activities. He lives in Wiltshire.