RAM Racing

RAM is a former British racing team, which was active in various classes of motorsport, including Formula 1 between 1975 and 1985. During his involvement in Formula 1, the team used temporarily established in motorsport name March, although no direct connection to the well-known racing car manufacturer March Engineering was.

  • 4.1 RAM as a customer team 4.1.1 1976
  • 4.1.2 1977
  • 4.1.3 1980
  • 4.2.1 1981
  • 4.2.2 1982
  • 4.2.3 1983
  • 4.2.4 1984
  • 4.2.5 1985
  • 4.3.1 1986
  • 4.3.2 1987


The company was founded in the late 1960s by Mike Ralph and John Macdonald. Ralph and Macdonald were " business partners in the automotive industry." She also talked a small team, which has acted initially under the name Ralph Macdonald Racing. John Macdonald first drove occasionally, after 1972 then regularly race in the British Formula 3 in 1974 ended his active career Macdonald and moved into team management. In the 1975 season the team competed in the British Formula 5000 Championship. Then served the team, who now called himself RAM, regular British Formula 1 championship, which went under the name Aurora FX Series temporarily. This category was in the early years, the main pillar of the team. In addition, RAM was early represented in the Formula 1 World Championship, initially only sporadically in individual races. Only after the Formula 1 1981 season RAM participated regularly and in all races.

RAM operation motorsports first to the business model of the customer teams, ie, RAM designed and built not have their own race car, but bought or leased vehicles from a reputable manufacturer ( Brabham, March or Williams). This was initially for the Formula 1 From 1981, then the team used vehicles that were manufactured by March Grand Prix exclusively for RAM. The team initially went under the name of March, even if it had, legally nothing to do with March Engineering, the renowned British racing team. Starting in 1982, developed and built RAM own cars; at the same time, the team put down the name of March.

RAM lasted until the end of 1985 in Formula 1 for the Formula 1 1986 season was found, although already a new car was developed, no sponsor, so that RAM retreated to the F3000. Before the end of the season 1986 RAM had to close permanently.

Ralph Macdonald then led the Formula 3000 Team Middle Bridge, owned by a Japanese company and was well funded. Under Macdonald's performance middleware bridge tried unsuccessfully in 1987 to gain a foothold in the Formula 1 World Championship. Later Macdonald led the team in Formula Superpower 3,000.

Formula 5000

In 1975, the European Formula 5000 in its seventh year. It was called this year Shell Sport F5000 Championship and was almost exclusively played on British race tracks. From the middle of the year put RAM in this series in eight of 16 races a March 75A with a 3.4-liter Ford six-cylinder one. The team was registered under the name of "Thursday 's RAM"; Driver was Alan Jones. The operation was quite successful. Jones won a race at Brands Hatch and one at Silverstone; next he was third twice ( Thruxton and Mallory Park ). In the following season, RAM no longer engaged in the formula 5,000.

British Formula 1 - The Aurora Series

In the years 1978 and 1979 RAM competed in the British Formula 1 championship, which bore the name of Aurora FX Series. It was a junior series, should learn in the (mostly ) young drivers at disused Formula 1 vehicles dealing with Grand Prix cars. Most races were held on British lines.


In the season 1978 RAM under the name Team March a March 781 a, a building designed by Formula 1 car rules - basically it was a modification of the March 771 - which was built exclusively for RAM and use in the Aurora series had. Regular riders of the team was Guy Edwards, who won three races and finished the season as the fourth overall. Next to him occasionally also occurred Geoff Lees and Bruce Allison at for RAM.

An attempt to bring the March 781, at least at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, the Formula 1 World Championship at the start, already failed in advance.


The following season, RAM put two cars in the Aurora series. The March 781 was no longer used; instead reported two RAM Fittipaldi F5A for Guy Edwards and the Belgian Bernard de Dryver. In addition, sporadic started the Belgians Germaine Geron and Hervé Regout of RAM; both sat (unsuccessfully) a a Chevron B42. This year, no RAM driver to win a race. Bernard de Dryver finished the season with 42 championship points in fourth down, Edwards was sixth with 38 points. The other RAM pilots scored no championship points.


For the 1980 season, Williams FW07 1979 RAM acquired two. With these promising car that had convinced even in the Formula 1 World Championship, the team was well equipped. Emilio de Villota posted eight victories, of which from April to July 1980 five in a row. RAM was the dominant team of the year, and de Villota won early the Aurora Championship for RAM.

Formula 1

RAM as a customer team

RAM began its involvement in Grand Prix racing as a pure customer team. The inserts testified to some commitment, but were subject to financial viability and were not the reasons why only sporadic nature.


In the Formula 1 season 1976 RAM first appeared in the Formula 1 World Championship. RAM was one of ten private teams that competed in this year to each race. Measured against this competition, John Macdonald had launched an ambitious program: The RAM Racing -called team reported two Brabham BT44B, vehicles that had been used since 1974 in the Brabham works team and had to be regarded as technically obsolete now. Total RAM stepped to between the Spanish Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Austria to seven European races.

The first car was driven in four races of Loris Kessel, who qualified in three cases and one - twelfth place at the Grand Prix of Belgium - crossed the finish line. At the Grand Prix of Great Britain went to his place Bob Evans, who qualified, but was canceled due to gearbox problems. On the occasion of the Grand Prix of Germany, there was a legal dispute between the boiler and RAM. With some probability it came to the payment of sponsor funds; sure in any case that the boiler did not compete at the Nürburgring.

The second car was leased to numerous paid drivers who mostly achieved nothing. The once occurred Emilio de Villota, Patrick Neve, the Dane Jac Nelleman to ( in his only Formula 1 test) and Damien Magee; Neve only managed to qualify. During the last three races Lella Lombardi moved the second RAM Brabham; she managed once - at the last race of the team in Zeltweg - the qualification and the race was twelfth.

Then RAM lacked the money to compete with the other races.


The second Formula 1 season as a customer team was less enjoyable for RAM. Again, the team stepped up to seven world championship races; except for the Grand Prix of South Africa, it was regularly to European races. RAM sat mostly a just a car; three times made ​​you feel a second car. Emergency vehicle was a March 761B, a type that was popular at private teams in 1977 and in addition to RAM by Williams, Team Merzario and Chesterfield Racing was used.

The first car was reported in six events for the Dutch Boy Hayje. Hayje only once failed to qualify: the Grand Prix of Belgium, he went as the 27th and last in the race. As the race took the checkered flag, he had seven laps not counted on the winner, Gunnar Nilsson on Lotus, and was. At the Grand Prix of Great Britain Andy Sutcliffe moved to Hayjes place the RAM - March; he missed, however, significantly prequalification.

Twice - at the Grand Prix of Belgium and Sweden - sat RAM a second March 761B for Mikko Kozarowitsky one. The Finn missed in both cases the qualification. At the Grand Prix of the Netherlands Michael Bleekemolen drove the second RAM - March; he could not qualify.

The Grand Prix of Italy and the subsequent race RAM did not start. RAM participated neither in the Formula 1 season in 1978 at the Formula 1 season 1979. Both years the team committed at national level in the British Formula 1 World Championship. While there was an attempt to bring the March 781 at the Grand Prix of Great Britain in 1978 at the start, but nothing came of it for financial reasons.


After almost three years of interruption RAM returned in the second half of the year 1980 as one of the last customer teams in the Formula 1 World Championship back. The team was called RAM / Penthouse Rizla Racing and sat mostly one, sometimes two Williams FW07B one. Thus, the team was well equipped. The FW07B was the car with the Alan Jones should be 1980 world champion. In the case of RAM, however, is to say that the team did not receive a newly built cars, but extensively used previous models, which were first used by RAM in the Aurora series and subsequently converted to the B- type.

RAM came again at seven world championship races. Regular driver was Rupert Keegan, of the qualification alternately managed in a remarkable constancy and missed. If he qualified, then there were also regularly target arrivals; technical defects did not exist. Already in his first race for RAM to Keegan qualified for qualified 17th and went with it to the two (this year, however, problematic ) Ferrari in the race. Best starting place was the position 15 at the Grand Prix of the USA; Keegan reached here with the ninth best time, even the best race result for RAM this year.

In the two flyaway end of the season RAM reported a second Williams FW07B, the with the financial support of Theodore Racing - that company that had recently taken over Shadow before, and from 1981 onwards was to start in Formula 1 under his own name - was brought to the start. The second car appeared with colorful paint under the name RAM / Theodore / Rainbow Jeans and was once (in Canada) by Kevin Cogan and again by Geoff Lees driven ( in the U.S.). Both pilots could not qualify.

RAM as a work team

In 1981 RAM regularly attended a private car at the Formula 1 World Championship. In the early years the cars were no self- constructions, but have been developed by March. As the team until 1982, reported under the name of March to the Championship races, the impression that it is, this is a continuation of the end of 1977 set factory Formula 1 involvement of March Engineering was established. However, this was not the case. Indeed RAM, a joint venture with a company called March Grand Prix was made ​​in the last months of the year. This operation was legally nothing to do with that race car manufacturer called March Engineering, which supplied racing cars since 1969 for all kinds of motorsport classes and had entertained 1970-1977 en Formula 1 factory team. March Grand Prix was, rather, a legally independent company set up by Robin Herd - was founded with the sole purpose to develop Formula 1 cars for RAM - one of the initiators of March Engineering. A technology transfer with March Engineering, which is still the Formula 2 cars were made ​​, did not take place. The construction of the cars finally took place in March engines, another independent company, which also belonged to Robin Herd. AB 1981, when RAM and March had separated, RAM took over the premises of March engines.


In the Formula 1 1981 season RAM appeared under the name of March Grand Prix Team with the model 811 RM. It was a design by Robin Herd, which was based very closely on the successful Williams FW07; some British sources report that stove had thoroughly taken the FW07B, the RAM was used in the 1980 season inspected. It was driven by the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV the time nor engine.

In its first version, the 811 was not a huge success. He was very overweight and difficult to handle. This meant that in the first three races of any RAM drivers after qualifying. The cars were initially even slower than the phlegmatic Osella vehicles.

As a driver, Derek Daly and Eliseo Salazar initially had been committed. They had seen trouble with the 811 until the fourth race, the Grand Prix of San Marino, Salazar created the first qualification of the team. In the race he retired after 38 laps because of falling oil pressure. In Belgium and Monaco both drivers failed again in qualifying or at the pre-qualification. After leaving Eliseo Salazar, felt disappointed, the team hired the competitor Ensign and took his sponsor with the same. RAM began the year as well only with Daly.

In the following years was the first after 811 by Gordon and Coppuck - revised by Adrian Reynard - to a greater extent. The weight reduction measures meant that the car was faster; but also increased the Verwindungsneigung, so that the handling is not improved. After all, now regular qualifications were possible; the best result achieved Daly at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, where he went as the 17th in the race and ultimately as seventh saw the checkered flag. There were also three other target arrivals.

The March 811 was the basis for the March 81C, the March Engineering designed for the IndyCar Series and there - unlike the basic model in Formula 1 - ran with considerable success.


At the end of the 1981 season RAM solved his connection with March Grand Prix. Although it retained the name of March two more years, the technical development of the car and also the structure was, however, already from the start of the Formula 1 1982 season on their own responsibility in RAM. Chief Engineer, Adrian Reynard, who further developed the design for the 1981 model 821. The car was commonly described as powerful, even if it was not a high flyer. The former racing driver Guy Edwards, who is now also part of the management of the racing team and acted as sponsor scout could win the Rothmans cigarette brand as a sponsor. In order for a financial cushion was first found, admitted the prospect of a sound technical development.

There were problems initially in terms of tire choice. RAM began the season with Pirelli rubber, which initially showed poor performance. After five races RAM moved to Avon, but which proved to be susceptible to defects. During the season, Avon announced his withdrawal from Formula 1. John Macdonald then bought the entire remaining stock of Avon tires; However, there was no development work, so the British tire back soon fell behind its competitors. For the last two races of the year RAM eventually moved on Michelin tires. This inconsistency affected the performance team significantly. When in the middle of the season no demonstrable results were still achieved, the sponsor Rothmans withdrew, leaving a huge financial gap in RAM, which meant that the results were even worse gradually.

As a driver Jochen Mass and Raul Boesel were committed. Both could only bring poor performance. Mass drove a total of ten races for RAM. Apart from the Monaco Grand Prix after qualifying him regularly; However, he never got beyond the last third of the grid. Usually saw mass also the goal; his best result was a seventh place at the U.S. Grand Prix in Detroit. There were two eighth places as well as one tenth, eleventh and twelfth. The most tragic race of the year was the Grand Prix of Belgium, where Mass was involved in the fatal accident of Gilles Villeneuve. A few weeks later, the Grand Prix of France, Mass. himself had a serious accident. He collided with Mauro Baldi in Alfa Romeo. His car flipped over and landed on his head and caught fire. Mass escaped with minor injuries, Baldi remained completely unharmed. After this accident, Mass but decided it to immediately end his Formula 1 career. His place in RAM stepped up to the end of the season Rupert Keegan, the three qualifications achieved in five tries, which were offset by two non qualifications. Keegan came only once to the finish; at the U.S. Grand Prix in Las Vegas, he was nondescript twelfth.

Raul Boesel, the second RAM - pilot, missed in 16 attempts, five times the qualification. There were four target arrivals; the best was an eighth place in the tragic Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.

For five races, a third appeared in the March 821 Formula 1 This car had nothing to do with RAM. He was employed as a customer car of Onyx for the paying driver Emilio de Villota. The Spaniard was able to qualify in any start-up. He was the last private driver in Formula 1; at the same time its operations were the first Formula 1 tests the established Formula 2 racing team Onyx, who should make his own Formula 1 project off the ground in the 1989 season.


The Formula 1 1983 season denied RAM predominantly with only one car. The team was called RAM Automotive Team March, the car was designated RAM 01 It was a new design by Dave Kelly, who barely had references to the March constructions of previous years. He was a typical flat-bottom car of the first generation with short, narrow side boxes and an oversized rear wing, the Cosworth DFV engine underpowered the contrary pushed too much air resistance.

The season was disastrous. Total RAM should go in the Formula 1 1983 season only three races at the start. Eliseo Salazar, who had come back into the team, moving the RAM in the first six races of the year. Only in the first two attempts he could - for each of the last row of the grid - qualify; the finish he only came in the season opener, the Grand Prix of Brazil. Here Salazar was 15th with four laps down.

Prior to the Monaco Grand Prix a test drive of the kind took place. The British magazine autosport reported in an issue of the April 1983 that John Macdonald Nelson Piquet, his time actively Brabham had which asks a test RAM01, "to see if something fundamental was wrong with our car ." Brabham owner Bernie Ecclestone allowed the test, and Piquet took the RAM some " decent time" on the slopes of Le Castellet. Then let it be known Piquet, the RAM is basically right; with a little more development and coordination work, a lot could be achieved. John Macdonald took this grateful, but lacked in the following months, the required money, so the lack of competitiveness of the car could not be fundamentally resolved.

After the Grand Prix of Belgium, where Salazar had become the last qualification within 14 seconds and not even the feeble Osella had been able to overtake the team from its former pilots separated. The subsequent race in Detroit was out of RAM to work on the car ( slightly). At the Canadian Grand Prix with Jacques Villeneuve senior RAM appeared at the wheel, the brother of the previous year late Gilles Villeneuve, and uncle of the later Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Villeneuve did not qualify. In the remaining races of the year Kenny Acheson drove the RAM 01 He began his involvement in RAM with six non qualifications in a row. Only at the last race, the Grand Prix of South Africa, he qualified in 24th place in the race, he was twelfth with six laps behind the winner, Riccardo Patrese in the Brabham - BMW.

The Grand Prix continued RAM once a second car. It has been reported for Jean -Louis Schlesser, who missed qualifying by 1.5 seconds.


For the next Formula 1 Season RAM upgraded to noticeable. This was made possible by the American tobacco company Skoal Bandit, which, mediated by Guy Edwards, was the main sponsor and RAM financially supported by substantial amounts.

By this means it succeeded RAM to move up in the ( ever-growing ) League of turbo - team. John Macdonald acquired some four-cylinder turbo engines by Brian Hart, who were already employed at Toleman and Spirit. Dave Kelly revised then the car; the new model, the RAM02, was a massive vehicle that struck with long, strongly modeled sidepods.

As a driver Philippe Alliot and Jonathan Palmer were committed. Alliot received the new RAM 02 from the beginning, Palmer had, however, used in the first two races of the year, a RAM 01, which had been equipped with a hard - engine short-term and seen a provisional was.

Overall, the combination of RAM and hard - chassis engine did not improve. The two pilots were able to qualify, although predominantly - throughout the year, there were only three non qualifications - over 21 starting place the now white-green painted cars, however, did not come out; most of the pilots found in the last two rows of the grid again. There were nine target arrivals, most of them from Palmer. His eighth place finish at the Grand Prix of Brazil was the best result of the year. It is significant that Palmer this result reached with the old, last year's RAM 01.

The Grand Prix of Canada Jonathan Palmer was replaced once by Mike Thackwell. Thus, the results are not improved.


John Macdonald realized that the mediocre chassis designs were a major reason for the ill-fated performance of his team. For 1985, he undertook then the engineer Gustav Brunner. The Austrian designed in a very short time a completely new car, the RAM 03 This car was in many details a further development of the ATS D7, the Brunner had designed in 1984 for the German team and had the some unconventional solutions. The monocoque was a light unit, which - at the same time served as a body - as in the ATS. The body pointed at the rear on a bottleneck- shaped taper, the first seen in 1983 with McLaren and since then was popular. Motor side, it remained hard - engines, which should afford now up to 740 hp. Philippe Alliot remained the team. In place of the exchanged to Zakspeed Palmer first joined Manfred Hock angle; after his fatal accident in September 1985 brought Kenny Acheson RAM back for a few races of the year.

Despite the changes, the 1985 season was not successful for RAM. Alliot and angle Hock came in qualifying, rarely over the last three rows of the grid beyond; The highlight was Winkelhock 14th place in the Grand Prix of Canada, low non- qualification of both RAM in Monaco.

A key problem was the unreliability of the car or the engine, which prevented regular target arrivals. Total RAM has seen only three finishes at the 1985 season, two of them equal in the season opener in Brazil. The other events were bursting almost regularly the engines, both in training and in the race. This was due to the fact that Brian Hart was forced to the competition due to significant performance improvements to increase the boost pressure still further - to have partially tested without this before to the test. The last finish of RAM, there was the Grand Prix of France, where Hock angle was 12.

Kenny Acheson, the angle Hock replaced at the Grand Prix of Austria, the Netherlands and Italy, did not reach finish.

For the last two European races, the Grand Prix of Belgium and Europe, RAM reported only Alliots car. There was a noticeable lack of engine, and the team management wanted to at least make a driver a sufficient number of engines available. On the last two races of the season in South Africa and Australia then took the RAM no longer part: The budget was exhausted in October 1985.

Attempts at resuscitation


Regardless of the early end of the Formula 1 season 1985 John Macdonald tried to go back to the starting line for 1986. Many pieces of equipment had to be sold. Apparently, the Swede Cecilia Ekström interested in the disused RAM 03; some Swiss press reports that she wanted to use the old chassis for their own, still mysterious Formula 1 Racing Project Ekström. However, nothing came of it. Many RAM employees left the team, including Gustav Brunner, who moved to Scuderia Ferrari. First, however, Brunner had completed the development work on a new RAM chassis for Formula 1. The RAM 04, was ultimately not built in the shape, as Brunner had devised them.

RAM took in February 1986 demonstratively part in the official tests of the formula 1 in Rio de Janeiro. The car was a slightly modified RAM 03, used as a drive to be a hard - turbo engine. Driver was Mike Thackwell who sought the support of Australian sponsors. What is offered is not convinced the sponsors, however, so that ultimately not a start to the new Formula 1 season was possible.

In the months following John Macdonald and Guy Edwards tried to keep on racing by participating in the Formula 3000 championship.

In June 1986, the team was eventually taken over by Australian businessmen, who wanted him for the Grand Prix of Australia in 1986 under the name Black Swan Racing revive; the show in any case notes in British journals. Also, it did not work ultimately.


In the 1987 Formula 1 season, there was another attempt by John Macdonald to return to Formula 1. The start did not directly have anything to do with RAM, but had with Sir John A. Macdonald and Guy Edwards still the same backers. Macdonald ran at the time the Formula 3000 team of the Japanese company Middle Bridge. According to the plans, which were largely due to John Macdonald, a used car from Benetton should be used with a BMW engine with money from Middle Bridge under the name Middle Bridge Trussardi in some races. The project matured to an official press launch in late summer 1987, however, the rules prohibited the use of foreign construction -. Few years before this was at Osella, where in 1984 a retired Alfa Romeo race car was used, and have been a problem at AGS - so the project ultimately failed.


After the re-entry had failed to Formula 1 in 1986, RAM reported for the Formula 3000 Championship of the year 1986. As a RAM vehicle has been reported 04. This is however not acted around for 1986 drawn up by Gustav Brunner redesign, but a slightly converted RAM 03, who wore a Cosworth DFV engine. In a season that was characterized primarily by March and Lola vehicles, the RAM was in a way an exotic car; self-constructed cars were otherwise only Minardi and AGS.

At the first race of the season, the Briton James Weaver drove the RAM, but could not qualify. Then Eliseo Salazar took over the car. In six attempts, he was able to qualify three times. Twice he crossed the finish line, the best position was a 21st place finish in Belgium. After the Gran Premio Mediterraneo in Enna in Sicily RAM finally closed the gates. Salazar moved to the Lola factory team.