Veteran racing journalist and RACER magazine founding editor John Zimmerman has documented the comprehensive history of Formula 5000’s brief but spectacular history in a new 225-page hardback from Racemaker Press — Lost in Time: Formula 5000 in North America — now available in the Racer Store. Also featuring close to 200 photos, the book covers all aspects of the F5000, including the star drivers, cars, teams and complete statistics.
A popular vintage racing class today, F5000 — the American version of Formula 1 with similar cars powered by 5.0-liter (305 cubic inch) American stock-block engines from Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge — thrived in North America for just eight years, from 1969 to 1976. The series attracted top drivers including Mario Andretti and Al Unser with cars that lapped Watkins Glen and Mosport as fast, or even faster, than the F1 cars of the time.
Brian Redman, the reigning king of F5000, won three consecutive championships from 1974-1976 driving for Carl Haas and Jim Hall’s Haas/Hall team. Redman battled successfully with Andretti and Unser’s Vel’s Parnelli Jones cars as the formula attracted full grids of 25 and more cars. Others F5000 stars included David Hobbs, winner of the 1971 championship; Sam Posey, who dueled with Hobbs; Jody Scheckter, F5000 champion in 1973; and Mark Donohue who competed in F5000 off and on for Penske Racing.
The F5000 series ran at all of North America’s great road circuits — Watkins Glen, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Elkhart Lake, Lime Rock, Mosport and St. Jovite.