Formula 1 Machinery: March 711
Motorsport fans may have spotted the March 711 at the 2014 Autosport International Show, displayed on the STP stand and alongside the 1,000mph Bloodhound SSC.
The car is most famous for its iconic and unusual “tea-tray” front wing and was designed by Robin Herd, with Cosworth co-founder Frank Costin providing input on the aerodynamic side.
The March Engineering team was founded by Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd in 1969. It was not only a constructor, but also a manufacturer of customer cars for Formula 1 and other categories.
The 711 raced in the 1971 Formula 1 world championship and was powered by a 3.0 litre V8 Cosworth-Ford DFV engine that produced 490bhp and revved to 10,000rpm. It was fitted with a Hewland five-speed gearbox and weighed 530kg.
The previous year’s car was a disappointment, with Herd feeling that the design and build of the car was rushed. He was happier with the 711, which proved to be a real step forward for the team.
Having raced with a customer March 701 in 1970, Swedish driver Ronnie Peterson made the step up to the works team for the following season. It was his second year racing in F1 but he proved his speed and potential from the get-go.
He later went on to race for Lotus and Tyrrell before unfortunately losing his life in 1978 at the Monza circuit. The team ran a number of other drivers during the year, including Spain’s Alex Soler-Roig and a young Austrian driver called Niki Lauda, who would later go on to achieve a huge amount of success.
Andrea de Adamich and Nanni Galli, both from Italy, raced for the team during the year, as did Jean-Pierre Jarier and Mike Beuttler, although the latter two only started one race each. The car was also used by a number of other teams during the following few seasons.
The team debuted in 1970 and finished third in the constructors’ standings, which proved to be an unbeatable result. However, Ronnie Peterson had a strong 1971 season with the 711 and scored five podiums, which included four second place finishes.
March Engineering managed to finish fourth in the standings despite Peterson being their only driver to score points that year. He failed to take a race victory but his top three results helped him to finish as runner-up to Jackie Stewart in the drivers’ championship.
Images courtesy of Richland F1.
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.