Look back in history Sunday: Ron Tauranac’s Ralt

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall

The late Ron Tauranac founded Ralt ( Ron and Austin Lewis Tauranac) along with his brother Austin well before he met a young future F1 world champion Jack Brabham in Australia. Tauranac eventually moved to the UK in 1960 to join Brabham, where they both established Motor Racing Developments (MRD) and began producing Brabham BT (Brabham Tauranac) race cars and finding success.

With Brabham’s retirement from racing in 1970, Tauranac bought and owned the company before he sold it to a young Bernie Ecclestone.

Tauranac was also to retire back to Australia in the early seventies, only to return to England to revive and establish the Ralt marque, which was also to have an impact on single seater racing in NZ.

The Ralt RT1 was the first modern chassis to race in F3, F2 and Formula Atlantic. Fellow Aussie Larry Perkins won the 1975 European Formula 3 Championship in a RT1 with Jan Lammers also winning the same championship in 1978.

Dave McMillan Ralt RT1 Wigram

The RT1 was followed very quickly by the RT4 chassis (see main picture – Steve Millen at Pukekohe in 1982). Both were to dominate the Formula Pacific categoryin NZ, particularly between the 1978-1989 years.

Lady Wigram Trophy winners 1978-1987

1978Larry PerkinsRalt RT1 – Ford BDA Swindon
1979Dave McMillanRalt RT1 – Ford BDA Hart
1980Dave McMillanRalt RT1 – Ford BDA Hart
1981David OxtonRalt RT4/80 – Ford BDA
1982Roberto MorenoRalt RT4/82 – Ford BDA Nicholson
1983Allen BergRalt RT4/82 – Ford BDD
1984Davy JonesRalt RT4/82 – Ford BDD
1985Ross CheeverRalt RT4 Ford
1986Jeff MacPhersonRalt RT4 Ford
1987Paul RadisichRalt RT4 Ford

New Zealand Grand Prix winners 1980-88

1980Steve MillenRalt RT1
1981David McMillanRalt RT1
1982Roberto MorenoRalt RT4 Ford
1983David OxtonRalt RT4 Ford
1984Davy JonesRalt RT4 Ford
1985Ross CheeverRalt RT4 Ford
1986Ross CheeverRalt RT4 Ford
1987Davy JonesRalt RT4 Ford
1988Paul RadisichRalt RT4 Ford

NZ Formula Pacific /Mondial title winners 1980-1989

1980Dave McMillanRalt-Ford
1981David OxtonRalt-Ford
1982Roberto MorenoRalt-Ford
1983Allen BergRalt-Ford
1984Ken SmithRalt-Ford
1985Ross CheeverRalt-Ford
1986Jeff MacPhersonRalt-Ford
1987Mike ThackwellRalt-Ford
1988Paul RadisichRalt-Ford
1989Dean HallRalt-Ford

See also: Look back in history Sunday: Ron Tauranac – The ‘T’ in Brabham and Ralt (Part 1)

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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