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 Penske PC3 photo

1975 Penske PC3

History

Team Penske was involved with Formula One during the 1974 to 1976 season. Their involvement with the sport dates back a few years prior, to 1971. They sponsored a McLaren entry in the 1971 Canadian and US Grand Prix with Mark Donohue as the driver. The car was driven to an impressive third place finish.

After successfully tackling so many other racing classes, wealthy businessman and driver Roger Penske turned his attention to F1. The team set-up shot at Graham McRae's old workshop. The team would dabble in the sport for only a short period and the cars were later sold to ATS. During the Penske F1 racing period, Mark Donohue was killed which was a tragic blow to both the team and the sport.

Penske's first car of their own design was the PC1 which featured a standard tub with a Ford/Cosworth DFV powerplant and a Hewland gearbox. Mark Donohue drove the PC1 in its racing debut, finishing in 12th place. For 1975, Penske decided to mount a full scale attack on the sport. The PC1 was driven to a fifth place finish in the Swedish Grand Prix, which was among the highlights of its career. After the French Grand Prix, the car was retired and a March 751 was used for the following three races. At the Australian Grand Prix at Zeltweg, Donohue was involved in a crash that claimed his life.

Penske missed the next race, the Italian GP, but returned in time for the United States Grand Prix. For the US GP, the team returned to their PC1 with John Watson serving as the team driver.

In 1976, a deal was struck between Team Penske and Citibank. A new car, the Penske PC3, was ready for Watson. The PC3 retained some of the design features from its predecessors, the PC1, and the March 751. In total, there were two cars constructed with one being driven by Watson to a fifth place finish in the 1976 South African Grand Prix.

The PC3 evolved into the PC4 which was a further development of the PC cars. It was more competitive and provided Watson with two podium finishes; one in the French GP and the other at the Britain Grand Prix. At the Austrian Grand Prix, the team scored their only F1 victory. Being true to his word, John Watson shaved his trademark beard after the victory.

At the end of the season, Roger Penske had grown tired of the mostly-European racing circuit and returned to the Indy racing scene. The Penske F1 operation was sold to Günther Schmidt of Germany.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012

1975 Vehicle Profiles

1975 Penske PC3 vehicle information

Monoposto
Designer: Robin Herd

Chassis Num: 001

Penske PC3/01 was driven by John Watson in four Grand Prix events. The first event was the South African GP on March 6th of 1976 where he drove the car to a fifth place finish. This would be the best result for the vehicle. It is seen here at the ....[continue reading]

Monoposto
Chassis #: 001 

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