British manufacturer and Formula One constructor, March Engineering began operation in 1969 by its four founders, Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. The name 'March' was chosen by using initials from their first or last names. Each of these individuals brought unique qualities and talents to the team. Herd was the designer, Rees was the team's manager, Coaker oversaw production, and Mosley handled the commercial side of the operation.
The purpose of the company was to provide chassis for customers competing in all racing categories. In 1969 the company built a Formula 3 car. A year later they produced an F1 racer, the 701, which they used for team competition and to supply to privateers. In the non-championship Race of Champions, Jackie Stewart gave March its first F1 victory. He won the Spanish Grand Prix a month later.
In the years to come, the company would become more successful in more classes, except for the F1 program, than any other manufacturer. Their products appeared in Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula Ford 1600, and CanAm.
March Engineering's first Formula 2 racer was the 702. There were six examples of this racer constructed. They were constructed of a space frame chassis and powered by a Cosworth MAE engine matted to a Hewland MK6 gearbox. In 1971, the 712M Formula 2 racer was introduced, of which, twenty examples were constructed. Power came from BMW and Cosworth engines with most being equipped with a Hewland FT200 gearbox. Both engines were excellent choices. The BMW four-cylinder units produced six Formula 2 Championships during the 1970s and was one of the most dominate power plants in any class of racing.
The naming scheme for the Formula 2 racers continued through the years. The 1972 F2 racer was dubbed the 722. For 1973, the teams Formula 2 racer was the 732. For 1974, the racer was the 742, 752 in 1975, and the 762 for 1976.
For 1978 the team focused heavily on their Formula 2 racers for the works BMW team. Bruno Giacomelli and his 782 was a strong contender in the 1978 season, and would eventually go on to win the F2 title.
In the 1979 European Formula 2 season, Marc Surer drove a BMW powered March 792 to the championship. Ground effect on the cars also played a major role. There were 32 examples of the 792 constructed, built atop of a monocoque chassis and most powered by the potent 300 horsepower BMW engine.
March Engineering's involvement with Formula 2 competition continued until around mid-1980's.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007