In 1985 the International Formula 3000 Championship, originally called the European Formula 3000 Championship, was created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). This was the final stepping-stone for drivers before making it to Formula One competition. By this point in history, Formula 2 had become too expensive and was being dominated by works-run cars fitted with factory engines. The Formula 3000 class was created in hopes of offering a cheaper, quicker, and more competitive arena for drivers.
The name 'Formula 3000' stemmed for the 3-liter Cosworth DFV engines which had become obsolete in Formula One due to rule changes. The F3000 rules allowed a 90-degree V8 engine fitted with a rev-limiter to control power output. A Honda V8 engine made an appearance in the series and a Lamborghini V8 was rumored, but never raced. The Mugen-Honda V8 became very competitive and many teams switched. Cosworth reacted by introduced the brand new AC engine. Rules changes in 1996 introduced a single engine. It was badged as a Zytek but was a re-engineered and detuned Judd V8 unit. The sole chassis provider was Lola and all cars were fitted with Avon tires.
Most of the early Formula 3000 races were between 100 to 200 miles in distance. They were run, either headlining or paired with, other international events. By 1997 they were combined with F1 races and were support races for the Grand Prix.
By 2002 the sport had escalated to such a height that it was too expensive for many teams to compete. Sponsorship and entrants dwindled as cheaper formula's were gaining momentum. CART, European F3000, Formula Renault V6 Eurocup, and the World Series by Nissan would become the new breeding ground for young talent.
The last year for F3000 competition was in 2004 and in 2005 it was replaced with the GP2 series with Renault backing.
Formula 3000 Champions
1999 Nick Heidfeld West Competition
1998 Juan Pablo Montoya Super Nova Racing
1997 Ricardo Zonta Super Nova Racing
1996 Jorg Muller RSM Marko
1995 Vincenzo Sospiria Super Nova Racing
1994 Jean-Christophe Bonillion DAMS
1993 Olivier Panis DAMS
1992 Luca Badoer Crypton
1991 Christian Fittipaldi Pacific Racing
1990 Eric Comas DAMS
1989 Jean Alesi Eddie Jordan Racing
1988 Roberto Moren Bromley Motorsport
1987 Stefano Modena Onyx
1986 Ivan Capeili Genoa
1985 Christian Danner BSA