1982 Ralt RT5

Ron Tauranac sold his interest in Brabham to Bernie Eccleston and formed his own company named RALT with the intent of producing single-seater racing cars. The name 'RALT' was created after Ron and Austin Lewis Tauranac. Austin Lewis is the brother of Ron.

In 1975, Ralt began competing in Formula Atlantic competition with their RT-1. The car was also used in Formula Two and Formula Three competition between 1975 and 1978. The RT1 competed in Formula Atlantic competition for many years, amassing 15 Championships. The only other marque to come close to that record is Swift who has won 8 Championships.

In 1979, Tom Glory drove an RT1 to its first Formula Atlantic Championship.

Ralt RT1 Formula Atlantic cars were powered by 1600 cc Cosworth BDD engines with twin Weber 48 DC02 carburetors. The regulations of the series dictated most components of the cars and as such, specifications vary slightly. The Hewland FT200 gearbox was the typical gearbox found in Formula Atlantic cars. Formula 2 cars often used the stronger Hewland FT400 unit.

In 1979 the team created the RT2 which was designed for Formula Two competition. Three cars were constructed for the Toleman team; later, three more were constructed for privateers. One of the RT2 cars created was designed for CanAm competition.

The RT3 was a derivative of the RT2 and was created for Formula 3 competition. The RT4 was based on the RT2 and competed mostly in Formula Atlantic competition. The RT5 was a Formula Super Vee car similar in design to the RT3 and derived from the RT2. By this point in history, there were many Super Vee builders such as Royale, Anson, Lola, and Zink - to name but a few. The field of builders soon dwindled when RALT introduced its RT-5 in 1980. The series would continue until 1990, but every year except 1986 was won by a RALT RT-5. 1986 was won by Didier Theys in a Martini.

The RT-5 RALT had an aluminum monocoque chassis, fiberglass bodywork, and a wheelbase that measured 99.5 inches, and weighed 1075 lbs. The cars were fitted with full ground effects with air foils. The engine displaced 1588cc and produced 180 horsepower. Mated to the engine was a Hewland 5-speed sequential gearbox. The cars were very modern and incorporated electronic control systems.

Production of the RT-5 continued until 1988; during that year only three examples were made. Those three were given a unique front suspension that had the springs and shocks positioned above the driver's knees. The system was very effective and many earlier RT-5 models were updated to this specification.

RALT cars continued to be constructed for Formula series, including Formula 3000 and Formula 3, until the 1990s. Tauranac sold the company to March.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2008

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