- In the 1960s, the SKODA F3 monoposto was one of the top racing cars in the formula racing category of the same name
- Technology from the SKODA 1000 MB, 1.0 liter rear engine with an output of 90 hp, weight of 420 kg and a top speed of 210 km/h
- Jaroslav Bobek won the Czechoslovak championship in 1966, and in 1968 Miroslav Fousek triumphed in what was then the F3 championship in the socialist countries
Mlada Boleslav – When the regulations of the traditional Formula 3 single-seater category changed in 1964, SKODA was able to react quickly thanks to the 1000 MB. This model was already in preparation at that time. During the 1965 season, three completely new single-seaters with the experienced drivers Vaclav Bobek, Jaroslav Bobek and Miroslav Fousek started. The newly established formula class offered the brand and its drivers the unique opportunity to measure themselves against the competition from Western Europe.
In addition to the complete selection of images for this press release on the media portal skoda-media.de is also a 32-page brochure in English on various topics from 120 years of SKODA Motorsport.
The Czechoslovak Grand Prix in September 1949 was to be the last international motor race in the then socialist country for a long time. The big stars of the Grand Prix at the Masaryk Circuit were later involved in the creation of Formula 1. Already at the last race, enthusiasm compensated for a lack of financial means, a lack of material and a low level of political will. Single-seater racing vehicles were created under the simplest of conditions, which met the requirements of international formula racing.
The first Formula 3 races took place in the late 1940s. On the engine side, affordable single-cylinder motorcycle engines with a displacement of 500 ccm were used, which subsequently prevailed. In 1951 the series was renamed ‘International F3’. But as early as the late 1950s, the more modern Formula Junior made its debut in Italy with standard four-cylinder engines under 1.100cc displacement. This finally developed on 1. January 1964 the classic Formula 3 with vehicles up to 1.000 cc displacement.
Adjustable shock absorbers made it possible to vary the car’s ground clearance. Its 13-inch alloy wheels with Dunlop tires were braked by four disc brakes from the British manufacturer Girling. A SKODA in-line four-cylinder engine with OHV valve control and a crankshaft with three bearings was installed longitudinally in front of the rear axle. This drive was produced in numerous modifications up until 2003 and was last used in the first generation of the SKODA FABIA. In the F3 Monoposto, the shorter-stroke, larger-bore engine had a displacement of 999cc. Starting from the vertical axis of the vehicle, it was inclined 12 degrees to the left and the coupling was flanged to the rear end.
The so-called ‘intermediate transmission’ was located between the clutch and the gearbox. It made it possible to lower the engine’s center of gravity and thus adapt the overall transmission to the character of the respective race track. The differential gear had a gear ratio of 4.44 and was from the series production. Water and oil coolers were located in the front of the vehicle, in front of the driver’s feet. Next to him on both sides were the fuel tanks with a total capacity of 30 liters. The slender drawn body was multi-part and detachable. It was developed in the wind tunnel and was initially made of aluminum in its first version, but a little later it was already made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic. The space in the cockpit was tight – that’s why the small steering wheel only had a diameter of 300 millimeters. The unladen weight of the SKODA F3 was just under 420 kilograms, with the front axle accounting for 41.5 percent and the rear including the engine 58.5 percent.
The one-liter engine originally delivered 53 kW (72 hp) at 7.250 rpm. However, through a gradual increase in compression and further optimizations, in the 1966 season it achieved an output of 66 kW (90 hp) at 8.000 revolutions per minute, at the same time the total weight could be reduced by 15 kilograms. While the SKODA F3 reached a top speed of 188 km/h during tests at the HoSkovice airfield at the end of 1964, two years later it broke the 200 km/h mark.
Right from the start, the SKODA F3 drove in the leading group in all races. At that time, the races still took place on demanding circuits that were not artificially created or led over inner-city courses with cobblestones and lower-lying manhole covers. The traditional ‘Mezi pavilony’ race in the city of Brno was also held on an improvised route between the exhibition center pavilions. In 1966 Vaclav (Sen.) and Jaroslav Bobek took the first two places there with their SKODA cars. Jaroslav Bobek became Czechoslovak Formula 3 champion in the same year, two years later his teammate Miroslav Fousek triumphed in the F3 championship of socialist countries.
With these successes, the successful career of the visually and technically successful SKODA F3 single-seaters slowly came to an end. In international races at the end of the 1960s, they increasingly had to contend with competition from Western European countries, such as the Brabham and Tecno cars. In the domestic races, it was mainly the Lotus Cosworth vehicles that prevailed, which were also driven by well-known drivers such as Vladimír HubaCek and Vladislav Ondřejík for the Dukla Prague team. Nevertheless, the SKODA single-seaters fought successfully in the often unequal battles and rightly play an important role in the history of Czechoslovak motorsport. The final end for the single-seaters from Mlada Boleslav came with the change in the Formula 3 regulations in 1971 – it stipulated an engine with a displacement of 1.6 litres. As a result, the vehicles of the SKODA F3 type served only as a technology supplier for the new SKODA brand formula.
Vaclav Bobek Sr.’s SKODA F3. remained in the possession of AZNP and is now part of the SKODA Museum collection. Miroslav Fousek’s car was donated to the National Technical Museum in Prague in 1971, and Jaroslav Bobek’s single-seater was converted by Vaclav Kral into a two-seater Spider Baghira in the mid-1970s. The working prototype that started it all was dismantled after the 1965 season and now sits in a private collection awaiting the completion of its restoration.
- steers successfully through the new decade with the NEXT LEVEL – SKODA STRATEGY 2030.
- is striving to be one of the five top-selling brands in Europe by 2030 with attractive offers in the entry-level segments and other e-models.
- develops into the leading European brand in India, Russia and North Africa.
- currently offers its customers ten car model series: FABIA, RAPID, SCALA, OCTAVIA and SUPERB as well as KAMIQ, KAROQ, KODIAQ, ENYAQ iV and KUSHAQ.
- delivered over one million vehicles to customers worldwide in 2020.
- has been part of the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s most successful automobile manufacturers, for 30 years.
- manufactures and develops vehicles as well as components such as engines and transmissions independently within the group.
- maintains three locations in the Czech Republic; manufactures in China, Russia, Slovakia and India primarily through group partnerships and in the Ukraine with a local partner.
- employs more than 43.000 employees worldwide and is represented in over 100 markets.
SKODA AUTO Deutschland GmbH
- entered the German market in September 1991.
- represented in connection with around 1.100 sales and service partners the SKODA brand in Germany.
- is part of the success story of the traditional Czech brand: in 2020, over 181.000 new SKODA vehicles were registered as passenger cars, which corresponds to a market share of 6.2 percent. SKODA was not only the number one import brand in Germany for the twelfth year in a row, but also further consolidated its position among the well-known volume brands.
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