The winner of the last two rounds of the Free Single Seater Series at Castle Combe was the aptly named Stuart Wiltshire in his Dallara Renault Xtec F304, though it turns out that Stuart is actually an Essex Boy born and bred.
Dallara was founded by Gian Paolo Dallara near Parma Italy in 1972 specialising in building sports racing and hillclimbing cars . After penning one of the wilder body work configurations for Walter Wolf's Can Am team in 1977, Dallara was commissioned by Wolf to build a third tier open wheel Formula 3 car. Built to similar regulations as the F304 seen here, the Wolf F3 car was driven by Bobby Rahal at Monaco.
During the 1980's Dallara Formula 3 cars started winning championships in Italy then France and Germany before going on to dominate the most competitive series of all in Britain during the 1990's.
Today Dallara is known world wide having briefly competed in Formula One and built a variety of sports cars for teams including Lancia, Ferrari, and Audi. More recently Dallara were one of the original suppliers of chassis to the Indy Racing League and now have an exclusive deal to supply IRL chassis and they have built a near monopoly in every series used as an entry by drivers trying to reach Formula One.
In 2004 the British Formula 3 Series was dominated Dallara F304 chassis like the one in these photo's most were powered by Mugen Honda motors but Renault and Opel, the German GM division were represented with multiple entries.
Among those driving Dallara F304's when they first appeared were British 2004 Champion Nelson Piquet Jr who after a brief tormenting career in Formula One today drives in the NASCAR Trucks division, Lucas di Grassi the Pirelli F1 tyre tester who last year drove for the Virgin Grand Prix Team and in 2004 drove a Renault powered F304 identical to the car featured today, Australian Supercar V8 contender Will Davison, fellow Aussie Will Power who today is part of the Penske IRL team, Venezuelan IRL driver EJ Viso and Karun Chandock who became the first driver to record a finish for the HRT Grand Prix team last year and is an occasional driver for the Team Lotus Grand Prix team this year.
Seven years on from it's first appearance Stuart Wiltshire is competing in the MSV F3 Cup with his JSM Construction sponsored car being prepared by Mark Bailey Racing who started off in the Toyota Formula 3 Championship in 1989, with Mark Bailey taking the championship spoils and have participated in World Sports Car Championships with their own design the MBR 972.
Stuart a director of a construction company has competed in Formula 3 championships for older vehicles on and off since 2003 the highlight of his career was leading into the first bend at Donington Park earlier this year.
With a couple of wins behind him at Castle Combe, I wish Stuart all the best as he returns to the MSV F3 series and look forward to future appearances of Stuart and the immaculate Mark Bailey Racing Dallara Renault F304 at Castle Combe for the Free Single Seater Series.
Thanks for joining me on this stepping stone edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres', I hope you'll join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don't forget to come back now !
10 11 11 Post Script - Since posting this blog it has been brought to my attention that Stuart Wiltshire has a Dallara F302 with 04 updates for sale. I can't say for sure this is the same car as featured in this blog. The car in the blog was definitely described as an F304 in the MBR team blurb at Castle Combe when I saw it.