RALT - THE COMPANY
Ralt is a name that has always been associated with winning and current owner of the company, Steve Ward, is determined to continue that tradition.
For the 2002 season the name Ralt will be back in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship for the first time since 1993 and the Oxfordshire based Yorkshireman is determined to break the stranglehold the Italian make, Dallara, has on this prestigious series.
Steve's aim is to produce a winning car that will bring a British manufacturer back to prominence and for this he has teamed up with Nigel Clyde's Team Avanti, based in Witney, Oxfordshire.
Ralt was formed in 1975 by Australian, Ron Tauranac, and run out of premises in Surrey The first Ralt was not surprisingly called the RT1 and in its first year was an immediate winner in the hands of Ron's fellow countrymen, Larry and Terry Perkins. The new marque's debut was on the 31st March at Thruxton, where Larry started second on the grid and finished 5th. Larry's first major win was the Gran Premio Della Lotteria at Monza and he subsequently went on to win the European Formula 3 title, while a last minute mistake robbed Terry of the win at the Monaco Grand Prix support race.
This first car was produced to race in Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic as well as Formula 3 and notched up its first Formula 2 win at the Nurburgring in 1976 with Swede, Freddy Kottulinski, at the wheel.
The wins came thick and fast over the years with titles including the Italian, Swedish and German as well as the British Formula 3 championships. Some of the greatest racing drivers won the UK series for Ralt with the marque's first title coming in 1978 from Nelson Piquet and Derek Warwick as then there were two Formula 3 Championships in the UK. On the Ralt roll of honour for the British championship are names such as Ayrton Senna (1983), Mika Hakkinen (1990), Rubens Barrichello (1991) and David Brabham (1989). Ralt claimed 11 Formula 3 titles between 1978 and 1991. The last race won by a Ralt in the British series was at Silverstone in September 1991, with Philippe Adams wining in a Ralt 36, and 1993 was the last year when one of the company's cars competed in the British series.
Ralt cars were also successful in Formula 2 with wins in the European Championship in 1981 for Geoff Lees, 1983 for Jonathan Palmer and 1984 for Mike Thackwell and in Formula Atlantic in America with total domination of the series from 1992 to 1997.
Steve first became involved with Ralt in 1992 when it was part of March, but when the two companies split in 1994 he took it over completely. At the end of 1997 he decided he wanted to see the name Ralt on a Formula 3 car again, and so built and developed the car that was to be the only Ralt competing in the 2000 American series. It couldn't have had a better season as it was on pole for the first race and won the series driven by Stuart Crow.
Steve, who is fiercely patriotic, is hoping he can now replicate that success in the UK. The car, designated the Ralt F302 and fitted with a Mugen-Honda engine, ran for the first time at Pembrey, South Wales, on 24th January in the hands of experienced F3 and BTCC racer, Andy Priaulx.
RALT F302 - TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Chassis - Ralt F302 single-seater racing car
Construction - carbon-kevlar and aluminium honeycomb monocoque
Gearbox - Six speed sequential plus reverse
Suspension - Pushrods front and rear and is fully adjustable
Front track: 1500mm
Rear track: 1430mm
Tyres - Avon Racing Tyres - slicks for dry weather limited to two sets per driver per meeting
Engine - Mugen Honda
Type: 2 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, twin overhead camshafts
Max power: 210bhp at 6000rpm
Max torque: 270 Nm at 5200 rpm
*Engines must be no more than two litres in capacity, and based on a production engine with the block and cylinder head casting remaining the same, although the rest of the engine may be extensively modified. Engine power is controlled by limiting the amount of air the engine can use for combustion - all air going into the engine must pass through a restrictor of 26mm diameter.
Top speed - 158mph (dependent on circuit and gearing)
0-60mph - 3.0 sec
130-50mph - 2.8 sec (2.5G deceleration)
Official Suppliers -
Lubricant - Mobil 1
Brakes and Clutches - AP Racing
Shock Absorbers - Koni
Fuel tanks - Premier Fuel Systems
Fabricated and Welded Components - John Toohey
Wind tunnel - MIRA
Data Acquisition Hardware - The Strain Gauging Company
Bearings Magazine - SKF
Software - Cutting Edge Solutions
Bodywork - SPA Composites
Fire Extinguishers, Steering Wheels, Mirrors - SPA Design
Driveshafts and Joints - GKN Motorsport
Oil and Brake Lines - BF Goodridge
Aerospace Alloys - Enpar
Crash Testing and Student Projects - Cranfield University