The gap between Formula 1’s leading three teams, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, has led to the term ‘Class B’ being used for the midfield battle.
While ‘Class B’ bragging rights for the ‘the best of the rest’ is an unofficial term, there was an official version of a second-tier class back in 1987.
With turbos and naturally-aspirated engines on the grid, titles were awarded to the teams and drivers running the Ford Cosworth DFZ 3.5 V8 naturally-aspirated engines. They were named the Jim Clark Trophy (for drivers) and the Colin Chapman Trophy (for teams), in honour of the championship-winning Team Lotus duo.
Tyrrell dominated the competition with drivers Jonathan Palmer and Philippe Streiff winning the majority of the ‘Class B’ races, including the Adelaide Grand Prix, claiming a one-two finish in the standings.
The Jim Clark Trophy standings:
1st. Jonathan Palmer – Tyrrell – 95 points
2nd. Philippe Streiff – Tyrrell – 74 points
3rd. Philippe Alliot – Larrousse – 43 points
4th. Ivan Capelli – Leyton House – 38 points
5th. Pascal Fabre – AGS – 35 points
6th. Roberto Moreno – AGS – 4 points
7th. Yannick Dalmas – Larrousse – 0 points
8th. Nicola Larini – Coloni – 0 points
The Colin Chapman Trophy standings:
1st. Tyrrell – 169 points
2nd. Larrousse – 43 points
3rd. AGS – 41 points
4th. Leyton House – 38 points
5th. Coloni – 0 points
The naturally-aspirated engine titles were done away with into 1988 with new technical measures implemented to close the gap to the turbos, which were eventually banned into 1989.