The SCCA Continental Championship was an annual, professional, open-wheel motor racing series organized by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), under various names, from 1967 to 1976.
The inaugural series was staged in 1967 as the SCCA Grand Prix Championship. It was open to the SCCA's existing Formula A, Formula B and Formula C cars, which were restricted to maximum engine capacities of 3 liters, 1.6 liters and 1.1 liters respectively. For 1968, the SCCA amended their Formula A regulations to allow the use of production-based V8 engines, restricted to a 5-liter maximum engine capacity, in addition to the existing 3 liter engines.
For 1969 the series was renamed to the SCCA Continental Championship, with the Formula A cars now contesting a separate feature race at each championship event and the Formula B & C cars competing in their own race for separate points. The championship received substantial sponsorship from L&M Cigarettes for 1970. Increased support from L&M saw the championship renamed to become the SCCA L&M Continental 5000 Championship for 1971, the 5000 component of the name chosen to give the 5 liter formula greater international recognition. As of 1972, the Formula A regulations still permitted both 5000cc restricted and 3000cc unrestricted engines. Sponsorship by the L&M cigarette brand was not carried forward from the 1973 championship.
An agreement was reached between the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the United States Auto Club (USAC) to jointly sanction the championship from 1974. The championship was renamed to the SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship and was now open to both SCCA Formula 5000 cars and USAC Championship Division cars. The latter could be powered by supercharged engines of up to 2650cc, non- supercharged overhead camshaft engines of up to 4,200cc or production, non- supercharged, non-overhead camshaft engines of up to 5,250cc.
During 1976 USAC announced their intention to withdraw from the co-sanctioning arrangement at the end of the year. The SCCA proposed to stage a ten race championship in 1977 but subsequently decided to replace the Formula 5000 Championship with a revived Can Am Series. Regulations permitted the existing Formula 5000 cars, with fully enveloping bodywork, to compete in the new series.
|Year||Championship name||Winning driver||Car|
|1967||SCCA Grand Prix Championship||Gus Hutchison||Lotus 41 Ford|
|1968||SCCA Grand Prix Championship||Lou Sell||Eagle Mk 5 Chevrolet|
|1969||SCCA Continental Championship||Tony Adamowicz||Eagle Mk 5 Chevrolet|
|1970||SCCA Continental Championship||John Cannon||McLaren M10B Chevrolet|
|1971||SCCA L&M Continental 5000 Championship||David Hobbs||McLaren M10B Chevrolet|
|1972||SCCA L&M Continental 5000 Championship||Graham McRae||Leda GM1 Chevrolet & McRae GM1 Chevrolet|
|1973||SCCA L&M Championship||Jody Scheckter||Trojan T101 Chevrolet & Lola T330 Chevrolet|
|1974||SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship||Brian Redman||Lola T332 Chevrolet|
|1975||SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship||Brian Redman||Lola T332 Chevrolet & Lola T400 Chevrolet|
|1976||SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship||Brian Redman||Lola T332C Chevrolet|
- 1967-69 SCCA Grand Prix Championship Review, www.myf5000.com Retrieved on 17 June 2014
- Wolfgang Kopfler, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America – Race by Race, Second Edition, 2003, page 7
- Wolfgang Kopfler, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America – Race by Race, Second Edition, 2003, page 20
- Wolfgang Kopfler, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America – Race by Race, Second Edition, 2003, page 34
- Keith Waltz, Tobacco Money Makes Its Move Into Auto Racing, www.nationalspeedsportnews.com Retrieved on 17 June 2014
- Wolfgang Kopfler, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America – Race by Race, Second Edition, 2003, page 49
- Watkins Glen L&M Grand Prix Facts Sheet, mclaren-m18-06.com Archived 21 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 19 June 2014
- Wolfgang Kopfler, 1974 Formula 5000 Championship, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America - Race by Race, 2003, pages 80 & 81
- 1974 SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship - Supplementary Regulations, www.myf5000.com Retrieved on 17 June 2014
- Roger Jaynes, Disappointed USAC drops Formula 5000 sanction, Milwaukee Journal, 7 October 1976, page 41
- Wolfgang Kopfler, The end of Formula 5000, Formula A and Formula 5000 in America - Race by Race, 2003, page 110
- 1973 SCCA L&M Championship Review (Part 1), www.myf5000.com Retrieved on 17 June 2014