German Stefan Bellof won the 1980 German Formula Ford 1600 championship. Next year, at age 23, he graduated to German Formula 3. Bellof joined Bertram Schäfer Racing team, founded and ran by former racing driver and the German Formula Three champion of 1976 and 1978. Schäfer ran two cars in the 1981 – first was driven by Frank Jelinski, and the second was provided to Bellof from round 3 at Wunstorf. Bellof’s car was officially entered by Gelo Nachwuchs Racing Team, which was in fact Schäfer Racing car with alternate sponsorship. Despite missing the opening two races of the season, Bellof led the championship by seven points going into the final round at the Nürburgring, having taken a top four finish in each of his first eight races, including three wins and three more podiums. Luck eluded Bellof however, as he finished the race in thirteenth position, while title rivals Frank Jelinski and Franz Konrad finished in first and second places to overhaul Bellof’s points total. Eleven points separated Bellof from Jelinski, who claimed his second successive German Formula Three championship. The car driven by Bellof was Ralt RT3 powered by 2-liter 4 cylinder Toyota engine. The RT3 designed by Ron Tauranac was introduced in the 1979 season replacing the highly successful RT1. It was replaced by the RT30, which was to some extent a flat-bottom evolution of the RT3. Between 1979 and 1984, Ralt built a total of 168 examples of what was one of the day’s most successful Formula 3 racers.
|1981||German Formula 3 Champoinship|
|Stefan Bellof||3||Gelo Nachwuchs Racing Team|