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  March 782 BMW
 

  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:29 (All engines)
Designed by:Robin Herd for March
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 22, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDuring the 1977 season, March produced two distinct Formula 2 racers; the regular production 772 and the 772P (for Prototype). The former was the third evolution of the design originally introduced in 1975 as the 752. The 772's disappointing results prompted a threat from works engine partner BMW to withdraw their considerable support. As a stop-gap, the 772P was created, which actually used an even earlier but narrower chassis design. It worked as Bruno Giacomelli and Jochen Mass won races with the prototype March late in 1977.

Before the season was over, a third March actually appeared, which was the prototype for the all-new 1978 car. Sharing the narrow monocoque layout with the 772P, it also featured a front-mounted radiator. The new 782 did feature full-length side-pods, which during the second half of the 1978 season were fitted with skirts to generate ground-effect aerodynamics. The works cars, and most of the customer examples were powered by the latest BMW M12 engine, which produced over 300 bhp from its two-litre displacement. Equally powerful but more fragile Hart engines were also used.

Giacomelli won the final round of the 1977 F2 Championship with the new 782 and as part of the BMW backed works team maintained his winning form in 1978. March did not compete in Formula 1 that year and it showed as the 782 absolutely dominated. Giacomelli won eight races en route to the championship, while BMW Junior Marc Surer ended the year second despite never winning a round. Driven by Alex Ribeiro, one of the Hart engined cars also won a race. The 782 was also a commercial success as an estimated 29 examples were produced, including the works cars.

The arrival of the ground-effect March 792 the following season, rendered the hugely successful 782 obsolete sooner than it deserved but it did win one more championship round. With the 792, March continued to dominate and this time it was Surer who won the championship.

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  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) Specifications