Classifieds Hero: 1999 Dallara F399/301

Ever wanted to be a single seater racing driver? For the price of a new Golf GTI, you can buy the car that clinched a British Formula 3 title in 2001...

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Children the world over dream of growing up to become professional racing drivers. Not only do a select few make it, very few can afford it in the first place. Don’t fret though, as with the passing of time, some serious racing machinery becomes less expensive, and the chance to indulge those dreams emerges. Such as the beast from our classifieds...

In a bygone era, British junior formulae were considering amongst the most fertile breeding grounds for the next generation of superstar F1 drivers. Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Mika Häkkinen and Jenson Button are just a few of many household names to have built their reputation in British Formula 3 racing, before moving on to the highest echelons of single seater racing.

Now, thanks to our classifieds, you can own a championship-winning Dallara Formula 3 car for the same price as a new Golf GTI.

Buy this 1999 Dallara F399/301!

Within our classifieds lies one car that, while perhaps lacking that ultimate star power, is still very much a part of British F3 history. Since its founding in 1996, Carlin Motorsport has gone on to become a powerhouse of lower level single seaters, and their 2001 British F3 championship-winning car has come up for sale.

This particular example started out life as a Dallara F399 when purchased new for the 1999 season, piloted by future Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan. There were signs of the success to come for this particular chassis with two poles and two race victories scored at Brands Hatch, though it was a tumultuous season overall for Karthikeyan, as the video below demonstrates.

A new aerodynamic package released by Dallara meant the original F399 was upgraded to an F300 for the 2000 season, now with National class graduate Takuma Sato at the wheel. Honda’s junior prospect made much more of the Mugen-powered car underneath him, scoring two wins and five podiums in his first full year.

More was to come from the future Indianapolis 500 winner, as the car was once again upgraded to its current form for the 2001 season, designated the F301. Sato and Carlin team-mate Anthony Davidson – who would later be team-mates in Formula 1 – dominated, the former winning 12 races and racking up another five podiums on his way to the British F3 championship title.

Carlin then retired the chassis from full-time competition, and the original Mugen-Honda engine would be returned from its lease to owners Neil Brown Engineering. In its place, an F3-specification engine from TOM’S – a Toyota-backed tuning company – was fitted in its place.

From there, the car passed to engineer and 1989 British Hill Climb champion Ray Rowan, who entered the car in F3 Cup and Monoposto, series both designed for older Formula 3 cars to compete in. Rowan later sold the car to fellow F3 Cup and Monoposto competitor Richard Purcell, who campaigned the car for several years.

Having stayed in Carlin colours through all of its previous competitors, it was repainted black by the current owner, who acquired the car from Purcell, and now the car is available to buy once more.

In preparation for its sale, a full rebuild of the TOM’S engine and accompanying Hewland gearbox has been carried out by another title-winning F3 team, Bridger Motorsport. The chassis has gone through a nut and bolt rebuild, plus dampers have also been rebuilt and valved by Red Bull Racing.

This ready-to-race car also comes with a comprehensive spares package, including;

  • Two nose cones / crash boxes
  • Pair front top covers
  • Set of high downforce front winglets
  • Pair front wishbones with internal brake lines
  • Spare rear suspension wishbone arms
  • Serviceable used set of brake discs
  • Pair of driveshafts
  • New race battery unused
  • Slave battery, leads and carrier
  • 37 gear ratio sets
  • Set of wet tyres mounted to Speedline rims
  • Set of spare used slick tyres
  • Front and rear quick lift jacks
  • Low car stands
  • High car stands
  • Set up information and users handbook.

It might be getting on a little age wise, but this Dallara is still fighting fit and raring to go around the circuits of Great Britain. You can take a closer look with the AutoClassics classified advert.

Takuma Sato photos by LAT Images.

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