Formula 5000 was a racing series for open-wheel, single-seat racing cars built to a specific set of rules and powered by American production-line V-8 engines of 5-liter displacement. It started as a bright idea in 1967 and ran successfully until politics among the governing body, race organizers, and team owners did it in, at the end of the 1976 season.
Although there were three other highly competitive Formula 5000 championships—the Rothmans series in Europe, the Tasman series in Australia and New Zealand, and the Tarmac series in Britain—the heart and soul of Formula 5000 was the North American series. In the early 1970s it was known as the L&M Championship after title sponsor Liggett & Myers Tobacco. In 1974, the SCCA and rival governing body USAC formed what turned out to be a short-lived alliance to run Formula 5000.
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