Four days after the official stipulated deadline for all entries to be lodged with governing body the FIA, it has emerged that the Max Mosley-founded March Racing Organisation has submitted an application to compete in the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship – almost two decades on from its last appearance in the top flight.
It has already been revealed that Prodrive/Aston Martin, Lola, Team USF1, Campos Meta 1, Litespeed GP and Team Superfund have made bids for acceptance onto the 26-car grid next season, as F1 heads down the 'low-cost' route following years of extravagant over-expenditure, by way of FIA President Mosley's contentious budget cap initiative.
March Engineering was founded back in 1969 by Mosley in company with Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd, competing in every season up until 1977, and then sporadically until its disappearance from the fray in 1992.
In 1989, March's F1 and International F3000 operations were sold to Japanese real estate entrepreneur Akira Akagi and rebranded as Leyton House, with Ivan Capelli famously coming within a handful of laps of triumphing in the 1990 French Grand Prix at Paul Richard at the wheel of the Adrian Newey-designed, Judd-powered CG901, before agonisingly being overhauled by home hero Alain Prost in the Ferrari late on. After Akagi became implicated in a banking scandal in Japan, the outfit changed hands again in late 1991, and the following year was sold to Andrew Fitton.
Though Fitton subsequently closed the team down and sold March's assets to Andy Gilberg, the former retains the rights to the name and it was he who made the 2010 F1 entry bid.
Over the course of its 207 races in the sport to-date, March/Leyton House has achieved three victories, four pole positions, seven fastest laps and a high point of third place in the 1970 constructors' title chase in its maiden campaign, and employed drivers of the calibre of triple world champion Niki Lauda, the late, great Ronnie Peterson, Jo 'Seppi' Siffert, Vittorio Brambilla and Chris Amon, the latter dubbed the unluckiest man in the history of F1 for never having won a grand prix despite leading a good number of them.