In 1974, the Canadian Auto Sport Clubs (CASC) formed the first professional Formula Atlantic series in North America. Prior to this, the Canadian driversí championship was determined using Formula 5000 cars - (originally named Formula A). But the grids were small and supplemented by a healthy supply of Formula Atlantic machinery - (called Formula B at the time). With a healthy sponsorship package from Players cigarettes and television coverage, the series flourished. It became a route to Formula One and attracted drivers such as Gilles Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg.

By 1978, the CASC and Sports Car Club of America joined forces to sanction events in Canada and the United States.

The chassisí used in the series are similar or the same as those used in Formula 2 and Formula 3. They are produced by race car manufacturers such as Ralt, March, Lola and Chevron. The major difference between these different Formula categories is the engine. Competitors in Formula Atlantic initially used the double-overhead camshaft Lotus cylinder head with a 1.6-liter Ford Kent engine block. However, a more powerful version was developed by Cosworth Engineering, called Ford Cosworth BDA. Later, Cosworth developed the BDN and BDD.

The 1979 North American Formula Atlantic season consisted of ten events starting at Long Beach in early April and ending at Montreal as a support race for the Canadian Grand Prix. Mosport was the seventh round on a weekend that included the Trans Am series. Leading up to the Mosport event the championship had five different winners in the first six rounds. The season opener was won by Tom Gloy, Howdy Holmes was victorious at the second round in Mexico, the next two events - Westwood and Quebec City were won by Kevin Cogan, next to take an event was Jeff Wood at Halifax and the Bob Earl was victorious at Road America.

With his win at the previous round at Road America Bob Earl entered Mosport third in the championship standings. Despite the fact that this was Earl's first visit to Mosport he put his Ralt RT-1 on the pole. He finished third in the race behind Kevin Cogan and Jeff Wood. Earl would drop from third to fifth in the standings due to a poor finish at Trois Rivieres.
The Ralt RT-1 and March 79B were the popular car choice in the championship. The lone Lola T-560 was driven by Carl Liebich. Although not considered one of Lola's success stories the car was fast in the hands of Liebich. At Mosport, he started tenth and finished eighth. At his home track, Road America, he finished fifth - his best of the 1979 season.
This Doug Shierson Racing March 79B was driven by John Mortensen. At Mosport, Mortensen finished fifth after qualifying ninth. He had a number of top-ten finishes during the 1979 season and placed ninth in the championship standings.
John Paul Jr. qualified this Ralt RT-1 twentieth and finished thirteenth 1-lap behind the leaders. His father had a more successful this weekend - he won the Trans Am race.
Entering the Mosport round Kevin Cogan held second place in the standings. At Mosport, he would score his third and last win of the 1979 season. Cogan would try Formula 1 in 1980 and 81 without any success. He moved on to the CART Championship Car series where he made 118-starts and scored his only victory at Phoenix in 1986.
Tom Gloy won the 1979 North American Formula Atlantic Championship driving a Ralt RT-1. He started the season with his only win of 1979 at Long Beach. Gloy maintained his points lead with consistency only finishing out of the top five once and scored points in every event. He also competed in the 1980 and 84 CART series. But he is probably best known for his success in the Trans Am series.
Jeff Wood along with Howdy Holmes were the top competitors driving the March 79B. At Mosport Wood qualified third and finished second. He scored two wins during the 1979 season and finished third in the final standings. Holmes won three times in the March and was fourth in the championship.

12Kevin CoganRalt RT-140
23Jeff WoodMarch 79B40
31Bob EarlRalt RT-140
415Tom GloyRalt RT-140
59John MortensenMarch 79B40
613Rick KoehlerMarch 79B40
77John David BriggsMarch 79B39
810Carl LiebichLola T-56039
918Skeeter McKitterickRalt RT-139
1012Mike FollettRalt RT-139
1117Rick BellRalt RT-139
1211Ken DuclosRalt RT-139
1319John Paul Jr.Ralt RT-139
1416Mark McCaigChevron B-4539
1520Bruce JensenRalt RT-139
1621Ralph ManakerMarch 79B39
175Don BreidenbachMarch 79B38
188Ken BriggsMarch 79B38
1924Gary YottMarch 78B36
2014Larry BergmanRalt RT-122
2123Doug TitusChevron B-4511
2222Marco TolamaChevron B-4511
236Howdy HolmesMarch 79B7
244Jacques VilleneuveMarch 78B4
2527Robert SilvestroRalt RT-12
2628Alec DonachyMarch 78B1
DNS25John ConnollyRalt Rt-10
DNS26Terry KnightMarch 79B0

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