Formula ford history


Formula Ford is a single seater, open wheel class in motorsports racing which exists in some form in many countries around the world.

When the formula for Formula Ford was first established, it ran on road tires, used road gearboxes, and a price cap was placed on rolling chassis - the intention was very much to create an affordable form of single-seater racing. John Webb of Brands Hatch, Geoff Clarke of Motor Racing Stable (the circuit's resident race driving school) and Jim Russell were largely responsible for its creation. The first Formula Ford car was a Team Lotus 1966 Type 31 which was derived from the Lotus 22 Formula Junior. Unlike its great rival as an entry level formula, Formula Vee, the Formula Ford cars use full racing suspension setups.

Formula Ford racing exists in two main forms: National Series run around the world using the 1600 Duratec engine; and a mainly amateur, club-racing series attracting serious enthusiasts using the 1600 Kent Engine with which the formula ran from inception.  In the United States the organizing body for  Formula Ford racing is the Sports Car Club of America, SCCA.  The specified engine for SCCA racing is the Kent 1600.

A Formula Ford car is one of the more distinctive-looking open-wheel race cars because it does not have wings to create  aerodynamic downforce, one of the reasons the series has persisted for so long in motor racing. Top speeds in the National Class are as high as in the other Junior Formulae of BMW and Renault, but the cornering speeds are lower due to the downforce-producing aerodynamic aids on the other cars. Handling is entirely down to mechanical grip, and the lack of wings ensures that cars following another are not aerodynamically disadvantaged, allowing close racing with plenty of overtaking. Series' rules may permit slick tires or treaded tires. As the rules limit modifications, all cars are relatively equal and produce close racing results. Still, Formula Fords allow suspension and braking bias changes, if not aerodynamic options like winged cars.

Formula Ford cars weigh  no less than 1100 lbs. with the driver, so their engines, which typically develop about 140/115 hp, are capable of propelling them from 0–60 mph. in less than five seconds, reaching top speeds of nearly 150/140 mph. The engine is usually a stressed member of the chassis, as in larger and more advanced Formula cars.

Several famous race drivers have used the formula as a step up to international competitions. For example, David Coulthard and Jenson Button were both British Formula Ford champions; Danica Patrick,  the American Indy Racing League (IRL) racer, finished second in the British Formula Ford Festival early in her career. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jody Scheckter were both competing in Grands Prix within a year or so of starting Formula Ford in Britain.

Many championships are run around the world for Formula Ford including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia, America and South Africa.

Source: Wikipedia


A brief history of Formula ford

Tim at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in a very close race with Scott Rubenzer of Wisconsin