Historically, world wide there is no other category which has set up more drivers for a long career in motorsport than Formula Ford.
Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton, Webber, Ricciardo, Whincup, Lowndes ... virtually every motor racing champion - worldwide - has competed in and learnt the art of driving from this category.
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.
As the rules limit modifications, all cars are relatively equal and close racing results. Still, Formula Fords allow suspension and braking bias changes, if not aerodynamic options like winged cars.
Formula Ford cars weigh 410/420 kg, so their engines, which typically develop about 140/115 hp, are capable of propelling them from 0–100 km/h in less than five seconds, reaching top speeds of nearly 235/220 km/h (150/140 mph).
The engine is usually a stressed member of the chassis, as in larger and more advanced Formula cars.
Formula Ford uses a controlled tyre and chassis to ensure an even playing field amongst the drivers and has no aerodynamic wings, thus teaching the art of mechanical grip of a proper race car.
There are 2 classes that run in Australia.
The premier class is called 'Formula Ford', and uses the EFI DOHC Fiesta/Duratec engine.
Kent-engined chassis continue to provide healthy fields as a second-tier class, called 'Formula Ford 1600' (or FF1600).
Cars line up on the starting grid in qualifying order for the first race, and in the previous race's finishing order for subsequent races. The more powerful Formula Ford class (Fiesta/Duratec engine) is put ahead of the Formula Ford 1600 (Kent) class.
Formula Ford Specs:
- Engine – pushrod, four cylinder 1600 cc (1.6 litre)
Acceleration – typically from zero to 60 mph (100KMH) in under 5 seconds
Top Speed – depends on gearing but approx. 240 KMH down Conrod Straightat Bathurst
Chassis – welded steel tube spaceframe – monocoque construction is not permitted
Length – approximately 13 feet (4 metres) overall
Width – approximately 6 feet (1.8 metres)
Weight – 410- 420 kgs - no driver - minimum 498 kg with driver
Gearbox – required four forward and one reverse gear
- Wheel Size – 13 inch X 5.5 inch wide
- Tires – vary with the regulations of different organizations