Australian Formula Ford Championship

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Australian Formula Ford Championship
Category Open Wheel Racing
Formula Ford
Country Australia
Inaugural season 1970
Drivers 28
Teams 10
Constructors Mygale
Spectrum
Engine suppliers 1.6 litre Ford Duratec
Tyre suppliers Avon Tyres
Drivers' champion Australia Anton de Pasquale
Official website formulaford.com.au
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Australian Formula Ford Championship was a CAMS sanctioned Australian motor racing title for drivers of Formula Ford racing cars, held annually from 1993 to 2013. An Australian national series for Formula Fords had been held from 1970 to 1992 and was re-titled as the Australian Formula Ford Championship from 1993. For 2014 the championship has reverted to national series status and is officially known as the Australian Formula Ford Series.

Australian Formula Ford is renowned for producing future champions in other categories with many V8 Supercar drivers and Australian international open-wheeler drivers having had a background in the category.

History[edit]

The Formula Ford category was established in Great Britain in 1967 and two years later Australia’s first Formula Ford race was staged at the Sandown circuit in Victoria.[1] A national series was contested in Australia for the first time in 1970 and then annually through to 1992. In the following year the series was granted national title status by CAMS and officially became the Australian Formula Ford Championship.[2] After having powered Australian Formula Fords since the introduction of the category, the 1600cc Ford “Kent” engine was replaced by the third-generation Ford Fiesta unit for the 2006 Australian Championship.[3] The "Kent" powered cars continued to be raced in various State championships under the "Formula Ford 1600" category name.[4]

The series has served as a stepping stone for many Australian racing drivers who have gone on to greater things in motor racing both in Australia and overseas. Notably, 1971 winner Larry Perkins went on to race in the Formula One World Championship and other winners Russell Ingall, Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup have each gone on to claim V8 Supercar titles. Other graduates of Australian Formula Ford include Brad Jones, Marcos Ambrose, Tomas Mezera, Jason Bright, Steven Richards, David Besnard, Will and Alex Davison, and nine-time Formula One race winner Mark Webber finished third in the F1 World championship on three occasions.

Formula Ford has also proven a popular proving ground for Australian racing car manufacturers. In its early years the series was dominated by Australian designs from Elfin Sports Cars, Bowin Cars, Mawer and Birrana. 1987 to 1997 was dominated by the British marque Van Diemen, winning eleven straight titles. The streak was broken in 1998 by Australian marque Spectrum, built by Borland Racing Developments. Van Diemen faded in the mid-2000s and Australian grids are now almost exclusively filled with Spectrums and French made Mygales.

Once mainly the domain of competitor self-run teams, the modern series is dominated by professional racing teams. Sonic Motor Racing Services and Synergy Motorsport both field multi-car teams, while some of those and Spectrum works team Borland Racing Developments also compete in the Victorian Formula Ford championship.

Australian Formula Ford Series[edit]

In August 2013 the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport announced that the Australian Formula Ford Championship would be discontinued at the end of 2013.[5] The Formula Ford Association subsequently announced that approval had been obtained from CAMS to organize a national series for 2014.[6] It is being contested over six rounds and is officially known as the Australian Formula Ford Series.[7] “Kent” powered cars have been re-introduced for the 2014 series.[8]

State Championships[edit]

Formula Ford has also proved to be a very popular category for state level series and championships, including competitions held in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. In the majority these championships continue to utilise the first-generation Ford Kent engine. State level series have served as a stepping stone for kart racers looking for a cheap entry level into circuit racing before moving into the national series. State series often provided addition cars to the national series.

Series winners and Australian Champions[edit]

National Series[edit]

The Reynard FF83 with which Tomas Mezera won the 1985 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series
Season Series Name Series Winner[9] Car
1970 Formula Ford National Series Richard Knightly Elfin 600 FF
1971 Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Larry Perkins Elfin 600 FF
1972 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Bob Skelton Bowin P4A
1973 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series John Leffler Bowin P6F
1974 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Terry Perkins Elfin 620B
1975 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Paul Bernasconi Mawer
1976 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Richard Carter Birrana F73
1977 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series John Smith Bowin P4A
1978 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series John Wright Bowin P4A
1979 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Russell Norden Mawer
1980 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Stephen Brook Lola T440
1981 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Phillip Revell Lola T440
1982 TAA Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Jeff Summers Elfin 620B
1983 Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Bruce Connolly Galloway
1984 Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Ron Barnacle Royale RP31
1985 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Tomas Mezera Reynard FF83 [10]
1986 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Warwick Rooklyn Elwyn 003
1987 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Peter Verheyen Van Diemen RF86
1988 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series David Roberts Van Diemen RF87
1989 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Mark Larkham Van Diemen RF89
1990 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Russell Ingall Van Diemen RF90
1991 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Troy Dunstan Van Diemen RF91
1992 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series Cameron McConville Van Diemen RF92

Australian Formula Ford Championship[edit]

Garry Jacobson (Mygale SJ08a) at the opening round of the 2011 Championship
Season Champion[9] Car
1993 Craig Lowndes Van Diemen RF93
1994 Steven Richards Van Diemen RF94
1995 Jason Bright Van Diemen RF95
1996 David Besnard Van Diemen RF96
1997 Garth Tander Van Diemen RF95
1998 Adam Macrow Spectrum 06
1999 Greg Ritter Mygale SJ98
2000 Luke Youlden Mygale SJ2000
2001 Will Davison Van Diemen RF01
2002 Jamie Whincup Van Diemen RF01
2003 Neil McFadyen Stealth Van Diemen RF94
2004 David Reynolds Van Diemen RF04
2005 Daniel Elliott Van Diemen RF05
2006 John Martin Spectrum 011
2007 Tim Blanchard Mygale SJ07A
2008 Paul Laskazeski Spectrum 011b
2009 Nick Percat Mygale SJ07A
2010 Chaz Mostert Spectrum 012
2011 Cameron Waters Mygale SJ10A
2012 Jack Le Brocq Mygale SJ12A
2013 Anton de Pasquale Mygale SJ13A

Australian Formula Ford Series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ History Retrieved from www.formulaford.com.au on 25 September 2009
  2. ^ CAMS Manual of Motor Sport > About CAMS > Australian Titles Retrieved from www.camsmanual.com.au on 25 September 2009
  3. ^ What is Formula Ford Retrieved from www.formulaford.com.au on 25 September 2009
  4. ^ A quick Overview of Kent Formula Ford Retrieved from www.formulaford1600.com.au on 25 September 2009
  5. ^ National Formula Ford Championship to be axed, Tuesday 27 August 2013, www.speedcafe.com Retrieved on 11 October 2013
  6. ^ 2014 Formula Ford National Series is all go, 8 November 2013, formulaford.org.au Retrieved on 27 November 2013
  7. ^ 2014 Australian Formula Ford Series Sporting Regulations, formulaford.org.au Retrieved on 28 April 2014
  8. ^ Formula Future Locked, The Racing Magazine, Number 11, Australian Motor Racing Pty Ltd, page 6
  9. ^ a b Records & Stats Retrieved from www.formulaford.com.au on 26 September 2009
  10. ^ Reynard Owners Listings Retrieved on 24 August 2011

External links[edit]