British Formula Ford Championship

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Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain
Formula Ford GB Logo 2012.jpg
Category Single seaters
(Formula Ford)
Country  United Kingdom
Inaugural season 1976
Drivers 27 (2013)
Teams 8 (2013)
Constructors Mygale, Sinter
Engine suppliers Ford EcoBoost
Tyre suppliers Dunlop Tyres
Drivers' champion United Kingdom Dan Cammish
Teams' champion United Kingdom JTR
Constructors' champion France Mygale
Official website britishformulaford.co.uk
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The British Formula Ford Championship is an entry level single seater motor sport category, which gives many racing drivers their first step into car racing after karting. Currently known as the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, it attracts drivers from across the world who move to the United Kingdom to compete. The championship has been run to various regulations over the years, often based on the engines provided for the championship by Ford Motor Company. These engine based regulations/specifications include the Ford Kent engine, Ford Zetec engine, Ford Duratec engine and most recently, the Ford EcoBoost engine. Several former drivers have become successful in Formula One, including Eddie Irvine and Anthony Davidson, whilst Formula Ford champions Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button also went on to win the Formula One Drivers' Championship.

History[edit]

Formula Ford Duratec car from Mygale, Ray and Van Diemen

Although the first British Formula Ford Championship was not held until 1976, Formula Ford's roots are firmly situated in the British racing scene. The first Formula Ford race was held at Brands Hatch in 1967 and was the precursor to the birth of the domestic championship. The first British Formula Ford Championship, held in 1976, was the original Formula Ford Championship which gave birth to many others over the years, including successful championships in Australia and New Zealand.[1]

The championship started out with the 1600cc Ford Kent engine and continued to use it until Ford introduced its newer, more powerful 1800cc Ford Zetec engine. Although this engine change didn't affect the other technical regulations, which still called for steel space frames which were much more economical to build and run compared to their carbon fiber counterparts, the increased engine power accelerated chassis development, causing many of the smaller manufacturers stopped producing cars, resulting in fewer constructors represented in the championship.[2] The Zetec regulations lasted only 12 years up until the Ford Duratec engine was introduced in 2006, providing better handling and power due to its lighter weight even though the specification had returned to 1600cc engines.[1]

The biggest changes to the championship came in 2012 when the latest Ford EcoBoost engine and specification was adopted as the main championship. The EcoBoost car marks a substantial change in the direction of Formula Ford racing as it introduces both smaller capacity Turbocharged petrol engines and for the first time a sequential gearbox.[2]

The car[edit]

2012 Formula Ford EcoBoost Car

The championship currently allows two specification of Formula Ford car to race: the current generation EcoBoost car and the previous generation Duratec car. The championship is multi-chassis, featuring manufacturers such as Van Diemen and Mygale. To help keep costs low, cars are made from steel, as opposed to the more exotic carbon fibre commonly found in higher categories of racing. The Duratec cars were introduced in 2006, when all the cars in the series were required to use the 1600cc Naturally aspirated Ford Duratec engine which replaced the Ford Kent engine that had been used since the championships inception. Beginning in 2012, the EcoBoost class was introduced to run as the premier class alongside a secondary class for the aging Duratec cars. The EcoBoost class utilises Ford's latest EcoBoost engine which provides greater power thanks to the introduction of a Turbo Charger. The chassis however remains a steel space frame rather than the carbon fibre Monocoque found in other formulae.[3]

The Championship[edit]

From 2013, the championship is composed of 30 rounds held at ten events in support of the British Touring Car Championship.[4] Both EcoBoost and Duratec classes compete in the same races as each other. Drivers who have competed in less than 4 junior formula races in the past are eligible to compete for the Rookie Cup, whilst both Teams and Constructors have separate championships for themselves. The Nations Cup is awarded to the highest placed registered driver from each country excluding UK.[3]

Weekend Format[edit]

A 20 minute qualifying session is used to decide the grid for the all the weekends races. The drivers fastest lap decides the grid for race one, their second fastest time decides the grid for race two and their third fastest time, the grid for race three. All three races will be run over 15 miles.[3]

Points system[edit]

Current points system[edit]

Points are awarded to all finishing drivers in each race as well as the driver setting the fastest lap using the following system:

Main Class, Teams Cup & Nations Cup points systems.[5]
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th   11th   12th   13th   14th   15th   Others  Fastest Lap
30 27 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 1
Scholarship Class points system.[5]
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   Others  Fastest Lap
20 15 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 2
Constructors Cup points system.[5]
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th 
8 7 6 5 4 3

Champions[edit]

1981 champion Ayrton Senna in his Van Diemen built car
Season Champion Constructor Teams' Champion Secondary Class Nations Cup Winter Series Champion
1976 Republic of Ireland David Kennedy Van Diemen Not Held Not Held Not Held Not Held
1977 South Africa Trevor van Rooyen Royale
1978 United Kingdom Kenneth Acheson Royale
1979 United Kingdom David Sears Royale
1980 Republic of Ireland Tommy Byrne Van Diemen
1981 Brazil Ayrton Senna Van Diemen
1982 Brazil Mauricio Gugelmin Van Diemen
1983 United Kingdom Andrew Gilbert-Scott Van Diemen
1984 United Kingdom Dave Coyne Van Diemen
1985 Belgium Bertrand Gachot Van Diemen
1986 United Kingdom Jason Eliott Van Diemen
1987 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Van Diemen
1988 Republic of Ireland Derek Higgins Van Diemen
1989 Republic of Ireland Bernard Dolan Reynard
1990 Netherlands Michael Vergers Van Diemen
1991 Belgium Marc Goossens Van Diemen
1992 United Kingdom Jamie Spence Swift Winter Series Champion
1993 Australia Russell Ingall Van Diemen United Kingdom Martin Byford
1994 Denmark Jason Watt Vector India Narain Karthikeyan
1995 Belgium Bas Leinders Swift Brazil Vitor Meira
1996 Denmark Kristian Kolby Van Diemen Brazil Ricardo Sperafico
1997 Netherlands Jacky van der Ende Van Diemen United Kingdom Mark Taylor
1998 United Kingdom Jenson Button Mygale Netherlands Ricardo van der Ende
1999 Denmark Nicolas Kiesa Mygale United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
2000 Sweden Robert Dahlgren Van Diemen United Kingdom Adam Carroll
2001 Australia James Courtney Van Diemen United Kingdom Joey Foster
2002 United Kingdom Westley Barber Van Diemen Sweden Alx Danielsson
2003 United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith Van Diemen Sweden Sebastian Hohenthal
2004 Finland Valle Mäkelä Van Diemen United Kingdom Robert Sunderland
2005 Republic of Ireland Charlie Donnelly Mygale United Kingdom Andrew Bentley
2006 United Kingdom Nathan Freke Mygale United Kingdom David Mayes
Season Champion Constructor Teams' Champion Scholarship Class Nations Cup Winter Series Champion
2007 United Kingdom Callum MacLeod Mygale Not Held United Kingdom Matt Dobson Not Held Not Held
2008 United Kingdom Wayne Boyd Mygale United Kingdom Chrissy Palmer
2009 United Kingdom James Cole Mygale United Kingdom Daniel Cammish
2010 Australia Scott Pye Mygale United Kingdom Jamun Racing United Kingdom Tristan Mingay  Australia
2011 United Kingdom Scott Malvern Mygale United Kingdom Jamun Racing United Kingdom Cavan Corcoran  Australia
Season Champion Constructor Teams' Champion Duratec Champion Nations Cup Winter Series Champion
2012 Finland Antti Buri Mygale United Kingdom JTR United Kingdom Matt Rao  Finland Not Held
Season Champion Constructor Teams' Champion Scholarship Class Nations Cup Winter Series Champion
2013 United Kingdom Dan Cammish Mygale United Kingdom JTR United Kingdom Harrison Scott  Argentina Not Held

Other UK Championships[edit]

Such was the popularity of the formula in the UK over its history; there is an abundance of second hand chassis from previous generations of the championship. This has led to the formation of several other national and club level championships within the UK catering for legacy chassis, engines and cars.

  • BRSCC Formula Ford Duratec Championship - Created at the end of 2012, the proposed championship will give a home to the previous generation Duratec class Formula Fords after the British Championship switched solely to the new EcoBoost class.[6]
  • Formula Ford 1600 Championships - Operated by the BRSCC, this championship caters for cars built to the Kent specification, utilising the Ford Kent engine. Consisting of two regional and one national championship, it give opportunities for a range of drivers to showcase their talents. A two class structure based around the construction year of the chassis allows a range of different chassis to remain competitive.[7]
  • Several Club level championships are also arranged. Of note include the Monoposto Racing Club Championship[1], the 750 Motor Club Formula 4 championship [2], the Castle Combe Formula Free championship [3] and the Classic Formula Ford Championship[4].

Formula Ford Festival[edit]

Main article: Formula Ford Festival

The Formula Ford Festival is an annual meeting of Ford powered single seat racing cars which is held at the end of the British racing season, at the Brands Hatch motor racing circuit in the county of Kent, in Southern England. The events are held over the course of a weekend and although various classes of past and present Formula Fords are present, the high point for many is the championship in which young but skilled drivers from Ford competitions in Europe and beyond race against one another. Often it is a rare chance to compare the skills of drivers who take part in different Ford competitions across the world. The event is administered by the British Racing and Sports Car Club.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The History of Formula Ford Racing". [britishformulaford.com]. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "History". [formulafordzetec.co.uk]. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "2012 Formula Ford GB Regulations". British Formula Ford Championship (BRSCC). Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Formula Ford returns in 2013". British Touring Car Championship (TOCA). 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "2013 Formula Ford Championship Sporting Regulations". British Formula Ford Championship. Max Communications. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "BRSCC ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR DURATEC FORMULA FORD". BRSCC (BRSCC). 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "AVON TYRES FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIPS". BRSCC (BRSCC). Retrieved 31 October 2012. 

External links[edit]