BRENTWOOD, UK – Formula Ford’s new look EcoBoost 200 chassis is generating a massive buzz among up and coming racing drivers in the UK.
A sampler session in the car at Silverstone’s Stow Circuit booked out within days of being promoted. All 18 test slots for the 15 December event have names pencilled against them, with championship organisers starting to compile a list of reserves.
“We have been greatly encouraged by the amount of interest shown in the new Formula Ford for 2013,” said Sam Roach, of championship promoter RacingLine, “Particularly since we fixed the date for the Silverstone Sampler Day, which will offer drivers the first opportunity to try the car with its front and rear aerodynamic wings and power-boosted 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine.
“There are drivers from previous seasons keen to try the new car, drivers fresh from karting and other junior motorsport series and, most encouragingly, new teams looking at contesting Formula Ford.”
The MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain is set to transform the junior motorsport scene in Britain next season, becoming the fastest junior single-seaters in the UK.
And Formula Ford next year returns to Britain’s premier motorsport package to race alongside the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The three-year deal will see Formula Ford EcoBoost 200 become the sole regular single-seater support championship for the BTCC, with three races at each of the 10 TOCA-organised events, with the benefit of live TV coverage.
Alan Gow, BTCC series director, said: “I am delighted to have Formula Ford back supporting the BTCC. For many seasons Formula Ford provided some of the best support-event racing we have ever seen and I have no doubt that with the introduction of the new Formula Ford EcoBoost 200 car we will see more of those gloriously competitive races. It is clear that the UK’s motorsport ladder needs a clear step between karting and Formula 3, and the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain looks set to firmly establish itself in that position. This is a positive step for the championship and for TOCA.”
Formula Ford enjoys the distinction of MSA championship status, and the governing body of British motorsport is to continue to show its support in 2013 with its specially developed driver training programme for the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.
Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA added: “As an MSA-titled championship we welcome Formula Ford’s return to the premier British Touring Car Championship package for 2013. Formula Ford offers the perfect recipe for close, exciting racing because the diverse chassis perform differently at each venue, creating spectacular entertainment and enabling different drivers and manufacturers to reach the podium.
“The open chassis regulation is of course the very thing which differentiates Formula Ford from other single-seater formulae and provides designers and engineers with great flexibility to be creative, an opportunity found elsewhere only within F3 and F1.”
Inspired partly by the success of Formula Ford 2000 in the 1980s, the technical revisions to the new Formula Ford engine and chassis incorporate feedback from drivers, teams and manufacturers. The 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost power unit has been tuned to develop in excess of 200PS and is mated to a Formula 3 specification six-speed sequential gearbox, with front and rear aerodynamic wings added to the chassis to provide young drivers with the most technically advanced junior single-seater racing car in the world, and an unrivalled learning experience.
“Drivers and teams have made it very clear that today’s marketplace requires a car with a high-output engine, slick tyres and aero wings,” said Ford Racing motorsport manager Mike Norton. “Our teams are an integral part of the championship and we work together to make our championship a success, which is in part why Formula Ford is approaching its 47th consecutive year in the UK. With the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost engine we can offer in excess of 200PS and we have been developing the wings with Ford Design over the summer months. Drivers want wings because they have the desire to learn from day one of their careers the effects of aerodynamics, and combining these with a high output EcoBoost turbocharged engine, Formula Ford EcoBoost 200 ticks all their boxes.”
Seat time remains a cornerstone of the Formula Ford ethos. A 30-race championship is believed to offer the highest number of races of any junior single-seater formula, giving all drivers the maximum competitive time behind the wheel, and exceptional value for money.
As has been the case since Formula Ford’s inception, unlimited testing days will still be permitted. However, championship regulations will for the first time impose some limits upon which circuits can be used for testing, and when, to equalise the opportunities for all drivers.
Gerard Quinn, senior manager for Ford Racing in Europe, said: “This is the most exciting development in the 47-year history of Formula Ford. We are enormously pleased that the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain is to rejoin the TOCA package. We believe that the new and aerodynamically enhanced Formula Ford EcoBoost 200 cars will make a spectacular addition to the BTCC’s programme of races and that the exposure to be gained by being with the UK’s top-tier series will be of major benefit to competitors and their teams.”