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1997 Tander AN1 Images



Formula Ford began in England in 1967 as a cost-effective and reliable training formula for the pupils at the Brands Hatch-based Motor Racing Stables. But it very quickly outgrew these origins to become one of the best-known and most instantly recognised racing categories worldwide.





The category made its Australian debut in 1969 at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway and has grown and developed since with support and encouragement from Ford Australia.






The majority of Formula One stars, both past and present, began their top-level careers in Formula Ford. World Champions, including Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Mikka Hakkinen, first came to attention during their junior years in Formula Ford.

Australia's current Formula One star, Daniel Ricciardo, began his top-level career in Australian Formula Ford.


In Australia

Many past and present Australian champions, including Russell Ingall, Marcos Ambrose, Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup, Steven Richards, Craig Lowndes, Jason Bright and Rick Kelly, all honed their racing skills in Formula Ford and some have achieved international success.


Australian F1 driver Mark Webber started his career in Australian Formula Ford in the 1990s and progressed on to become one of Australia's most recongnised drivers in the world. Australia's current Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo started his career Formula Ford, with appearances at both State and National-level Formula Ford in 2005.





The links to the UK have been maintained, with engine and chassis regulations being brought into line with those published by the RAC. Like the UK, Australia uses both the original Kent 1600cc engine, and the newer Duratec 1600cc engine. Each engine competes in separate categories throughout contemporary racing in Australia in both our State and National Championships.





The most successful chassis in Australian competition has been the UK-built Van Diemen, winning every Australian Championship between 1987 and 1997. This record was broken in 1998, when the Championship was won by Adam Macrow in the Australian-designed and built, Spectrum 06, the first victory for an Australian chassis since 1986.


Since the introduction of the Duratec engine in 2006, Australian Championship spoils have been shared between the Spectrum and Mygale chassis.





There are two levels of current competition in modern Formula Ford in Australia - state and national.


Both National and State Championships are open to both Kent and Duratec competitors.


The Association coordinates Formula Ford events in all States of the country. It attracts competitors from 14 to well above 60, whether they are future Formula 1 stars, executives escaping from the office or enthusiasts "trying their hand at the wheel". The aim is to allow both novice and experienced drivers to progress and compete at Australia's most prestigious sporting events. There are approximately 250 regular competitors throughout the country.





There is an ever-growing band of enthusiasts regularly competing in Historic Cars, particularly since the category extension to include cars constructed prior to 1990.


All-Historic race meetings are held throughout the year and competitors with Historic cars are also given the opportunity to contest in State Championship meetings, often in an exclusive category, with awards on offer at the end of the year.





There are several options open to potential Formula Ford competitors. The one chosen will probably depend on the level of technical skill of the competitor, budget and the expected level of competition.


Most competitors in State based competition use second hand cars, whereas there is a greater demand for new cars in the National Championship.


New cars

Most of the cars currently raced in Australia are built in either Australia or France, being the locally built Spectrum and the French Mygale.


A new rolling chassis, including gearbox, will cost between $80,000 and $90,000, tax and freight paid. You will need to buy an engine, gear ratios and a trailer to transport the car.


Second-hand cars

The best time to buy a second hand car is at the end of the season (October to November), from competitors who are moving into another category of racing or updating their cars for the next year. 


Cars are advertised in the motorsport press and various websites. The Marketplace section of this website includes a list of websites with Formula Ford listings.

A second hand rolling chassis (without engine) varies considerably, from approx. $12,000 for an older model to around $60,000 for a recent car.





Kent Engines

Formula Ford Kent competitors often build their own engine from new or second hand components. The engine regulations are tightly controlled and your engine must comply. If you do all the work an engine will cost around $6,000.


Many competitors choose to buy or lease engines from experienced engine builders, most of whom provide technical support at major meetings. You can expect to pay approximately $10,000 to $16,000, with second hand engines available for around $7,000.


Duratec Engines

Duratec Engines are a controlled engine whereby a designated engine builder appointed by the Association. These sealed engines are the only engine able to be used in Duratec competition.


Second-hand engines are increasingly becoming available since the introduction of the engine configuration in 2006.


Designated Duratec engine builder:





The modern category in Australia competes on the Yokohama A048 racing tyre (except Historic competition), available through outlets in each State.  The tyres are manufactured in Japan and the member cost of a set is currently $1,016.00. A supply and fitting service is available at every State meeting.


For further information contact your local distributor:


  • VIC/TAS :Traction Tyres & More - Ph: (03) 9764 2811

  • NSW: Gordon Leven Motorsport Tyres - Ph: (02) 4735 8734

  • QLD:  Strathpine Tyres & More - Ph: (07) 3905 3238

  • NT: Darwin Tyrepower - Ph: (08) 8981 6911

  • SA: Kensington Park Tyrepower - Ph: (08) 8431 5856

  • WA: Wheelsworld Tyres & More - Ph: (08) 6260 0842


The ACB9, A29 tyre is the CAMS approved tyre for Historic Formula Ford available from AVON agents in Australia. 


For further information contact your local distributor:

  • NSW: Gordon Leven Motorsport Tyres - Ph: (02) 4735 8734

  • VIC/TAS :Stuckey - Ph: (03) 9386 5331

  • WA: Kostera Tyre Service - Ph: (08)  92931529

  • Qld: Albion Motorsport - Ph: (07) 3205 7500

  • SA: North Terrace Tyres - Ph: (08)  8362 4417




The last few years have seen a major change in the presentation of Formula Ford, highlighted by the development of teams both as a way of sharing costs and the increased public awareness of individual competitors. These teams provide an opportunity for competitors to race at the level they choose without the need to make a heavy investment in capital equipment such as cars, engines and support equipment.


Various teams offer different arrangements in response to competitors' requirements. Some provide preparation, transportation and on-track services for competitors with their own cars; others offer lease arrangements with and without support services, either for one race meeting or for a full season.


Costs vary, depending on the customer's needs. Lease deals are available for one meeting, some include consumables (tyres, fuels, brake pads, etc) and some require additional payments to cover these costs. Some arrangements include testing; some require additional payments to cover this service.


Teams offering preparation services also offer assistance with testing, technical support and expert advice to their customers.


Victorian-based teams:


NSW-based teams:


Queensland-based teams:


WA-based teams:


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