Preparations for the 2014 Australian Formula Ford Series is gearing up for the first round in late April.
With management of the national series returning to the Formula Ford Association after an eight year hiatus and a philosophy of cost containment for competitors driving decision making, competitor interest has been high with a forecasted increase in participation on previous years.
“If competitor enquiries are an indication to participation then we should have a strong grid of cars on track in 2014. This is testament to the change in direction for the series that will see dramatic cost reductions in the areas of entry fees, travel and associated costs”, said Formula Ford Association chairman John Van Leeuwen.
The 2014 series sees a shift away from V8 Supercar events to a Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals based series as well as the reintroduction of the Formula Ford 1600 class of cars, creating a two tier racing structure that provides more racing options to competitors as well as a development path for juniors.
The 2014 grid will comprise of a mixture of drivers in professional teams as well as family run teams providing racing options that suit individual’s requirements and budgets.
The professional teams in Formula Ford have been instrumental in the development of aspiring professional racing drivers in recent years and they once again are gearing up for a big year of racing.
“Our focus remains on developing young drivers in what has been proven as Australia’s most successful development category for young drivers. We have had strong interest in the series and are on schedule to have a minimum of three cars competing to try and match our championship winning season in 2013”, principal at Sonic Motor Racing Services Michael Ritter said. Sonic will make an announcement on its driver line up in the coming weeks.
Sydney based team and former championship winners Synergy Motorsport are also scheduled to have up to four cars on the grid with more potential drivers coming from fellow Sydney team Anglo Motorsport in both the Formula Ford and Formula Ford 1600 classes.
“The Formula Ford Association has done a great job in making sure that a national series for Formula Ford can continue after CAMS pulled the pin on the previous championship. From our perspective it is business as usual. Same cars, same racing, same level of competition, different venues, lower costs. We are looking forward to this new era for Formula Ford and have no doubts it will be a success”, said Synergy Motorsport owner Justin Cotter.
Former Formula Ford star driver and team owner of Queensland based team BF Racing, Brett Francis, is set to field up to two cars with the possibility of his old Formula Ford 1600 car hitting the track.
“Now more than ever we can give our drivers greater choice as to what cars they can race thanks to the reintroduction of the Formula Ford 1600 class of cars to the national series”, said Brett Francis.
Melbourne based teams Evans Motorsport, Borland Racing Developments and Ellery Motorsport Enterprises are all close to signing drivers to help bolster the grid numbers with plans to be announced in due course.
“With support from WA and SA based teams and drivers as well as the many family teams that are being attracted due to the reduced costs of competing thrown in to the mix, we are hopeful of having in excess of 20 cars consistently participating. A reasonable portion of competitors will include local round runners that may not necessarily compete in all rounds but join in the fun when close to home”, said John Van Leeuwen.
The 2014 Australian Formula Ford Series will kick off on 25 April at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia.
2014 Australian Formula Ford Series Calendar
Round 1 - 25-27 April - Mallala Motorsport Park
Round 2 - 13-15 June - Winton Motor Raceway
Round 3 - 8-10 August - Queensland Raceway
Round 4 - 17-19 October - Wakefield Park Motor Raceway
Round 5 – 31 October - 2 November - Sydney Motorsport Park
Round 6 - 29-30 November - Phillip Island
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