The revamped Australian Formula Ford Series is set to kick off as part of this weekend’s Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals round at Mallala Motor Sport Park.
After a restructure of the series that focussed on cost reduction, the grid numbers are set to rise with 34 cars registered to compete in the series with 22 confirmed for the round 1 racing.
The series has become a two category affair thanks to the reintroduction of the Formula Ford 1600 cars that will race behind the premier Formula Ford category.
The bulk of the field will race in the Formula Ford category with some new blood entering the category alongside experienced runners.
The racing is set to be hotly contested with front running team and 2013 champions, Team Sonic, fielding three cars with experienced Formula Forders Nick Rowe, Hamish Hardeman and Christian Morina who are all set to be on the pace.
Hamish Hardeman comes into the national series as the reigning CAMS Victorian State Formula Ford champion and is set to be a front runner in his French built Mygale chassis.
Also set to be on the pace are dynamic duo of James Golding and Tom Grech in the Borland Racing Developments team under the expert guidance from long time Formula Ford designer and race engineer Michael Borland . Both drivers dipped their toes in the water in the 2013 championship and are ready to be on the pace after a number of years racing at state level.
Synergy Motorsport returns to the series with a mixture of new and experienced drivers in what is to be a learning year for series debutantes Jake Parsons and Caitlan Wood alongside the more experienced Trent Grubel.
Jordan Lloyd returns to the series after a number of years competing at national events. Racing for Queensland based BF Racing, Jordan finished the 2013 championship in 6th place, the highest of all returning Formula Ford runners making him a hot favourite to take out the series.
Privateer teams are well represented on the grid, a welcome return to the series and positive sign that the cost containments measures are working to build grid numbers.
Victorian driver, Nick Ellen, will be one to watch in his Australian built Spectrum chassis. Nick has experienced success at state level racing and now makes the move to a more serious push at national level.
Thomas Randle joins Jordan Lloyd as a series favourite after a competitive year of racing in 2013 that saw him on the podium at national level. Under the guidance of experienced Sports Sedan runner and father, Dean Randle, Thomas is a star of the future and one to watch in 2014.
The Formula Ford 1600 category will also be hotly contested with experienced drivers coming from state level racing. Series favourite, Albury based driver James Garley is set to lead the charge in a grid that will expand in rounds to come.
We are set for a great year of Formula Ford racing with a great crop of young talent and healthy grids for the refreshed national series.
The cars hit the track at Mallala for practice this Friday and will see three races completed over the weekend.