After a successful year for Australian Formula Ford in 2015, the country’s most prestigious development category continues to build momentum heading into the 2016 season.
Our six round National series will showcase Australia's most talented young drivers. This year we expect a grid count of around 20 cars for round 1, with around 14 drivers already raring to go for the 6 round National Series. We will open up applications shortly for National entrants to lock in race numbers.
Once again this year our Series is endorsed by Anderson Promotions and the Mazda Road To Indy. We are the only Australian racing series with this pathway in place and it gives our quality drivers recognition when heading to America on the Road To Indy. For many Australian drivers, the United States has become the most reliable place to be when looking to land a career as a professional race car driver.
Our 2015 Champion, Cameron Hill, tested late last year at the Circuit of the Americas in a current spec USF2000 car. At the moment Cam and his family are relentlessly working on a seat in the first step of the Road to Indy ladder. We wish Cameron all the best as he is clearly an incredibly talented driver, with a limited budget being his only setback. Get behind him members!!!
In 2015 we held a one off event for FF1600 at the Bathurst 12 hour. Our 2 race winners - Scott Andrews and Jake Parsons - will both be furthering their careers with Scott signed up to drive a Lamborghini at the Bathurst 12 hour event this year, and Jake locked in with a prime seat at Team Juncos in Pro Mazda (Road To Indy).
We wish our best to 2011 National Formula Ford race winner Matthew Brabham who will be representing our country (and our category) as he has landed his first IndyCar seat for the 100th running of the Indy 500. Matthew is a prime example of the success the Road To Indy ladder can bring, winning 2 consecutive Championships on the ladder, the Mazda scholarship ultimately funding him through to the Indy Lights level. It is possible that he can qualify for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 alongside 2 other Australian Formula Ford graduates - Will Power and James Davison.
2015 was a really strong year for Formula Ford graduates in V8 Supercar land. Almost every single award, championship and race win was achieved by a driver who started their circuit racing life driving a Formula Ford. Winterbottom, Waters, Lowndes, Mostert etc...
On the technical front, the committee has been in fierce discussion over the last 6 months on making Australian Formula Ford the most cost effective form of open wheel racing in the country. A new Yokohama control tyre has been announced which will on average last 30-35% longer with no reported "new tyre time gain". Our Yokohamas not only last longer but they are far cheaper, meaning a fresh set of boots will be $968.00 including GST.
Our Yokohama deal not only allows our competitors to run on their tyres longer, but we have improved safety with the tread pattern dispersing water more efficiently than the previous Avon ACB10. All in all this means that the cars will be far less prone to wild moments when hitting standing water at high speed.
A controlled set of "Approved" ratios will be introduced shortly to further reduce costs in clutch wear and gear ratio consumption. This is will not involve Kent competitors, the Duratec ratios wearing a tad faster with the slightly higher torque/horsepower.”
Formula Ford entry fees at a National level will also be reduced this year. There is no better time than now to get that Formula Ford back out on the track and blow off the cobwebs.
In the historic scene, things are absolutely booming. With over 50 cars entered for the Phillip Island Classic, it seems a number of big names are returning to the fold to compete in what is definitely a very social trackside environment. Not only have the historic FF1600 group made their own magazine which goes out to all members, they have shirts too: http://classicff1600.shirtstore.net.au/shop
We look forward to seeing you trackside in 2016, we will endeavour to put out more of these updates to our members during the season. Have you renewed your FFA membership yet?