John Van Leeuwen Stands Down as Chairman
John van Leeuwen has resigned as the Chairman of the Formula Ford Association. John’s decision to step down comes after 33 years of loyal service to the FFA. He has acted as either the West Australian Delegate, West Australian Alternate Delegate, or Chairman of the FFA since 1984, a year after he became involved for the first time as a competitor. John has been the Chairman of the FFA for more than 10 years, and steered the Association through the recent successful restructure of the Australian Formula Ford Series. He leaves at a time when state racing is also booming in places like Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia, and historic competition is at an all-time high. John is a life member of the FFA. STATEMENT FROM JOHN VAN LEEUWEN The reality is that I’m disappointed that I feel the need to step down as Chairman of the Formula Ford Association. I care greatly about Formula Ford at every level, which is why I’ve dedicated 33 years of my life to the category. On one hand, I feel that I’ve left the category in very good shape. The 2017 season is shaping up as a bumper one for the Australian Formula Ford Series, with a fantastic grid at Sandown last weekend for Round 1. State racing is very healthy, and historic racing is booming and has become a greater and greater focus for the FFA. On the other hand – and this explains my decision to stand down – there is a small group of historic competitors that are of the belief that the FFA, under my leadership, has not looked after them. These accusations may be unfounded, particularly based on how healthy historic Formula Ford competition in this country is right now, but they are also relentless, personal, and tiring. They detract from the business of making Formula Ford, at all levels, the best category it can be. It is a counter productive movement from a small group of competitors. Add to that the barrage of social media attacks coming from this very small group of competitors, it has taken its toll. Hence my making the tough decision to stand down. The FFA is in decent financial shape, something we’ve worked very hard on over the last few years. That solid financial position allows it to run the Australian Formula Ford Series, and my hope is that the Association continues to bear in mind the importance of its finances. With careful stewardship there is no reason that both the category and Association can’t continue to flourish. I’d like to thank all of the committee members I’ve worked with, the FFA members, and Phil Marrinon for his incredibly hard work as our national series administrator. STATEMENT FROM PHIL MARRINON – AUSTRALIAN FORMULA FORD CATEGORY ADMINISTRATOR John has been an asset to Formula Ford racing in this country for over 30 years. In particular, he has been instrumental in rebuilding Formula Ford over the past five years, with countless hours spent for the betterment of the category more than most would realise. The ongoing viability of Formula Ford is well and truly a result of the efforts of John and we commend him for his work and dedication to Formula Ford. John has always put Formula Ford first and has not been swayed to pressure to make unnecessary changes. He has also always shown a professionalism that can only admired. The FFA is losing not only a great asset but also a very nice bloke. From the FFA, and myself personally, I wish John all the very best for the future and again thank him for his service and friendship.