A total of 36 Historic Formula Fords will be racing this weekend at Sandown Raceway, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the category in Australia.
The very first Formula Ford race in Australia was held at Sandown Raceway on November 9th, 1969. In those days, the event was known as "The Aztec Racing Formula Ford Challenge", sponsored by Australian Formula Ford manufacturer Aztec Racing.
A range of passionate Formula Ford supporters have put in a huge amount of effort to pay homage to the first race at Sandown 50 years ago. A collaboration involving the Historic Formula Ford representatives within the Formula Ford Association, the VHRR (Victorian Historic Racing Register) and Allan Ould, founder of Aztec Racing, have formally revived the Aztec Racing Formula Ford Challenge. A beautiful trophy known as the "Aztec Cup" will be awarded to the winner of the Feature Race on Sunday afternoon. Allan Ould will also be at Sandown to award the replica trophy to the winner.
This weekend's meeting at Sandown will also be celebrated as the "Driver to Europe Memorial Round". The Driver to Europe Series ran in Australia from 1971 to 1992, providing many young Australian talents with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to progress their careers in Europe.
Western Australian based Historic Formula Ford regulars John Van Leeuwen and Andrew Goldie will be embarking on a long journey across the Nallurbor to participate in the event and represent their home state during the 50th-anniversary celebratory weekend. Bo Jensen, Pat Mullins, Neil Richardson and Glen Woodforde will be disembarking from South Australia, while Nick Mansell, Lyndon Arnel and Nigel Hook are joining the field from New South Wales.
Wayne Colville will once again cross the Tasman to race his recently acquired Van Diemen RF88. He will be the only New Zealander on track this weekend.
Victorians Matthew Scott and Ben Rawson will make their first appearance in the category aboard the ex Larry Perkins Elfin 600 and a Van Diemen RF81, respectively. Two more Elfin 600s will be competing this weekend, with Phil Oaks piloting the ex John Bowe Formula Ford and Nick Bennett steering the Bennett family's Elfin FF.
Two former National Formula Ford Champions will be back behind the wheel. 1983 Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series champion Bruce Connolly will be back aboard an Ecurie Australie Reynard, while 1988 Motorcraft Driver to Europe Series champion David Roberts will be steering his Ellery Motorsport-prepared Swift FB89.
To add to the celebrations, the Formula Ford Association is acknowledging the 50th anniversary with an official function held at Sandown on Saturday night, October 26th.
The event will kick off this Friday with three practice sessions, followed by qualifying and race one on Saturday and race two and the Aztec Feature Race on Sunday.
Friday, October 25th
Practice 1 - 10:40am
Practice 2 - 1:20pm
Practice 3 - 4:10pm
Saturday, October 26th
Qualifying - 11:35am
Race 1 - 3:50pm
Sunday, October 27th
Race 2 - 11:50am
Race 3 (Aztec Feature Race) - 3:35pm
Andrew Barron - 1973 Van Diemen RF73
Phil Oaks - 1970 Elfin 600
Mark Brunning - 1975 Elfin 620B
Matthew Scott - 1970 Elfin 600
Nick Bennett - 1971 Elfin 600
Nick Mansell - 1976 Van Diemen RF76
Lyndon Arnel - 1977 Lola T440
Cole Spender - 1971 Spender Lynx
Warwick Foletta - 1975 Van Diemen RF75
Kevin Kosa - 1973 Lola 340/342
Paul Faulkner - 1977 Crossle 32F
Glen Woodforde - 1983 Reynard FF83
Phil Marrinon - 1982 Galloway HG5
John Van Leeuwen - 1980 Van Diemen RF80
Ian Edgar - 1983 Lola T642a
Bruce Connolly - 1984 Reynard FF84
Ben Rawson - 1982 Van Diemen RF82
Eric Bellamy - 1980 Wren 003
Ewan Geals - 1983 Lola T644
Johnny Greig - 1988 Van Diemen RF88
Pat Mullins - 1986 Van Diemen RF86
Wayne Colville - 1988 Van Diemen RF88
Nigel Hook - 1985 Ray FF85
John Blanchard - 1988 Van Diemen RF88
Andrew McInnes - 1988 Van Diemen RF88
Jonathan Miles - 1989 Van Diemen RF89
Anthony Mann - 1986 Van Diemen RF86
Bo Jensen - 1989 Van Diemen RF89
Simon Fallon - 1986 Van Diemen RF86
Neil Richardson - 1989 Van Diemen RF89
Jeremy Mantello - 1986 Van Diemen RF86
Andy Nethercote - 1988 Reynard FF88
David Roberts - 1989 Swift FB89
Will Faulkner - 1986 Van Diemen RF86
The new "Aztec Cup" trophy. More details about this trophy are available at this link.