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Update - New Formula Ford


While initial plans to introduce a new-look, upgraded Formula Ford chassis design in 2024 aren’t going to be realised, work continues to evolve Australia’s most long-standing and successful junior development motorsport category.


A working group initially convened by Motorsport Australia and the Australian Formula Ford Association some three years ago has considered a number of possibilities as it looks to create a similar concept, with upgraded safety features such as a halo and side intrusion changes, while at the same time retaining the economic costs that have allowed young drivers to progress in motorsport.


That work continues, although the processes of finalising a specification meeting all the targets has proven to be a time-consuming one. Ultimately, it is anticipated that it will be 2027 before a fully-developed new Formula Ford category will hit the track.


Motorsport Australia is currently working to complete specifications for a new car, targeting the side and front crash safety gains, and use of a halo, while the engine and gearbox specification is yet to be finalised.


In terms of the mechanicals, Formula Ford Australia is proposing use of a five-speed sequential gearbox – retaining 'stick-shift' rather than steering wheel ‘paddles’ – as it would significantly reduce gearbox costs associated with the current cars. Engine options are still under discussion.


Given the state of play and the complexities of getting the best outcome ‘package', it is now likely the introduction of the new car will be likely for the start of the 2027 season, allowing for significant testing and development work in the coming years.


A significant percentage of Australia’s current Supercars and internationally successful drivers cut their teeth in Formula Ford at the start of their career, including Formula Ford championship and series winners Anton de Pasquale, Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert, Jack Le Brocq, Thomas Randle, Will Davison, David Reynolds, Nick Percat and Cameron Hill, joining earlier Formula Ford champions Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander, Jason Bright and Steven Richards. Hunter McElrea, the Aussie-based kiwi who has just completed the Indy NXT series with Andretti Autosport, is also a member of the Australian Formula Ford series winners club.


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the FFA Administrator on 0422 840 300 or admin@formulaford.org.au



Quotes

Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations, Michael Smith

“Motorsport Australia is committed to working closely with Formula Ford Australia, as well as with teams and manufacturers ahead of the roll out of this new generation car. It’s important we get this right and provide a platform that will allow the category the best opportunity to thrive in a changing motorsport landscape,” Smith said.


“We’re excited about the future of Formula Ford and its place as a pathway for junior development for the next generation of motorsport competitors.”


Formula Ford Australia Administrator Phil Marrinon:

“Formula Ford remains the cost-effective way for young drivers to step up from karting into a circuit racing career – and its success in breeding champions is unquestioned. Motorsport is getting expensive, but Formula Ford remains as an attainable entry point into single-seater racing."


“Motorsport Australia and Formula Ford Australia both remain committed to encouraging ‘grass-roots’ pathways into motorsport and so maintaining that cost-efficiency as part of the chassis upgrade is crucial, along with the step up in driver safety that the new chassis should deliver."


“Given what we have seen in terms of the introduction of new cars in and around other categories of motorsport, 2027 is a realistic target for full introduction of a new Formula Ford."

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