What Is The Difference Between Indy Cars And Formula 1 Formula Ford – The Most Successful Junior Formula Ever

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Formula Ford – The Most Successful Junior Formula Ever

The Formula Ford is a single-seater formula racing car that originated in 1967 using a 1600cc Cortina engine in the rear of a space frame, open wheel chassis and fiberglass bodywork. The first Formula Ford car ever was based on the Lotus Formula Junior. By then, more sophisticated formulas used alloy monocoques, which were expensive, fragile in the event of an accident, and often irreparable, at least economically.

The Formula Ford steel space frame was still light but very strong, relatively cheap to produce and could be cut, welded, even straightened in the case of a “shunt”. The heyday of Formula Ford was actually quite a long period, mainly all of the nineteen seventies and eighties, although it remained very healthy in the nineties and continues today. There were many, far too many that diluted Formula Ford itself for a while, Formula Ford 2000, Sport 2000, Formula First and Formula Forward, but none of them enjoyed success or attracted as much affection among racing spectators and drivers. as the original Formula Ford Six Hundred.

Thousands of drivers around the world cut their racing teeth with Formula Fords during the decades mentioned, when they used the Ford Kent engine, which is not so easy to get hold of today, but is as common as dirt. Early cars generally had front-mounted radiators and front suspension, but the popularity of the formula and relative ease of construction led to an increase in the number of racing car builders. Lotus was joined by Merlyn, Royale, Van Diemen, Reynard, Swift, Elden, Hawke, Lola, Ray, Titan, Tiga and others. Some just made Formula Fords, while others, like Lola, were involved in a wide range of formulas from World Cup sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 5000 and Formula 1.

Motorsport has always been highly competitive and so with all these manufacturers competing to sell their chassis, development was rapid and mirrored that of the higher formulas. As an example, look at nineteen eighty-three Formula 1 cars like the John Player Special Lotus where the driver appears to be well forward in the car, and then look at the Van Diemen RF84. All Van Diemens model numbers reflected a specific model year.

Soon there were side radiators, internal suspension, a body that smoothed the airflow around the engine and transmission, but some things remained the same. Everyone raced with a Kent engine in those decades, and although the Zetec engine and later Duratec have taken over the formula, it’s a shadow of its former self. It was so successful in the seventies and eighties for many reasons, firstly it was affordable, secondly it was exciting, due to the narrow control tires and lack of aerodynamics, the cars could and did close together, slide and run. to slide. The variety of producers increased the interest of the spectators and you could really see new stars in the making.

In 1972, the inaugural Formula Ford end-of-season festival was held at Snetterton, Norfolk, from 1975 it moved to Brands Hatch and became the World Cup event for Formula Ford drivers from around the world. It still runs today and even in the nineteen nineties it attracted hundreds of competitors from all over the world, supporting races for other Formula Fords and historic Formula Fords.

Festival winners include Johnny Herbert, Eddie Irvine and more recently Mark Webber, although around fourteen winners have gone on to F1 and many who came close to winning the Festival, such as David Coulthard, rose to the top of the sport. Perhaps the Ford Motor Company took its position as the number one grassroots motorsport for granted, or perhaps they saw their position as undisputed, but other companies wanted in on the action, prompting Formula Renault, Formula Vauxhall Lotus (Opel in other markets), Formula Palmer Audi and others.

In 1981, when the formula was at its peak, a young Ayrton Da Silva, who later changed his name to Senna, moved to England and won both of the major British championships that year. Unfortunately, he returned to Brazil before the Formula Ford Festival due to family reasons. Formula Ford has been central to the development of modern motorsport and has brought enjoyment to millions. To share the experiences of one privateer Formula Ford driver, read Land, Sea and Sky. http://www.oflandseaandsky.com

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